Sunday, January 26, 2020

Do You Think that News People and Government Leaders Should Have a College Degree?

Note: A reader said that she did not get the point of this. So here is what I am getting at. We all can benefit from education however we get it. But when we listen to and are influenced by the news media and politicians, we need to be careful about who we follow.


I am such a pusher when it comes to education it is a problem sometimes. Being educated changes a person in so many ways I think....


But why? Does it earmark people as very smart and give them status? Maybe so. However, even an average person can excel in college and I think, many even come out with a more meaningful degree of knowledge and understanding. Studying does that. 


Some of the best informed people are not educated formally. But they are well read and well rounded people. In the end education can come in many forms. Letting ones self be challenged in their beliefs is what counts. 


But in service of our country as a Congressional Member, one expects an expanded knowledge that comes from a challenging and well rounded education. It is a big and important job.


I would expect the same thing of the news media that guides our information. These are the people that are having more and more influence on our view point so believing what they say should, I think, be based on their education and life experience. Just being able to talk fast or read is not enough.


The most poignant memory of college is a class I was required to take called Comparative Religions. That class taught the basic tenant of religions from throughout the world. I graduated from a small college in Oregon...Eastern Oregon University.

See, I had been raised in a very small community and the only show in town was our Methodist Church. We managed with a shared minister from nearby. One of our regular speakers was a Pentecostal minister that taught 8th grade in our local school. He was a lovely man and his daughter was my best friend. I played the piano for church services.

Had it not been for that college course that let me know that there are many religious beliefs and even Christian denominations I would have follow a very conservative path. I learned that all religions share the belief that people can be good.

But I can tell you the first day of class nearly brought me to my knees. I remember the professor coming outside to comfort me. He explained to me that he was not there to change my beliefs. He was there to educate me about the world.

It hasn't been until the last part of my life that I truly understood that opening ones eyes is what education is all about. Being thrown into the midst of people with different ideals is hard but necessary.

I suppose that people that attend a college of like minded people miss that opportunity. A religious college, for example, attracts people that have the same religious education. An unchallenged belief system leaves a person with a very narrow view.

Not finishing that education leaves your belief system unchallenged. It is the challenge that provides the breadth of knowledge that we need in a reasoned thinkers.

I am a "liberal" in the terms used to describe a political view today. I sometimes get sidetracked and forget that every issue, as I was taught, has many sides.

If I feel very strongly about something, that is the time that I need to educate myself on what is not seen or understood. The more strongly I react the less I know and understand. A knee jerk reaction does not make me proud of myself.

I am not a lawyer. It could be that all of those lawyer/congressmen have spent so much time arguing for issues they really don't believe in that they don't know right from wrong anymore. Those people are very educated. I realize that. But I watched Face the Nation this morning and listened to a senator evade answers and even the truth. He was slippery and deceptive. He was very "lawyerly".

The news media is not perfect either but I would expect that the talk show hosts would have an education and be speaking from a basis of knowledge. People that are not well informed depend on them to be truthful. In a recent Facebook post I found this. I did check to see if it was correct. The three gentlemen at the bottom the page are Fox employees and have varying degrees of education but all three did not finish their degrees.


Lessons learned today tell me that even people that are educated have managed to discount all of the other voices as less than worthy of notice. So, in the end, education is not enough and never will be. There is so much more.

What do you think?

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Statistics on Colleges US Representatives attended



10 comments:

  1. Really, I don't understand your point.
    There are many, many self educated people who are extremely well read and can present the news. There are many ignorant who walked out with that diploma and never expanded their views.
    I understand that you were brought up very narrowly. College (especially in the 1960-70's when women were finally let in) opened your eyes to what you feel the world needs to be. Yet, there are many ways of gaining an education- especially through life experiences.

    I contend that my grandchildren are gaining an education that I never received. Their classrooms are filled with every color and creed. The internet opes their world. If they are not in elite schools- they learn about so many things. College is now the place to gain a profession instead of open the mind. Sad.
    How do they get that balance back?
    I come from a very educated family- degrees all around. My husband and I both have our Masters. Still, my father in law was the wisest person I knew. Lived through the depression, flew in the Pacific, and was a plumber for the rest of his life. He was a Western Conservative Democrat till his last day.

