WASHINGTON, February 13, 2015 — Should it matter to Americans whether the President of the United States has a college degree? Former DNC chairman Howard Dean, born-and-raised a child of wealth from the Hamptons and educated in Ivy League schools, says presidents should hold college degrees.
Dean Told Morning Joe’s Joe Scarborough he thinks Governor Scott Walker’s lack of a college degree makes the governor “unknowledgeable,” and so he should not be president.
“I worry about people being President of the United States not knowing much about the world and not knowing much about science. I worry about that.”
I worry about someone being President of the United States and ignoring the Constitution while he overrides Congress to enact laws by fiat.
Note to Howard Dean: You might want to look around your office, because it’s not oval.
A college education is no evidence of wisdom, intelligence, or decency. It isn’t even evidence that you learned anything. A degree is a credential. It proves nothing about ability, temperament or knowledge.
There are well-educated people who are self-taught; they never attended college, or never graduated, but their knowledge of economics, the Constitution, history and foreign affairs is vast. And some of the stupidest, most close-minded people in the world have doctoral degrees.
Education does not dwell solely inside the halls of academia. If it did, we’d be in trouble. The academic left wing indoctrinates students with material like Oliver Stone’s The Cold War rather than teaching them the works of the Founding Fathers. Their ideal is a “History curriculum [that] seeks to produce a generation of Americans more amendable to working through the United Nations.”
Writer Ronald Radosh points out that, “many universities today have labor history studies, as well as entire departments dedicated to training union personnel.” They push communist thinking over free thought. American students are trained in anti-Americanism that focuses on turning out activists, not educated minds.
Someone should ask Howard Dean whether, if a college degree is a requirement for the Oval Office, may we please see President Obama’s college transcripts?
Some U.S. presidents would have been ineligible for office by Dean’s standards. Consider that when looking at numbers 2 and 10. What would the country and world look like today had 2 and 10 been prohibited from the presidency?
- George Washington: His father died when he was eleven and without funds for school, his education ended. His military career during the War of Independence made him the man Americans wanted as first President of the new United States.
- Abraham Lincoln: His limited education ended in early childhood, leaving him with reading and writing difficulties in his teens. Because of this, Lincoln worked hard to hone his skills, studying to become an attorney.
- Andrew Johnson: Too poor to continue school, his wife helped him to read and write better and hone his mathematics skills at age 17.
- Zachary Taylor grew up in impoverished Kentucky where formal schools were nonexistent during the 1800s. Prior to becoming president, Taylor held a 40 year military career.
- Millard Fillmore studied law in law offices because a formal education was difficult to obtain on the frontier. He founded the University of Buffalo
- James Monroe dropped out of college to fight the War of Independence. His law studies were conducted under the tutelage of Thomas Jefferson.
- Andrew Jackson dropped out of school by age ten and joined the Revolution at age 12. He studied law in Salisbury, North Carolina as an apprentice and went on to become senator, judge and General of the Tennessee Militia before winning the presidency.
- Grover Cleveland dropped out of school at age 16 to support his family when his father died. He was apprenticed by an uncle to become a lawyer.
- William Henry Harrison dropped out of medical school when his father died and could no longer afford college. He joined the military before becoming president.
- Harry Truman attended college for one year and dropped out, taking college night classes while he worked, then dropping out again.
Despite their lack of college education or degrees, these men were highly accomplished, mastering history and language and holding military careers that gained them knowledge in foreign and public policy. Each of them believed that education was vital, but for them this meant reading, writing, and studying everything they could.
None of these presidents had the advantages of Howard Dean, yet they made use of every resource available to them to educate themselves. Lincoln’s oratory rings across time and around the world; Howard Dean’s best-known heard utterance is the scream heard round the world.
There are many other accomplished, even brilliant men and women who never attended or never finished college:
- Oprah Winfrey
- Mark Zuckerberg
- Bill Gates
- Steve Jobs
- Richard Branson
- Frank Lloyd Wright
- Rachel Ray
- Michael Dell
- Walt Disney
- Milton Hershey
- Peter Jennings
- Ralph Lauren
These people were never presidents, so Dean might say, they don’t count; we should worry about Scott Walker because he has no college degree.
We should worry more about a president whose educational performance is murky, who ignores the Constitution, overrides Congress, creates his own laws by fiat, has empowered the IRS further, expanded government and debt, created more poverty with programs that never helped the poor rise up (Black unemployment rose, not jobs), has insinuated himself into race wars (Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown), ignores the enemy, and insults U.S. allies, all in favor of playing golf.
No, Howard Dean, college does not make one eligible for the presidency; competence and experience in government and the military does, now more than ever.