Monday, February 27, 2012

Rick Santorum versus College Education


There's several stories (including here: http://2012.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/02/michigan-tea-partiers-share-rick-santorums-fears-over-obamas-college-push.php) about Rick Santorum's recent remarks about the President's push for college education. Several of them are accompanied by comments from people who seem to think that college just makes socialists/communists/fascists/whatever out of young people. And liberal pundits are amazed that he's getting away with this, and keep referring to the Republican mainstream, and how they can't possibly support this guy.

Got news for them: he's not appealing to the rational mainstream voters- the sort of people who have historically been in charge of the GOP. He's appealing to the whackos- the ones who are swayed by simplistic, reductionist, narrow arguments. I know these people- I was one for way too many years than I'd like to admit. They get a set of jingoistic phrases and rattle them off, but they haven't the faintest of a flying fuck of an idea what our government actually does, much less how to do it. These are people who seldom travel, don't know anyone in another country (and here I must add Gay Country), and probably couldn't point out Iran on a map. They don't know what GNP stands for, or who's the head of the Fed. They also probably don't know that Rick Santorum was named as one of the most corrupt Senators in 2006.

These people are the modern incarnation of the Know-Nothings. Except it's not Catholics they're against now. It's anybody brown, or gay, or educated, or not very very very conservative 'Christian', or female, or 'Librul'... heck, a gay Latina Episcopalian with a graduate degree who votes Democrat would be a perfect storm for them- someone would surely have a stroke!

Maybe not everyone will want to go to college. But they need to be given the opportunity. Because the numbers are VERY clear- earning capacity for someone who had a high school diploma are higher than someone who dropped out, and someone with a college degree much higher still. If someone is going to have a job good enough that they can have the life Santorum says they should- with an at-home wife and enough kids to field a baseball team, they HAVE TO BE EDUCATED. The jobs you can do as a high school grad are not going to be that kind of income. Period.

And you know what? In Oregon you have to have a two year college degree with some serious math and engineering before you can even APPLY to the plumber's or electrician's apprenticeship program.

So Santorum can go suck it, because HE DOESN'T KNOW WHAT HE'S TALKING ABOUT.

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