Constitutionally, the president has to be 35-years old and a natural-born citizen (no, I’m not going there.) And he can’t have already been president twice.
So what’s all this nonsense going around about Scott Walker needing a college degree to be president?
Scott Walker is an existential threat to the elite structure that’s been running this country for decades. The people the Tea Party are worried about. Oddly enough, the same people Occupy Wall Street were screaming about. The people that sit in the seats of power solely because they happened to go to university with the president or one of his friends.
One is hard-pressed to find folks in Obama’s orbit he didn’t already know (or know of) before he became president. A lot of Harvards, some Columbians, a smattering of University of Chicagoites—and, of course, because it’s the thing that makes one the most elite of elites, a whole passel of Oxford grads. In fact, the most common school among people at the White House is Oxford.
I don’t think all those “smart” folks have served us well.
The system of cronyism begins in the halls of the Ivy League, where future presidents ponder which of the guys they just spent the evening barfing with would make the best Secretary of State, and whether one of the dudes that just cheated on his Constitutional Law midterm would be an awesome Supreme Court Justice. In his movie about why capitalism (allegedly) doesn’t work, Robert Reich (who went to Dartmouth, Yale, and Oxford) talks about how he became head of Clinton’s economic transition team—without any idea what that was supposed to mean.
He went to Oxford with Clinton. That’s how those jobs happen. Someone who has become rich and/or famous and/or powerful calls up someone they know from school—who may not even be looking for a job—and asks them to take an amazing job.
That’s not how it works for the rest of America.
Scott Walker didn’t go to Oxford. He wasn’t a Rhodes Scholar. He didn’t graduate from Harvard, or Yale, or University of Chicago. He didn’t sit under the tutelage of people he’s going to hire in to run our country for him. He won’t be returning favors to people who got him into college, or doing favors for the sons and daughters of his college fraternity brothers.
He went to Marquette. He got a chance to get a job with the Red Cross in his senior spring, and he took it. He worked, and got married, and had kids. And he became a damn fine governor.
The media and political elite (but I repeat myself) are shaking in their boots at the idea that someone as common (and, as that illiterate moron Howard Dean put it, “unknowledgeable”) as Scott Walker might gain access to the Oval Office.
Those who think the people in power are afraid of women and minorities are wrong. As long as a woman or a minority is willing to be part of their clique, they will happily vote and work for them. Look how easily the money men of the Democratic Party opened their wallets for both Hillary and Barack. Watch what happens on Wall Street when Elizabeth Warren (George Washington University—but taught at Harvard Law) decides to run.
The high and mighty are not afraid of minorities, or women.
They are afraid of free-thinking, self-made Americans. People who haven’t learned the approved canon of accusations against America: racist, sexist, homophobic. They don’t know what to do with someone who isn’t going to wink at corruption because the bad guys are good old boys he was hazed with to get into Daddy’s fraternity. He’s not Skull and Bones; he’s an Eagle Scout. He’s not a polite moderate Presbyterian; he’s a committed Evangelical. He’s not “personally pro-life but unwilling to impose his opinion on others,” like the hypocrites John Kerry and Nancy Pelosi. He’s personally pro-life, he’s publicly pro-life; he’s just pro-life.
Scott Walker’s effect on the media and political elite epitomizes the divide between the country class and the city class that was much discussed last year. Walker is an outsider to Washington, but an expert executive. He has no legacy friends, no plan to take over the world that was hatched over pizza and beer (and probably pot) in the Political Science grad student lounge back at school.
Unlike Jeb Bush, who is bound up with political, social, family, and college strings, Scott Walker really is “his own man.”
And that scares the crap out of the elites.
How hypocritical is that, by the way? Consider the founders of the very modern world we live in—Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg—none of them finished college. Consider the people the president hangs out with, who have almost as much money as those guys—Beyoncé and Jay-Z. No degrees. A good chunk of the Forbes 400 made their way there without the aid of a college degree. If the gate-keepers in the media and the political crony class have their way, the only place forbidden to the self-made entrepreneurial spirit will be the White House.
Let’s not let them do it. I’m not saying Scott Walker should be president. I’m saying, let’s see how he does in the months-long job interview we call the campaign. Let’s see what he’s got.
Degree not required.