For Democrats, It’s Not Just About Working Hard

Written by Bill Thomas on July 10, 2019

On the Harvard University webpage, the school says of itself, “With world-class faculty, a dedication to affordability, and groundbreaking research opportunities, committed scholars have all the resources they need to fulfill their academic and personal potential.”

There is a lot of good discussion today on the role of a college education, especially the enormous cost and debt people incur. There’s also an important conversation going on about the role of trade and tech schools. Preparing people for success in the future remains the bottom line.

An Ivy League education seems to help ensure that success. Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg, John Roberts, Al Gore, John Kennedy, Ted Cruz, and Barack Obama are notable Harvard alums. Harvard, like the rest of the elite Ivy League schools, exists to educate the very best.

And that’s fine. If entrance into Harvard is fair and based on merit, then there isn’t a problem. The Harvard webpage notes “Each applicant to Harvard College is considered with great care. We consider each applicant to Harvard College as a whole person and put enormous care into evaluating every application.”

Not many people are getting into Ivy league schools. Harvard, for example, accepted just 5.9% of applicants in 2012 and 5.8% in 2013. This year was even more difficult for prospective Harvard students. A record-low 4.5 percent of applicants to Harvard College received admissions offers to the Class of 2023. It must be tough to make the cut at Harvard.

Maybe, but maybe not. Tucker Carlson described the fact that politicians — particularly Democrats — manage to get their children into elite Ivy League schools at an astonishingly disproportionate rate compared to the general public as “the real college scandal.” He notes that Democrat politicians do better than most getting their children into the top universities. Mayor Bill de Blasio’s son got into Yale along with the children of Sens. Michael Bennett, Amy Klobuchar, and Sheldon Whitehouse. Children of Sens. Richard Blumenthal, Bob Menendez, and Chuck Schumer got into Harvard along with the children of former President Barack Obama and former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer. 

To be fair, some of these young people might qualify, but the sheer number of Democrat politician’s offspring meeting the incredibly high standard is puzzling. Al Gore sent four kids to Harvard. That’s a remarkable feat. All four kids qualified for the academically rigorous Harvard curriculum. Hard to believe, huh? Carlson thinks so. He notes the odds of that happening are like the odds of being hit by lightning every single day for a year.

While the offspring of Democrats may be intelligent, that’s not what’s getting many of them in the big-time schools. Carlson has it pegged. He says, “It happens because our meritocracy is a sham. It’s fake. They tell you that only the most accomplished students get into these schools, but they’re lying. Their friends’ kids get first dibs. Fellow members of their social circle. Kids whose families can help them down the road. The children of sympathetic politicians are an obvious priority for admissions officers. These are the same politicians who funnel billions in tax dollars to colleges and universities every year. So, letting a senator’s kid into Harvard is smart business.”

The college entrance scandal that rocked our nation a few months ago is still being litigated. Fifty people — including actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman — have been charged with using bribes or cheating on standardized tests to get their kids into better colleges than they deserved. Regular people were outraged when this was brought to light. It’s hard to imagine the unmitigated gall of people who already have wealth and status cheating to get further ahead. We’re not supposed to be that kind of country. We’re supposed to be a country where, if you work hard, you can do whatever you set your heart and mind to do. That’s meritocracy. You earn what you get.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, (D-MA), said she had “zero” sympathy for the parents implicated in the scandal. That’s fine, but she didn’t hesitate to claim a Native-American background she doesn’t have to get special consideration from Harvard.

That’s the whole thing. Meritocracy is the rule for everyone in our society, except the elite, mostly Democrats. People were rightly outraged at the ugly scandal that rocked college campuses earlier this year. However, an even uglier scandal seems to be happening right in the open. The idea of the finest schools for the best and brightest looks good on a website, but it may be far from true. If you are well-connected and your mother or father is a Democrat alum who can do the school some favor, you seem to be moved up on the entrance list.

The Democrats claim to be the party of the regular people. Maybe they are — if the regular people are willing to stay in their rightful place.

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Bill Thomas
Bill Thomas lives in Washington, Missouri and is a professor at St. Louis Christian College. He's also on staff at First Christian Church in Washington, Missouri. He's authored two novellas, From the Ashes and The Sixty-First Minute published by White Feather Press of MI and three Bible studies, Surrounded by Grace, The Critical Questions and More and The Road to Victory published by CSS Publishing of OH.