Educated? Are you kidding me?


I heard something this morning that disturbed me.

While doing assorted things after waking up, I generally have the television on. Even though I might not be watching it, I listen as I iron clothes, make breakfast, and so on. Nice way to catch up on the news, weather, and assorted stuff.

Today, one of the features included an interview with a person that, quite energetically, claimed that the problem with this year’s presidential election process was that one of the candidates was benefitting from the ignorance of those without a college education.

Now… a few things I need to point out before we even attempt to move any further in this…

First up… I am college educated. I have one degree, and I’ve taken a variety of courses at several colleges while earning and after earning that degree.

Second… I have heard the education concept before, in fact even during this 2016 election cycle. I’ve also heard men/women, old/young, married/single, red/blue, north/south, east/west, and all sorts of other possible dividing lines and polling numbers that supposedly make some sort of sense out of what is happening. (Usually while blowing a lot of smoke and hot air without any real content.)

Third… What set me off this morning was the strength of the person’s convictions… and honestly, what I saw as this individual’s ignorance. And yet, I don’t want to point fingers directly, so I am not going to share the specific channel that was playing when I heard this report. It’s the claim and the passion that matters, both of which I think you can easily believe already or find examples on your own without needing this one report.

With those items set in place as the foundation, let’s get back to the general concept that led me to the keyboard…

The main message passed along to me by this individual was that the person was absolutely convinced that the majority of support for one candidate was because: (1) most of this candidate’s supporters didn’t have a college degree, and, (2) since they didn’t have a college degree this person was declaring they were stupid.

And that just ticked me off.

Personally, I am a believer in idea of attending college and pursuing a degree. I like the combination of education, experience, and opportunity that a post-secondary effort provides. Simply put, I believe that people can benefit from a college education.

HOWEVER… that should not be read as some sort of blind, all-encompassing, no exceptions, this should be recognized as the best path everyone should strive to follow endorsement in favor of college educations. Because it’s not.

There are thousands upon hundreds of thousands upon millions and more people with brilliant, outstanding, fulfilling personal and professional lives that never attended (or even wanted to attend) a single college class. And a little secret… a couple of them are really smart.

(That last line was sarcasm… it’s not a couple… A LOT of them are really smart. They’re intelligent and happy and making all sorts of terrific decisions. They’re contributing to their communities and making all of our lives better.)

There are also an incredible number of people with college degrees… heck, plenty of them with advanced college degrees… that I have witnessed making some of the most mindboggling idiotic blunders and decisions one could imagine.

Or… in the simplest of terms…

It is not automatic, and as such person plus college education does not equal smart.

What we can say is that a college degree is not necessary for people to be intelligent with sound decision-making abilities.

There are a ton of things going on with this year’s election that have me shaking my head. And I know I am not alone. One the things I am not seeing taking place is a college education or a lack of one leading people to making sound decisions or bad decisions.

What I sincerely hope is that as the election draws near, everyone eligible to vote will take some time to check out the candidates and truly evaluate what is important them. (And that type of effort, care and decision making does not require years of school.)

If you have any comments or questions, please e-mail me at