Tech School Students Deserve Respect


While Sen. Santorum is absolutely wrong about a lot of things, including the tone he used while castigating President Obama for encouraging young people to graduate from four-year colleges, he did make a point, as Democrats have in fact drifted recently from the working class, (even though they should be the core of the party), by implicitly diminishing technical school training, though an almost exclusive emphasis on the virtues of four-year degrees.

For President Obama, who worked his way to the top by becoming Editor of the Harvard Law Review, the ticket to success from his perspective was the university system, and while high school students should be encouraged to reach for the stars, as he did, at some point, reality dictates not everyone can be accepted at scholarly universities, many will drop out, only a small number will go into the professions, and fewer still will earn Ivy League degrees.

The best advice for young people is to adopt a dual track as to education. While they should study topics that interest them, without regard to real world implications, they should simultaneously prepare for life, by gaining employment skills, in the event their dreams don’t come true. In other words, history, philosophy, or political science classes are just fine, as long as the student also studies disciplines like accounting, nursing, or engineering, which may more easily convert into real world jobs.

Politicians should recognize there are many jobs that do not, and should not, require four-year programs. We should acknowledge the value of technical schools, and those who attended them.

We need technical schools, so we have an ample supply of trained auto and airline mechanics, electricians, plumbers, cooks, barbers, beauticians, bookkeepers, first-responders, and practical nurses. We need repairmen of all kinds. Can you clean a laptop? Can you fix a furnace, refrigerator, lawn mower, or TV? The list goes on.

While Presidents Obama and Kennedy attended Harvard, and Bill Clinton went to Yale, other Democrats, who studied at public institutions, along with ordinary people, understood the working man a little better. Truman’s only diploma was from Independence High School. Johnson graduated from Southwest Texas State. Carter attended Georgia Southwestern State, and Georgia Tech, before finishing at the U.S. Naval Academy.

President Obama, who should be re-elected, needs to take a couple steps down from the Ivy League mountain top, and mingle a little more with blue collar workers, who should be supporting his re-election bid. The Democrats should never let Santorum, or any other Republican, hijack the issue or those who attended the tech schools.

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