As I noted recently in Progressivism: Non-Falsifiable, progressives consider themselves to be intellectually superior to just about everyone, but particularly the peasants living their meaningless, aimless little lives in flyover country. The mere fact they are intellectually superior means they are, ipso facto, morally superior as well. Obviously, those holding advanced degrees through some magical process—perhaps osmosis?—are infused with an infallible moral sense.
An excellent example of that mindset is one Shaun King, who if his black and white photo accompanying his New York Post article is revealing, is black. Why, you ask, gentle readers, would that matter? Mr. King makes it matter. He is not only upset that Mr. Trump’s cabinet nominees don’t, for the most part, have graduate degrees from the right universities, he’s convinced Mr. Trump’s choices are—wait for it—racist!—as The New York Daily News reports:
On Tuesday night, Ta-Nehisi Coates made a guest appearance with Trevor Noah on ‘The Daily Show’ to discuss ‘My President Was Black’— his brilliant reflection on the Obama presidency. On Wednesday, The Daily Show posted a memed quote from Coates that has been liked over 230,000 times.
NOTE: For those unfamiliar with Mr. Coates, he is the current “all that” fellow among those unable to think in other than racist terms. For my take on Mr. Coates, go here, and here. I leave it to you, gentle readers, to determine the brilliance of Mr. Coates.
It says this:
‘If I have to jump six feet to get the same thing that you have to jump two feet for — that’s how racism works.
To be President, Obama had to be scholarly, intelligent, President of the Harvard Law Review, the product of some of our greatest educational institutions, capable of talking to two different worlds.
Donald Trump had to be rich and white. That’s the difference.’
And immediately, it got me curious to find out what the education level of the incoming Trump administration is compared to the Obama administration. What I found is stark and deeply revealing. In fact, the most educated man in the Trump administration is the lone black man — Dr. Ben Carson. If anything, that alone confirms some of what Coates was saying — that a black man has to jump six feet to reach the same thing white folk have to jump two feet for.
Dr. Carson, a brilliant—retired—pediatric neurosurgeon obtained the education necessary to practice his profession, an education necessary for anyone, of any race or gender, to practice that profession. Race had nothing to do with it. He was offered a high place in the Trump Administration not only because of that education, but because of his experience and character. In making this observation, King is also making a significant assumption: Trump will have no other black people in his government. This assumption is surely false.
It starts from the top down. As Coates noted, Obama earned his B.A. from Columbia University and his law degree from Harvard — where he was the president of the Harvard Law Review.
Donald Trump will be the first President of the United States in 25 years to not have a graduate degree of any kind. Bill Clinton was a Rhodes Scholar and had a law degree from Yale University. Even George W. Bush had a Harvard MBA. Trump has B.S. in economics from University of Pennsylvania, but no advanced education.
Indeed, Mr. Clinton was a Rhodes Scholar and earned a law degree, but lost his law license due to perjury committed in the process of covering up his crimes and utterly disgraceful conduct as President. He is worth a fortune, which time may reveal was not earned, but grifted. His lack of accomplishment and distractions in the White House led directly to 9-11 and much of the economic distress in which the nation finds itself. But let’s not forget, he made history as one of two impeached presidents.
To be sure, Mr. Obama was the President of the Harvard Law Review, but wrote not a single scholarly article. To this day, every evidence of his academic achievement—more likely, total lack thereof—remains more closely guarded than the nation’s nuclear secrets. If Mr. Obama is truly so brilliant, if putting in one’s time in the right schools is a predicator, a guarantee of supernatural ability, success and virtue, wouldn’t Mr. Obama want the evidence of that academic brilliance distributed for all to see and appreciate? Do I really need to go into detail about how Mr. Obama did as president? I thought not.
A Harvard MBA is a worthy achievement, unless an idiot like George W. Bush earned it, as our moral and intellectual superiors have said. And all Mr. Trump has done is employ thousands, build many successful businesses, and earned billions, while contributing huge piles of cash in taxes. But hey, he doesn’t have a doctorate from the right school, so what good can he be?
Mr. King goes on to note that the current federal education secretary—John King Jr.–has a doctorate from Columbia and a law degree from Yale, but Trump’s nominee, Betsy DeVos only has a bachelor’s degree—and she’s rich. Oh, and he’s black and she’s white, and lest you think I’m focusing on race, consider this from Shaun King:
She’s also white and a billionaire. The standards are clearly different. Not a single black man in America would ever be under the impression that he could be Secretary of Education with a B.A. from Calvin College.
Different standards? Perhaps Mr. King is unaware there are no educational standards for cabinet officers? Going to the right schools is neither a requirement nor a disqualifier for such positions. And perhaps we ought to consider Abraham Lincoln, who, by all reports, was a white guy. Not only did he not have a BA, he never attended law school, yet he managed to become one of the greatest lawyers of all time, and the president who not only saved the union, but did a few worthwhile things for Black Americans. All Lincoln had to recommend him was intelligence, uncommon common sense, a genius for making friends, experience and character.
King next compares the current Secretary of Energy, Ernest Moniz, with Mr. Trump’s nominee for the position, former Texas Governor Rick Perry. Moniz, a Ph.D in physics has worked at MIT, though one might observe he has yet to develop a coherent theory of adult haircuts. King has no respect for Perry, yet he is the most successful governor of recent history, which is no small accomplishment. He also has adult hair down cold.
Here, King gets into dangerous territory:
Secretary of State John Kerry has a law degree from Boston College. Rex Tillerson, who Trump nominated for the same role, didn’t go to grad school at all.
