The value of higher education

Commentary

Truth, perhaps. But not always .

A friend of mine showed me this Facebook post featuring Rachel Maddow:

“If you don’t think education matters, then you probably get your news from the dropouts,” says the post, comparing getting “news” from the highly educated Rachel Maddow to “news” from dropouts like Limbaugh, Hannity and Beck.

Beyond the fact that none of these folks are really purveyors of “news,” but more the TV/radio equivalents of Op-Ed columnists, there is a bigger point to be made here: The value of education.

I’ve been thinking a lot about education during these fraught times. And make no mistake, I value education; a good education really matters, particularly if we are to survive as a great country, a world-leading country. But book education, as important as it is, is not the entire package. What about character? And morals and ethics? Remember the ads, “A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste?” Well a great education given to an unethical, immoral individual lacking in good character, is a terrible thing to waste as well; even when that education is from an elite college or university.

Alright, you’re asking, what’s the point. Here’s the point:

  • Ron DeSantis – Governor of Florida: Yale University, B.A. in History; Harvard University Law School, J.D.
  • Senator Ted Cruz – (R-Texas): Princeton University, B.A. in Public Policy; Harvard University Law School, J.D.
  • Senator Tom Cotton – (R-Arkansas): Harvard University, A.B in Government; Harvard University Law School, J.D.
  • Senator Rand Paul – (R-Kentucky): Baylor University, B.S.; Duke University Medical School, M.D.
  • Lindsey Graham – (R-South Carolina): University of South Carolina B.A. in Psychology; University of South Carolina School of Law, J.D.
  • John E. Kennedy – (R-Louisiana): Vanderbilt University, B.A.; University of Virginia School of Law, J.D.; Magdalen College at the University of Oxford.
  • George W. Bush – 43rd President of the United States: Yale University: BA in History
  • Donald John Trump – 45th President of the Unites States: Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania: B.S. in economics.

And lest you get the feeling that this is a one-sided argument:

  • Bill Clinton – 44th President of the United States: Georgetown University, BA International Affairs; University of Oxford, Rhodes Scholar; Yale University Law School, J.D.
  • Elliot Spitzer – former Democratic Governor of New York: Princeton University, A.B. from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs; Harvard University Law School, J.D.
  • John Edwards – former Democratic Senator from North Carolina and former Vice Presidential nominee: North Carolina State University, B.S. in Textile Technology; University of North Carolina School of Law, J.D.
  • Rod Blagojevich – former Democratic Governor of Illinois: Northwestern University, B.A in History; Pepperdine University School of Law, J.D.
  • Anthony Weiner – former Democratic Congressman from NY: SUNY Plattsburgh, B.A. in Political Science.

Yes, education is important. But so is character. Guess these guys all missed Character 101, Ethics 102 and Morals 201.

Oh, and by the way, not all college dropouts are jerks like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck…

…although some are (and would be even if they had finished college).

Published by Ted Block

Ted Block is a veteran “Mad Man,” having spent 45+ years in the advertising industry. During his career, he was media director of several advertising agencies, including Benton & Bowles in New York and Foote, Cone and Belding in San Francisco; account management director on clients as varied as Clorox, Levi’s and the California Raisin Advisory Board (yes, Ted was responsible for the California Dancing Raisins campaign); and regional director for Asia based in Tokyo for Foote, Cone where he was also the founding president of FCB’s Japanese operations. Ted holds a Bachelor’s degree in communications from Queens College and, before starting in advertising, served on active duty as an officer on USS McCloy (DE-1038) in the U.S. Navy.

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