Alan Singer, professor at Hofstra University, has discerned a disturbing pattern in Republican candidate Marco Rubio’s public comments: he is contemptuous of higher education.
In fact, Singer says that Rubio has declared war on higher education.
According to Senator Rubio, liberal arts colleges are “indoctrination camps” that are only kept in business because the political left wants to protect “all their friends” that “work there.” This comes from a Presidential candidate whose political life has been kept afloat for years by one major campaign donor, Norman Braman, a billionaire Florida car dealer who also employees Rubio’s wife as a “consultant.” Braman pledged $10 million to the Rubio Presidential campaign and over the years has hired Rubio as a lawyer at his company, Braman Management, donated $100,00 toward Rubio’s salary as an instructor at Florida International College in Miami, and gave Rubio use of his private plane.
Apparently Rubio is sensitive to the problem of huge college debt because in 2008 he owed close to $150,000 on student loans. Rubio accrued this debt while drifting through three colleges, Tarkio College, a religious school in Missouri that later went bankrupt, Santa Fe Community College in Gainsville, Florida, and the University of Florida. His law degree is from the University of Miami. In high school, according to an ABC News report, Rubio was a “C” student who used to sneak out of school to drink, which might explain his later difficulties in college.
Rubio claimed he was finally able to pay off his student loans in 2012 with proceeds from the publication of a book, An American Son, described by the Wall Street Journal as “a piece with other quickie books written by still-climbing politicians: cautious, on-message and heavily tilted toward the most recent big campaign.” How Rubio earned $150,000 on this book, published by a right-wing press, remains a political mystery. The book sold only 7,800 copies in hard cover and about 35,000 in paperback. I wonder if this was another Braman intervention.
Maybe if young Marco had paid attention in high school and college he would not take some of the same political positions he does today. Rubio wants students to use work experience for class credit so like him they do not have to attend classes and he proposes that students indenture themselves to wealthy investors, kind of like he did with Braman, who will pay their tuition costs. What a student owes their investor would be subject to negotiation, although slavery and involuntary servitude have been outlawed in the United States since the passage of the 13th amendment in 1865.
Rubio has pandered to the far-right by expressing doubts about climate change and pollution; is skeptical about evolution; and is absolutely opposed to any type of abortion, no matter the reason.
Singer believes that Rubio needs a real liberal arts education and offers to provide one for him:
If Marco Rubio would like to sit in on my classes at Hofstra University he is welcome to attend. I promise not to indoctrinate him. But he will be required to join discussions, state his positions clearly, support them with evidence, conduct research, evaluate alternative views, and arrive at reasoned conclusions based on research and evidence, which should have been part of his high school and college educations. I am sorry young Marco had such bad early experiences in school and wasted a lot of money and time before straightening himself out with the help of Mr. Braman. But I suspect very few, if any, of Rubio’s teachers in Florida and Missouri were the kind of left-wing radicals he wants to drive out of liberal arts colleges.