What a Load of Santorum

It really, really sucks to be a college student right now.

Tuition hikes, budget cuts and the dismal job market are constantly looming threats to higher education and recent college graduates.

So when some ingrate-like presidential candidate Rick Santorum comes out and says going to college is for snobs, as students, it’s time to get fucking angry.

In a recent press conference, Santorum accused President Obama of being a “snob” for saying that everyone should go to college, where, apparently, people go to be “indoctrinated” by “liberal professors.” He appeared on “Fox News Sunday” and claimed that he made his comment based on his assumption that the president was referring only to a college education and not to any type of higher education including trade schools, and other types of job preparation. Santorum — what a douchenozzle.

Maybe Rick Santorum hasn’t been in touch with reality lately, but has he looked at a college campus recently? Universities across this country are both economically and socially diverse; not everyone who goes to college is one of the Winklevoss twins.

For Santorum to say that wanting people to get a higher education is snobby is a sign of how desperately people like him will try to pander to American voters. His statement was a clear ploy to get blue-collar workers to sympathize with him rather than Obama. Santorum implied that by encouraging people to get any sort of higher education, Obama was completely devaluing the labor done by people in this country who never went to college. This is, of course, not true. It simply acknowledges the fact that America is in need of more skilled workers to fill the deficit we currently have of educated workers.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with working and making a living without getting a higher education; a majority of people in this country live this way. But it is irresponsible and highly alarming for a person who could potentially be the next president of the United States to try and discourage people from going to university. Having at least a bachelor’s degree increases overall lifetime income drastically. And, going to college provides people with lifetime experiences that can’t be duplicated in any other setting. Why Santorum would try to discourage people and deprive them of the experience of going to a university is beyond understanding.

If people like Santorum are so concerned about the state of our economy and the job market, why would he even toy with the idea of discouraging students from going to college? The highly-skilled job positions we all want are competitive, and we won’t stand a chance at getting those jobs without at least getting a bachelor’s degree.

Only 30 percent of Americans over the age of 25 have at least a bachelor’s degree; this percentage may seem pretty big, but imagine what it could be if the price of education wasn’t so high. When Republicans like Santorum say college is for snobs or elitists, when they are the same ones trying to make higher education more and more unaffordable, you have to wonder if they ever got past basic math in elementary school.

Thousands of middle and working-class students attend colleges across this country, working at low-wage jobs and taking out loans to pay their tuition and living costs, only to be faced with years of debt and a wobbly job market. Where’s the snobbery in that?  Especially in California, in the UC system, students from every socio-economic walk of life work hard to be the best and brightest to enlighten themselves and others through lifelong education and to go forth and make their communities a better place. College students are not elitists; people like Rick Santorum and his Republican brethren are the real snobs — the fact that they hide behind a fake façade of blue-collar humbleness and hucksterism makes it all the more sickeningly ironic.

If we college students don’t make an effort to keep people like Santorum out of the White House, college will soon be a place that only “snobs” can attend, because they’ll be the only ones able to afford it.

 

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