NR Digital

Drop the ‘Dropout’

by Charles C. W. Cooke
This country was built by people without formal credentials

I have long argued that any culture that fetishizes its system of formal education will soon end up disparaging those who opt out — and it was with this somber maxim in mind that a recent headline from the progressive Web publication PoliticsUSA grabbed my attention: “College Dropout Scott Walker Claims Ronald Reagan Ended the Cold War by Busting Unions.”

There are no two ways around this sentence — no perplexing ambiguities or contrived interpretations. Here, “college dropout” serves as an unlovely substitute for “stupid,” “uncultured,” “unvetted” — or, at the very least, for “lacking in credentials.” It’s a putdown and a swipe — a churlish, ugly dig in the ribs designed to put a man in his place. And, more than anything else, it’s a signal for fellow fetishists: “This person is not like us.”

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