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Don’t listen to ‘classist’ Trump and keep on earning those college degrees

nrkbeta | Wikimedia Commons

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, better known as AOC to her supporters, clapped back in an epic way against President Donald Trump after he mocked her for having a college education at a recent campaign rally.

The idea of a president mocking someone who comes from humble beginnings for having a college education is yet another disappointing example of the political discord that resides in our country.

The Democratic congresswoman attended Boston University and graduated with a degree in economics and international relations.

Trump had hosted a campaign rally in Lititz, Pennsylvania on Oct. 26 and managed to take a jab at the congresswoman by mocking her for having a college degree. During his speech, Trump also made fun of Ocasio-Cortez over her environmental policies.

“A great student of the environment — I don’t think she ever took an environmental course in college. She did go to college, right?” Trump said.

Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitter soon after to denounce Trump for engaging in what she believes is classism. She retweeted another tweet from New York Times correspondent Maggie Haberman.

“I could say yes, but who cares? Plenty of people without college degrees could run this country better than Trump ever has,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.

She also posted another tweet saying that she has employed people without college degrees and that they have done “effective” and “strategic” work.

Ocasio-Cortez’s tweets were the perfect contradiction to Trump’s insult. The response was the simple fact that she obtained higher education in an education system that makes it harder for black and brown communities to break into.

She also brought up the large amount of money it costs to have a college education in the United States.

“The more college cost soar, the more degrees become a measure privilege than competence,” she tweeted.

She ended by stating how the United States would better off if public colleges were tuition free and if student loan debt was cancelled.

Trump’s attack was a cheap shot, plain and simple. Many people with similar backgrounds to Ocasio-Cortez are told that the way to success lies within achieving a college education.

Ocasio-Cortez was born and raised in the Bronx, New York according to her biography on the House of Representatives website.

Of course, Trump would not understand the importance of a college education due to him being born with a privileged status, even though he went to college as well.

Trump attended Fordham University in 1964. Later on, he transferred to the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated with a degree in economics in 1968.

Trump fails to realize that college degrees are important because it’s not just primarily about getting an education, it is also about gaining experience for the “real world.”

College degrees are not just about status, but for many communities of color, higher education helps them get a leg up in America.

People with a college degree are less likely to face unemployment, according to a 2019 data research from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While those who have earned their bachelor’s degree were counted as 2.2% of people who were facing unemployment, but that was nothing compared to the 4.1% of workers who only had high school diplomas.

People with degrees tend to experience more satisfaction with their selection of job. According to a 2016 Pew Research report, 60% of workers with a bachelor’s degrees found that their jobs gave them a sense of identity. That means that college graduates found their purpose in life through their college degrees.

For college students, degrees symbolize that students can contribute to society in a positive way, no matter what field they wish to pursue.

Trump’s shot at Ocasio-Cortez’s educational background does not make sense. When the “Trump Base” is broken down, his supporters, some of them at least, are college-educated people themselves. When Trump mocked Ocasio-Cortez for having a college education, it is safe to say that he could be mocking a part of his own base as well.

The world is constantly changing and the current political climate shows that education is a must in order to provide input in whatever social cause you wish to advocate for. Ocasio-Cortez’s background in economics and international relations may have helped her in her political career so far.

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Jahlil Rush, Production Assistant
Jahlil Rush is a Production Assistant for The Ticker.
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