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    1. Janette,

      You are better educated that I will ever be. I only have a BS in education. I don't feel that your education makes you superior to me. But I do think that I could learn from you.

      Please note the third paragraph in the header as to my opinion of self educated people. (Ben Franklin was one of those so you do have that.)

      Elitism was not the point of this article. The point was that the people that serve us in congress need to be well educated, experienced and open minded. Those kind of the people are the ones that I prefer to listen to.

      As for media, talking heads read the news, news talk show hosts are there to promote a view and it would seem to me that we should be very careful who we listen to and FOLLOW. (Listening is very important as you know.)

      That was the message. Thank you for your comment. It made me think about what I had said and I still stand by it.

      FIY: I finished my college degree in 1962. I continued with advanced education but never earned a masters. That college had no barriers for woman. It had always been that way I think. That was in Oregon. It may have been different in the East.

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  2. I always regretted not having the whole college experience. I went but it was later after kids and marriage.

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    1. It is never too late to begin anything. I regret not being an interior designer and may even look at taking some classes just to see what that would have been all about.

      Go for it!

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  3. Only one of those news people in that picture work for fox, Limbaugh and Beck work for themselves.
    No I don’t think you need a college education to be a news person. No great
    News people did in the past, Steinbeck? No...just go down the list. Now if you are on TV you may need to be an attorney also.
    I agree the article was to poke fun at the conservative commentators...but then as a conservative I am quite used to liberal memes pointedly suggesting conservatives are stupid. The other day Don Lemon slugged h til he actually cried at how stupid conservatives are. None of my liberal friends think I am stupid, quite the opposite so I know it is media driven and not real life.

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    1. The idea is about who do you follow. We are influenced by people that actually do not know or don't get the facts straight. It happens all over the news. I agree that the poke at the fox reporters was one sided. Next time I will check to see who in the news media outside of fox is not informed.

      I worry about the conservatives and how they are seen. Nothing in the world is one size fit all. You are the people that make people like be take it slow and pay attention.


      Thank you for your comment.

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  4. 1:26 PM

    I loved my college experience! I think that working to gain an education teaches you discipline and HOW to learn.
    I was very fortunate, growing up in a small town with many different religious sects. We kids attended our friends' churches often--especially when some special service was being offered. I went to Midnight Mass as often as my Catholic friends did. I attended church with my Baptist friends. Pentacostal. Anglican. United. Jewish. All had something special to offer and I loved them all!

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    1. I love your opportunities. It must have been wonderful to live among such a diverse group.

      I loved college too but I know now that it is not for everyone. My college education is not what it is now. It is so much more difficult and demanding.

      Love your blog.

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  5. My mother was the only one of her siblings without a Masters. she didn't even have a Bachelors. However she was the smartest and the best educated. It was the depression and my grandmother told her that one child had to be "sacrificed" She thought it had to be my mother who had a boyfriend who grew up, literally, without a pot to pee in, but was very smart and almost ambitious then. My mother wrote all his non accounting papers. She took courses throughout her life and on most Saturdays our father stayed home with us when she went into the city to go to galleries and museums. When I went to grad school, in my 40s, I would call her and read her my papers as I knew her questions would be intelligent and help me. Actually she was the first to ask why I was going to be a social worker when I could write so well. When most of my teachers asked me that... So no I don't think a formal education is the endall but I think you have to be curious and love or at least want to learn. by the time the internet entered our worlds she was blind but she would call almost daily and ask "on your internet could you....?" When the male librarian at the library for the blind wanted to send her romance novels she asked what he likes to read. "History, bios and memoirs" "Send whatever you like to me." At her funeral the rabbi said that he was glad to see so many non-Jews. I couldn't figure out how he knew that I had many non Jewish friends so I looked around. Around a third of the attendees were Black. My parents exposed us to basically everything. i went to drag shows when I was five and always knew that many people were Gay and so on...

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    1. I have alway told you Pia that I am a wannabe New Yorker.

      I agree with your take on the question. "So no I don't think a formal education is the end all but I think you have to be curious and love or at least want to learn."

      But when I listen to those people that we are expected to follow and let guide us in public life, it seems to me that a lot more is needed that what we can gather from books. The mingling of different ideas in an education setting can make a big different. Experience, education and the ability to compromise goes a long way.

      Thank you for your comment Pia. I love hearing about your life.

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