Everyone is almost certainly aware by now that Republican Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin does not have a bachelor’s degree. He left the University of Marquette, and in his words
, "I'm someone who went to college, had the opportunity in my senior year to go and take a job full-time job (…)like a lot of folks in America, you know, your family and your job take the time away from you finishing it up."
In that same recent interview, Walker stated, "I've got a master's degree in taking on the big government special interests, and I think that is worth more than anything else that anybody can point to."
Gov. Walker was unable to finish college. There are plenty of websites and blogs out there full of accusations about why he left Marquette, but we're not exploring that today. This is about how he has the audacity to suggest that he has a master’s degree when he does not even have a bachelor’s degree.
Jump below the fold for more.
While Walker was at Marquette, I was serving my country, hoping to come out after four years with enough money to put myself through college. After four years of being a U.S. Army Combat Engineer, I left the service. I got out a little too late to start classes that fall. So I would start school the following semester. I made it through three semesters of school and then the Gulf War started. Unsure if I would have to go back on active duty or not, I dropped out of school and went to work full time waiting to be called up for duty.
It would be over 10 years before I would return to a classroom as a non-traditional student, and after my GI Bill expired. I was a 40-year-old single father when I received my bachelor’s degree. I sacrificed a lot to earn that degree to give my family a better life. I worked full time and went to school full time. I gave up time with my then-wife and son to complete assignments. I had a lot of sleepless nights and missed weekends. I had to write papers while on the phone with a divorce attorney. (Want a challenge? Take a course on wealth and power in America while in the middle of a divorce.)
Three years later I decided to work towards a master’s degree in communications to fulfill a lifelong dream of becoming a writer. I worked a full-time job, coached my son’s football team and went to school full time. I busted my ass to get my master’s. Writing my thesis was one of the most difficult things I have ever done and it cost me the love of my life—she could not take coming in third after my son, and after my thesis. I cannot blame her, she did not sign up for the sacrifices—I did that.
When I look back at what my education cost me, precious time with my son, and a relationship with a woman I loved deeply, I am filled with rage when I hear that Walker claims to have a non-existent master’s degree. He is no better than wannabe soldiers who parade around in military uniforms claiming to be something they are not.
He has no idea of the sacrifices that a non-traditional student has to make to attain a degree, a degree that they hope will lead to a better life for their families. That was my hope, for a better life for me and my son. In the end I found that my education gave me far more than what I put into it—and I am not talking about a great job with high pay and amazing benefits (graduating in the middle of a recession did not help). It made me a better person; it taught me how to think, and how to express myself.
Walker has only briefly worked in the private sector. For most of his life he has been in public service while railing against the very government that provides for him and his family. He chose that life, he chose to attend fundraisers instead of classrooms, and he chose to spend his time campaigning instead of learning, instead of growing as a person.
He does not get to say he has a non-existent master’s degree. He has not earned one—he does not know what non-traditional students have to sacrifice for their education. He has never wondered if he will have enough money for food after he pays his tuition bill, or if he can afford diapers after purchasing a textbook. He has never slaved away for months on something, putting heart and soul into it, only to have a professor rip it to shreds in less than five minutes, and to have loved ones walk out of your life.
No, Walker does not have a master’s degree in taking on the big government special interests. He is a college dropout.