For the record, Scott Walker does not have a bachelor's degree. So what? Does anyone think that it really matters? You bet.
All one has to do is look back at the 2008 presidential election. Obama was hailed as one of the most intelligent man to ever seek the office, while Sarah Palin was derided by many on the left for having attended 5 different colleges before attaining her degree. In fact, for the last two election cycles the Republicans have been relentlessly attacked as anti-intellectual and has been the subject of much debate here at LiB. No doubt Scott Walker's lack of a degree will be raised as an issue.
Again, so what? It isn't like Scott Walker is an unknown candidate. He was a state assemblyman and has been the Milwaukee County executive for more than six years. He has a solid record that all voters can see and judge on its merits. That means a lot more to me than what degree he may hold - and if this is something the left thinks will work in their favor, or is a major sticking point, then they are pretty desperate.
All this brings me to something that has bothered me for a long time. As much as I dislike anti-intellectualism, the rampant intellectual snobbery of many in the media and particularly among the left is even more repugnant. Take these lines from the aforementioned Cardinal op-ed (emphasis mine):
However, it’s hard to believe that the label of “college dropout” won’t affect Walker somewhere down the line. His main competitor for the primary, former U.S. Rep. Mark Neumann, has a Master’s degree, as does Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton, the only declared Democratic candidate... In comparison, Walker’s credentials as a person who failed to graduate from UW-Madison’s privately-funded yet less prestigious competitor leave something to be desired.I can't stand this type of idiocy. Yes, the UW is the best university in the state. It is one of the best public universities in the nation, but the implication here is: "Wow, Walker is so dumb he couldn't even graduate from that joke of a college called Marquette." I have many friends that graduated from Marquette, Stevens Point, Whitewater, etc. Many of them I consider among the smartest people I know. A student at any of these schools still receives a top quality education. The name on a diploma means nothing, it is the individual and their own work ethic and God-given ability that make the difference.
Just ask students on campus and many of them will likely raise an eyebrow at the fact that a person seeking the state’s highest office is less educated than they are.Really? So does that mean that they are more qualified to be governor? Give me a break. Life experience and common sense mean so much more than what degree you have. Another point to be made here is that I wouldn't trust some of the classmates I had at UW with ASM (or whatever it's called these days), let alone the governor's mansion. Let's face it, we've all met college students who didn't have the common sense God gave a tree. Many have said the same of me, I'm sure.
Paul Krugman is a Nobel laureate, but how often do we take issue with his columns and arguments on this blog? None of us even have a degree in economics but we know a load of manure when we see it. I'd rather have someone who has operated in the real world any day over some theoretical "expert."
There are numerous success stories that include minimal education. Everyone knows the stories of Lincoln teaching himself to read, or that Bill Gates is a college dropout. I'm pretty sure they did okay.
It is far better to have common sense and be able to achieve results than to be able to quote political theorists. This notion that a bachelor's degree somehow endows the recipient with some special intelligence or insight is laughable and incredibly elitist.
This mindset is part of what is wrong with government and the left today. It is a trust in government and bureaucracies over individuals because of some perceived expertise or knowledge. For my part, I'd rather put my faith in individuals. Call me crazy, but I just don't trust people who feel the need to point out their own supposed superiority.
I think William F. Buckley said it best: "I'd rather entrust the government of the United States to the first 400 people listed in the Boston telephone directory than to the faculty of Harvard University."