John Kerry is perhaps best known as an arrogant progressive and traitor who was already preparing for a political career as he dishonorably served in Vietnam, returned home to call his fellow soldiers and sailors war criminals, had his photo prominently displayed in North Vietnam’s war museum as a great friend of the communist regime, and for decades, lied about his service and the medals he dishonorably snagged. A failed presidential candidate, his service as Secretary of State has been a disaster, and he is well known for his disdainful mistreatment of the little people, such as the security people and pilots that have had the misfortune of dealing with him. Education does not inevitably equal character and decency. Nor does it equal ability.
Mr. Tillerson, who has a mere undergraduate degree, and apparently from a college of which Mr. King does not approve, has nothing to recommend him, apart from successfully running one of the largest and most important companies in the world, while successfully dealing with a great many heads of state. Oh, and as to character, this might be clarifying. But back to Mr. King:
Education matters. It is often on college campuses where people are challenged with new ideas, new cultures, and opposing viewpoints that don’t quite match their own.
This might be true if one is a conservative on campus, but if Mr. King thinks progressives are so challenged, he obviously hasn’t been on campus for the last few decades. King concludes:
While Trump, and these men, may indeed argue that they don’t need advanced graduate degrees, because they are so rich and successful, I’d prefer both. Not only that, but many of these nominees, and indeed Trump himself, don’t even have a day of experience working inside of the government. These systems are complicated and robust. To see the education levels drop off so much, is not just disappointing, it could be dangerous.
Hmm. I seem to recall the Founders, to a man, had no experience working inside the government, yet they all seemed to muddle through to no little accomplishment. And here I’m going very, very far in buying King’s assumption that prior governmental experience is a good thing. Dwight D. Eisenhower had only military experience, and Harry Truman, who did serve as an administrative judge and a U.S. Senator, was also a combat veteran, yet both men somehow managed to be reasonably successful and accomplished presidents, just like that non-educated white guy, Lincoln. One might argue their military experience was useful indeed to them and the nation, more so than any formal schooling.
As an educator, I believe in the value of education, but qualify that carefully, to my students and others. Anyone can theoretically benefit from post secondary education, but it need not be in college. My first career as a police officer is illustrative.
One may argue that a college educated police officer has a broader base of knowledge, which may, in at least some circumstances, be helpful, but the reality of the job is excellent police officers are born, not made. The instincts, senses, abilities great cops possess can’t be learned in a classroom. One has them—or not. Higher education tends to be required–on paper, not in ability–only for administrative positions, and such people are often terrible cops. Not only do they tend not to work and play well with actual police officers, their primary concern is faithfully acting on the political mandates of those that hired them.
I earned a BS in 2.5 years with honors because I needed the degree to teach. Certainly, because I attended a college where political posturing was a distant fourth to everything else a college is supposed to do, I learned a great deal useful in my chosen second career teaching English, but soon realized a masters or doctorate would be counterproductive. Not only would I earn very little more, I have earned far more over the years as a writer and musician. Even so, I’ve accumulated nearly enough credits for a masters, but will probably never bother to earn the rest. My ego doesn’t require it, and I have less than no desire to impress anyone that would hold the lack of a graduate degree against me. The character flaw is theirs, not mine.
Ultimately, Mr. King is a standard issue progressive, one each. Attendance at specific schools, and holding specific degrees are, to progressives, like medals in the military: they give a hint of one’s pedigree. Unlike in the military, a Harvard MBA or a Yale law degree tell us nothing about accomplishment or character, though they do speak to connections and wealth. Hillary Clinton holds a law degree, and has held a variety of superficially impressive titles, and has traveled millions of miles, yet is one of the worst human beings alive. She brutally mistreated the military officers and Secret Service agents assigned to serve her and her husband (the less said about him the better), and even today, assignment to her Secret Service detail is considered punishment. By her own words, she hates half of the American people, and compromised national security to hide her own criminal scams. Progressives lauded her as the most qualified person ever to run for president, yet the uneducated deplorables, she and her self-imagined elite uberhumans so disdain, denied her the presidency.
Mr. Trump’s nominees aren’t the right kind of people, people like Mr. King and his friends who doubtless don’t know anyone that voted for Donald Trump. You know: the progressive kind. They’re—shudder– deplorables.
To progressives, race, gender, education, lockstep in word and thought, and attending the right schools matter greatly. Those that don’t measure up are not only far less intelligent, they’re morally inferior, cattle that must be closely controlled and ruled. It is these beliefs and the actions they inspire that, in 2016, blew up on progressives, and they’re still blinking, their faces blackened as in a cartoon.
This is why Donald Trump is President-elect. He lives in a world where accomplishment and character are far more important than a progressive pedigree. He cares about people that can get the job done. Talking a good game doesn’t matter if it’s not accompanied by results. In this, Donald Trump is like most of America, the America that makes things, that produces work that must be on time, on budget, and right the first time each and every day.
Perhaps the most important factor is that progressives like Mr. King see the primary mandate of government as continual progressive “growth” and the maintenance and expansion of progressive policies, which of course, leads to ultimate political power and utopia. Mr. Trump represents the America trying to undo progressive damage, shrinking and restoring government to its constitutional limits. In essence, demolition and clean up. That requires people that know how to work, that get their hands figuratively and actually dirty, that have the ability and character to do the job, no matter how hard it is or how long it takes, and that value honesty and accomplishment.
Mr. Trump’s choices will do just fine. Their work history demonstrates their ability and speaks well to their future results. And if they don’t, Mr. Trump is well practiced at saying “you’re fired.” That’s something else progressives–who are normally promoted and given bonuses for monumental screw-ups–aren’t used to hearing. They’d better prepare themselves.