Mirroring her husband’s best attribute of style-over-substance, Michelle Obama gifted us with a spirited pep talk on giving opportunities. In delivering her speech at the Democratic National Convention, the First Lady remarked to the crowd about her college days:
“And when my brother and I finally made it to college, nearly all of our tuition came from student loans and grants.”
She then told us about what life was like for her and the President after college:
“And believe it or not, when we were first married, our combined monthly student loan bills were actually higher than our mortgage.”
She used these stories of woe to connect with middle class voters. No doubt this is just an extension of the 2008 campaign where healing the planet was promised and when the true “war on women” started with the Democrats when they sold out Hillary Clinton.
Being part of the impatient society we live in, many students never think to take semesters off and work. Today, we’re led to believe that not only where you attend school matters, but if you work to pay yourself through it by taking off semesters if you need to, somehow you’re less than. Not long ago, such a path was considered honorable.
The narrative changed when work ethic began declining combined with an environment of broken promises from big government. When Newt Gingrich suggested during the primary that kids in inner city schools work to help keep their schools clean and develop a sense of pride from early on by earning a paycheck for something, he was demonized.
But the sooner one learns to work and earn, the better they are prepared to handle inevitable issues like student loans and college financing decisions which will await them down the road.
Take Governor Palin for example. Many people ridicule her personal decision to take her time through college by taking semesters off to work. In addition to working hard, she also competed in beauty pageants. Further, she’d transfer to different colleges sometimes to pick up where she left off.
Taking this all-American path gave the Governor the earned benefit of visiting different parts of the country. By the time she graduated, the pageants taught her the invaluable lesson of competition. Those off-semester grit jobs taught her the priceless lessons of hard work and sacrifice. These time-tested truths for developing work ethic and a desire for healthy competition are far more beneficial to students than any social experiment the Democrats would like us to believe can be achieved through racking up yet billions of more dollars in insurmountable taxpayer debt.
Aside from the intrinsic qualities achieved in her college years, perhaps the most impressive achievement of all was the fact that Governor Palin graduated college debt free. Unlike the President or First Lady who accumulated unbelievable debt, the Governor used the same public and state level universities (just like Reagan did) available to all middle class Americans.
And unlike the Democrat plan which seeks to strip accountability from society in exchange for a few votes, conservatives are far more interested in not allowing these valuable lessons of hard work and sacrifice to dim.
Like Palin, Ronald Reagan paid for his education at Eureka College by flipping hamburgers, washing tables, and working as a lifeguard where he actually saved a few lives.
Margaret Thatcher as well, whose school reports show a long history of hard work, competed for and won several scholarships which got her through school.
I’m certain even Democrats in the days of Thatcher and Reagan had paid for school in similar ways. Responsibility and sensibility shouldn’t be partisan issues. But considering Palin and Obama are from similar generations, sadly it’s become a matter of opinion depending on party platforms.
One party platform offers up the suggestion of determination and sacrifice followed by reward for individual efforts. Following the Palin plan instills principles of hard work and teaches the value of competition. Best of all, it comes at absolutely no cost to the American people.
Meanwhile, the other party platform seeks to erase all that with accounting gimmicks and social experiments without any guarantee of social outcome or long term debt consequences.