It’s graduation season, and unless you are soon to graduate or have a relative who is graduating, you probably just ignore the whole thing. However, it Is important to realize that we all benefit from the education process, and the product of education.
The American Revolution resulted in a democratic republic while the French Revolution’s outcome was Emperor Napoleon I. Why? The North American Colonies had an effective public education system, France did not. France had titled nobility, while America did not, but male landowners were most definitely elites; most were well educated and traveled, they had wealth and the means to acquire more, and they could vote. Even though women and workers who were not wealthy could not vote, they had at least a modicum of education, while the French peasantry did not.
As students progress through the education system, they acquire the tools to benefit society as a whole, and the higher the level of education, the greater potential benefit they bring. How?
– Learning is a lifelong endeavor, and the education one possesses is the key to further learning.
– Education gives people the ability to produce some type of good or service, and for which they will be paid.
– People who earn a wage also contribute to society through taxes.
– With the right to vote, an education provides the skills to make a decision.
When it comes to voting, decisions are made in many different ways. Some will decide based on their emotional reaction to a candidate or an issue. Some will adopt a certain general philosophy–liberal, conservative, libertarian, socialist, labor, or whatever–and vote with the party or group who they feel represents that philosophy. However, educated people have the ability to critically evaluate the facts–not commentary or marketing–and then make a decision.
Each political party has its base who will vote along party lines regardless. Then there are those people whose decision is not so easily influenced, the so-called swing voters. These are the people who decide elections. Today, many are still acquiring data and will not decide until sometime in the fall. Some will easily reach a decision with which they are comfortable. Some will struggle with the facts and realize that to obtain their desired outcomes, they may have to vote for a person or an issue they personally find repugnant. Logic leads to the best alternative, not the most attractive.
However, because of education, they have the tools to use in this process, so celebrate graduation season for that reason.