The Rude Pundit is going to play his professor card, something that he reserves for special occasions, to talk about Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, a man who looks like what you get when a prairie vole fucks a water shrew. The probable 2016 Republican presidential candidate never finished college at Marquette University, and right-wingers have rushed to defend him, despite the fact that he's had a government job since 1993, when he was elected to his first office. Walker has been living off Wisconsin's tax dollars for over 20 years.
From saggy-titted Rush Limbaugh to purposeless Breitbart to whoever the fuck is pretending to be a writer at the National Review, conservatives want you to know that, holy cow, you don't need a college degree to be president. And they're right. You don't. Like him or not, Walker has a shit-ton of experience in politics since it's the only thing he's really done in his adult life. That kind of thing used to drive conservatives bonkers but obviously not anymore.
But where all of these assaults on the academy go wrong is in assuming that there is only one type of college experience. The most egregious of these comes from an actual professor, Glenn Reynolds, he of Instapundit bloggery and a law prof at the University of Tennessee (which is where the Rude Pundit got his big ol' doctorate). Writing in USA Today, Reynolds, hyping his own book, mostly, tells us that leftist elitists from the Ivy League have fucked us over. See, all of us with degrees are just snobs: "Over the past few years in America, a college degree has become something valued more as a class signifier than as a source of useful knowledge." Then Reynolds goes totally dickish, adding, "When Democratic spokesman Howard Dean (who himself was born into wealth) suggested that Walker's lack of a degree made him unsuitable for the White House, what he really meant was that Walker is 'not our kind, dear' — lacking the credential that many elite Americans today regard as essential to respectable status."
See, to conservatives, "college" is itself a signifier of "indoctrinated into leftist beliefs." And, of course, "college" only means the Ivy League. Says Reynolds, after listing the Harvard, Yale, et al credentials of President Obama and the Supreme Court, "All this credentialism means that we should have the best, most efficiently and intelligently run government ever, right? Well, just look around. Anyone who has ever attended a faculty meeting should recognize that more education doesn't produce better decision makers, and our educated mandarinate doesn't seem to have done much for the country." Serious question: Is Reynolds a total cock at his own faculty meetings? And the Rude Pundit has long believed that Ivy League incest has harmed the nation. But the solution is not to say, "Well, obviously, college makes people dumb." It's to say, "Hey, how about some leaders who came from state schools?"
Reynolds so devalues the college experience that, after informing us that most people don't have degrees, he scoffs, "But where 50 years or 100 years ago they might not have cared, many now feel inferior to those who possess a degree. But without much reason, as many college degrees don't signify much besides a limited ability to show up on time most of the time, and avoid getting so falling-down-drunk that you flunk out."
And this is where the Rude Pundit would like to address Reynolds directly, professor to professor:
"Motherfucker, I teach at a school where many of the students are the first in their family to go to college. Their parents want their kids to get a degree so they can have more comfortable lives. The students come to classes ready to learn, open-minded, and, far more often than not, conscientious and prepared. The hardest part is having to compensate for the shitty education system created by politicians and business people that has dicked over students for knowing anything beyond what was on a goddamned test. You know what's elitist? Pretending that college doesn't matter. Pretending that all schools are like Harvard or even fuckin' UTK, where, yeah, the drunk thing is a factor. But that's not the vast majority of colleges and universities. It ain't the vast majority of students. Mine work full time, take classes full time, and sometimes have kids to take care of. Many of them know what the world is like for people without degrees. You know what the diploma indicates, asshole? That you stuck with something and succeeded. That you spent time with people who are different than you. That you learned some things that you perhaps wouldn't have learned. And, despite the bullshit you cite, study after study proves that you earn more with a college education than without. I've been wanting to say this to your worthless ass for years: Fuck you, man. Grow the fuck up."
Damn, that felt good. One other note here: As the Rude Pundit has said before, if you believe that colleges are merely bastions of bolshevik liberalism, spend some time with professors in the business majors or, really, the STEM profs. Oh, wait. They believe in science, so maybe not.
As for Scott Walker, let's dismiss his inability to answer a question about evolution as craven political expedience. What does matter is, as governor, he has bought into the right-wing attack on higher education and he wants to fuck the universities of his state with huge budget cuts, just like Bobby Jindal in Louisiana. That shit looks sketchy, especially when you don't have a degree.
If you can be successful at something without a diploma, good on you, future Bill Gates or Louis CK or Oprah. Obviously, people can be just like you. Except for the almost everyone who can't.