Rick Santorum says a few ridiculous things every week, and it scares me that he gets to do so and remain a serious candidate for president. But one of his latest comments made me wonder out loud whether or not he had a point.

In a speech to the Americans For Prosperity Michigan Forum, Santorum said “President Obama once said he wants everybody in America to go to college. What a snob,” and continued with a near-religious diatribe against Obama’s assertion that a college education should be accessible for everyone.

“There are good decent men and women, who go out everyday to put their skills to test that aren’t taught by some liberal college professor trying to indoctrinate them. I understand why he wants you to go to college — he wants to remake you in his image. I want to create jobs so people can remake their children into their image, not his.”

Blah, blah, blah. It’s important to note that Rick Santorum not only went to college but he also has an MBA and a JD that have kept him swaddled in economic opportunity and prosperity for most of his life — his MBA actually makes him more educated than Barack Obama, so I have to call political nonsense on Santorum’s comments on a very basic level, especially the part about “liberal college professors.”

However, in an effort to connect with the blue collar worker who is threatened by the liberal elite, Santorum hits on something that America has been afraid to admit: maybe college is not for everyone and maybe we shouldn’t be pushing folks to go. Don’t get me wrong, it’s clear that everyone should have the opportunity to attend college if they want to do so, but as the economy has changed there is a lot of evidence that a college degree does not pay off financially anymore — for many, trade school is a better route, for example. I consider education a good with value in itself, but shouldn’t we focus making sure that a public high school education is strong enough to churn out well-educated Americans without depending on college? My family never gave me the option of not going to college, but isn’t there room for other formulas for success?

What do you think?

  • LA Dreaming86

    Your comment in response to mine was extremely presumptuous and nearly insulting to me. It put me on the defensive and I was very tempted to type out a long response to address you, but I figured that more than likely it would have simply been glanced over. Likewise, I didn’t feel like becoming too personal, because after all, nobody gives a f(u)ck really.
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    No, it is not obvious that I think I should be entertained in school. I don’t know where you get the gumption to know what I personally feel and think.

    The reason I am still in school isn’t because I procrastinated, thought school was boring and “didn’t value a college education in the first place.”

    If you must know – Yes, I didn’t have the money to go to school. I started taking classes at the community college part-time two years after I graduated from high school in 2004. I didn’t grow up in a supportive environment. There was no one encouraging me to get a college education. There was no one helping me fill out college applications or financial aid packets. All I had was an abusive mother telling me I NEEDED to do this and NEEDED to do that.

    When I was in high school, I applied for the dual enrollment program (attend college while in Senior year of high school), but then I didn’t move forward with it because I knew I couldn’t pay for the classes and had no idea on where to even begin with financial aid. Sure, I knew about scholarships, but I certainly wouldn’t have qualified for them, as I was an average student.

    Between trying to focus on school and finding a job that could give me a flexible schedule and enough money to actually pay for school, was difficult. Yes, I received financial aid, but it was never enough. Likewise, the age to be considered Independent is 24, so I had to use my mother’s financial information on the FAFSA to obtain aid even though she contributed nothing financially or emotionally to my education.

    A few reasons as to why I am still in school at 26-years-old is because: 1. I have only ever been a part-time student and less than part-time student. 2. I have actually been on break from school since January 2010. 3. Even after I became an Independent, my financial aid (Pell Grant) only increased by like, a $100.00. 4. I don’t have an option as to whether or not I can work. I MUST work full-time and trying to find the right schedule of classes that will allow me to work full-time to actually pay for the damn schooling is tough.
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    I very well know that school is a place to “learn something and the professor is there to teach not entertain.” The reason I say the classes were boring is because, simply put, they were. I wasn’t looking for a clown show. I don’t know any other way to explain it. Let’s not pretend that you excelled at any and everything that came your way despite not being interesting to you.

    And as I said before, my personal feelings are not a reflection on Americans and education as a whole.

  • Fox

    EXACTLY! He said trying to make them in his image?? What, like an educated black person?

    I’m so glad someone else saw it the way I did.

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