Tom van Dyke at the conservative, pro-Southern blog Southern Appeal posted this response to the Texas cirriculum controversy last Spring. The author, I believe, is rather poorly informed about the inner-workings of the academy, and makes a number of disagreeable and/or dubious claims ("America, alone among the nations of this earth, ... prays.").
Nevertheless, van Dyke raises some of the recurring questions that trouble relations between the public at large and the historical profession. Running throughout the post is a sense of the predictable tension that occurs between a body (the historical academy) that makes a claim to authority and a public that sees such claims as elitist bluster.
Van Dyke may be off target in his claims, but he raises questions that we need to address satisfactorily if we are to avoid repeats of the Texas incident in the future: namely, how do we convince people like Van Dyke that scholarly consensus may not be Truth, but neither is it propaganda? How do we assert our authority on subjects we've studied at great length without 'dictating Truth' or stifling conversation among those outside of the scholarly world? Perhaps more importantly, how do we attempt to expland the national narrative to include the poor and dispossessed, as well as the crimes and misdeeds of American history without presenting a deadening, hopeless picture? Or, on the other hand, how do we inspire a sense of national community and committment to the nation, without being celebratory?