Students, be advised: If you attend San Diego State, Rick Santorum doesn’t think you should be here. According to presidential hopeful Santorum, universities are critical for “the left holding and maintaining power in America.” If you are currently a person of faith, you should also be aware of the statistic Santorum recently shared with an audience in Florida. He said, “Sixty-two percent of children who enter college with a faith conviction, leave without it.”
First of all, I am impressed when children go to college. Most of the children I know are younger than 18, and most of them are not done with high school. Secondly, there may be some reasons for this alarming and probably false statistic.
Santorum is an unapologetic Catholic. The guy is proud of his faith. You see the word I used there? I’ll use it again. Faith. There, I used it again. If you are a student, or if you have ever been in an academic environment, you may have noticed faith isn’t a very important part of college. College is largely biased toward the accumulation of knowledge, which is based on the study of reality.
Santorum has begun his assault on higher education largely in response to President Barack Obama’s commitment to speaking about the importance of education. Listen to this leftish propaganda direct from the mouth of Obama: “I want us to produce 8 million more college graduates by 2020, because … America has to have the highest share of graduates compared to every other nation.” In the same speech Obama said, “Education is the economic issue of our time.”
Sure, Mr. President. We all know what’s really going on. You just want kids to go to college so they’ll get indoctrinated and comply with your left-wing agenda. Pretty soon there will be a whole generation of educated and / or indoctrinated young Americans wanting to drive hybrid cars, eat tofu and go to yoga class with their hemp clothes and NPR tote bags. Obama’s got a sinister plan indeed, and Santorum recently called Obama out for his insistence that Americans should get a chance to go to college, calling such a notion “elitist snobbery.”
But while we’re on the subject of left-wing indoctrination centers — known by some as universities — I thought this next bit of information would be relevant. You’re not going to believe this: Santorum went to college. He went to three of them, actually. Our anti-education crusader attended Penn State, University of Pittsburgh and Dickinson School of Law. I wonder why he did that? After all, a college degree isn’t required to be a congressman. How did he manage to keep his moral bearings while under attack in the most dubious of ethical environments? Perhaps he was going undercover, toiling through years of education — uh, I mean, indoctrination — in order to warn future generations of the dangers of thinking and learning things. He certainly doesn’t seem to exhibit the telltale signs of an educated person. He must have found a way to bravely resist the professors attempting to mold his young mind. Maybe his school had one of those “Teach or Preach” lists, so he didn’t have to think too much in his classes.
We should all be aware of one possible reason for Santorum’s reluctance to encourage Americans to go to school. Statistics have shown those with higher levels of education tend to vote for Democrats. This may be because, as Stephen Colbert so succinctly put it, “Reality has a well-known liberal bias.” Maybe Republicans strongly believe they know what is best for America, so it is essential to keep voters uneducated.
As a student, I can’t help but get a little freaked out at the thought of a man with these ideas sitting in the Oval Office and possessing the authority to use nuclear weapons. Education is obviously a critical issue for our nation, and it seems like the latest herd of would-be “leaders” don’t take the development of our collective national intelligence seriously. Santorum’s statements are representative of a greater problem in our national dialogue regarding the topic of education.
You see, the only type of personal advancement elected officials such as Santorum are preoccupied with lately is gratuitous self-promotion. Any legislation or policy that would serve to create better, more capable and highly educated generations of Americans is secondary in Santorum’s mind to dumbing down America as a whole, to create an easily manipulated generation of future voters. Isn’t it time for us, as citizens, to demand a higher class of politician? Would it be too much to ask for a leader who actually wants America to be great? It might be. After all, some may interpret aspirations of greatness as “elitist snobbery.”
—Kenneth Leonard is an English junior.