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Rick Santorum says a few ridiculous things every week, and it scares me that he gets to do so and remain a serious candidate for president. But one of his latest comments made me wonder out loud whether or not he had a point.

In a speech to the Americans For Prosperity Michigan Forum, Santorum said “President Obama once said he wants everybody in America to go to college. What a snob,” and continued with a near-religious diatribe against Obama’s assertion that a college education should be accessible for everyone.

“There are good decent men and women, who go out everyday to put their skills to test that aren’t taught by some liberal college professor trying to indoctrinate them. I understand why he wants you to go to college — he wants to remake you in his image. I want to create jobs so people can remake their children into their image, not his.”

Blah, blah, blah. It’s important to note that Rick Santorum not only went to college but he also has an MBA and a JD that have kept him swaddled in economic opportunity and prosperity for most of his life — his MBA actually makes him more educated than Barack Obama, so I have to call political nonsense on Santorum’s comments on a very basic level, especially the part about “liberal college professors.”

However, in an effort to connect with the blue collar worker who is threatened by the liberal elite, Santorum hits on something that America has been afraid to admit: maybe college is not for everyone and maybe we shouldn’t be pushing folks to go. Don’t get me wrong, it’s clear that everyone should have the opportunity to attend college if they want to do so, but as the economy has changed there is a lot of evidence that a college degree does not pay off financially anymore — for many, trade school is a better route, for example. I consider education a good with value in itself, but shouldn’t we focus making sure that a public high school education is strong enough to churn out well-educated Americans without depending on college? My family never gave me the option of not going to college, but isn’t there room for other formulas for success?

What do you think?

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