There are so many great quotes from history that warn us about the path America could go down. I always love it when I travel and get to speak to taxi drivers who are clearly immigrants to America. And it’s easy to ascertain if they arrived using the front or back door. All you have to do is engage them in conversation and ask them why they came here. They’ll tell you the story of opportunity and the ability to set their own course — especially for their kids.
You never hear these individuals talk about free college. As a matter of fact, they’ll admit they’re busting their tails to ensure the kids are getting a quality education.
Sunday in Louisville, my wife Angela and I took a taxi over to Freedom Hall – (remember all those great University of Louisville basketball teams that played there under Denny Crum?) – but I was there for the NRA convention.
Our driver was a young man from Ethiopia. Now I’m used to seeing many Ethiopians in Washington D.C. and even Dallas has a growing community. So we asked what brought him to Louisville and he did not hesitate to respond: the university. We asked what he was studying and he said he was preparing for his MCAT (Medical Comprehensive Assessment Test), a precursor for medical school application.
There were no complaints about working and preparing for the exam. He didn’t talk about coming to America in order to get free college. This young man wanted an opportunity, and was willing to work hard to get it.
So what’s happening in America where this generation of American kids feel “entitled” to free college education and have their debt erased? First of all, we have to educate our children and grandchildren that there’s nothing in life that’s free. We should be educating people on 529 College Savings plans — a tax-free means by which parents can withhold funds, tax free, for future college education expenses. It works almost like a health savings account (HSA). You know, when we drove over to Freedom Hall, we went past the University of Louisville, impeccable facilities. Now, I don’t mind new facilities and better accommodations for college students, but folks, you been on any campuses recently? Heck, I’d want to hang out at college for longer than four years!
But, as we’ve seen elsewhere in our education system, we find more money spent on the administration than on the teachers and curriculum. What’s also apparent is that we have more PC-driven topics of study than practical academic pursuits. And our colleges have become big time businesses knowing that the federal government will continue to provide largesse regardless of how much they raise tuition and other costs. And that’s happening without any accountability.
Here’s another little tidbit to digest. Thanks to Obamacare, the majority of college student loans are now granted by the federal government, not private financial institutions. Yep, the federal government as part of Obamacare raised the interest on those education loans — yet another way young people are getting hosed by President Obama.
That brings us back to what’s happening with some of the young people in America who appear to lack the intellectual regimen to comprehend the nature of socialism. Which does go back to the fact that we’ve allowed instructors on our college campuses to teach our children principles and values inconsistent with our Republic. Even worse, oft times they’re not consistent with our values as parents either. Our children are not being taught or instructed using critical thinking skills; they are being indoctrinated. And this phenomenon is now getting into our local education systems, K-12, because we fail to realize that the most important election in America isn’t for president, governor, congress, or state legislature – it’s the school board.
And if we had more classical education going on in America, perhaps this quote from former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher would have been studied: “[M]ore than they wanted freedom, the Athenians wanted security. Yet they lost everything—security, comfort, and freedom. This was because they wanted not to give to society, but for society to give to them. The freedom they were seeking was freedom from responsibility. It is no wonder, then, that they ceased to be free. In the modern world, we should recall the Athenians’ dire fate whenever we confront demands for increased state paternalism.”
When I was invited to speak at Hillsdale College the most impressive fact is that Hillsdale takes no federal funding. The next impressive fact is that the students at Hillsdale study the ancient Athenians and can easily comprehend the meaning of “increased state paternalism.” And when you think about President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society program and his idea of giving government largesse to women who had children out of wedlock — as long as they had no man in the home…What greater example of “state paternalism” that created a freedom from responsibility.
So it’s 2016, and we need to ourselves, what is it that our children and grandchildren are being taught? Clearly, the message of the progressive socialist left is not one of individual accomplishment and achievement. It’s a message that the individual is irrelevant, and success can only come from a collective surrender and subjugation that relinquishes freedom, liberty, security — all just to be told, someone else will take care of you. And if we don’t educate our young people how to realize that danger, the dire fate of the Athenians will be our own.