Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s chances of becoming the next President of the United States are already over and the race hasn’t even begun – all because of a decision he made 25 years ago.
In 1990, the spring of his senior year at Marquette University, Walker dropped out of college. The reason he withdrew from the university is still unclear.
If this were the year 1945, this small infidelity on an otherwise flawless presidential resume would be a non-issue for Walker. In fact, former President Harry Truman was elected in 1945 without a college degree. But Harry Truman is the last man without a college education that has, or ever will, call the White House home.
In Truman’s day, college education looked much different than it does now. An article in The New Yorker titled “Live and Learn” highlights the fact that private colleges like Harvard and Yale “were largely in the business of reproducing a privileged social class,” and only about 1.14 million people attended public colleges. Today, more than 15 million students attend public colleges and about six million attend private colleges.
The Lumina Foundation found that more than 40 percent of Americans currently hold college degrees and they expect that number to increase to 60 percent by 2025.
Thus far Walker has had a tremendously successful political career. Excluding losing the race for student body president during his sophomore year of college, Walker’s election record is flawless. Since 1993, he has run 11 races for state legislature, county executive, governor, and has won them all. But his hot streak is coming to an end.
Although there are plenty of Americans, like Walker, who have excelled without a college degree, most notably Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, the majority of these successful men and woman aren’t making a run for the White House.
Predicting Scott Walker’s political future is simple. This is 2015, not 1945. Americans value education more now than ever before. At the end of the day a college education trumps all the other impressive accolades a candidate may have.
The GOP should cross Walker off their list of possible 2016 nominees because Americans today will not trust a man without a college degree to lead their country.