Free College with a Bullet — Earn Those Freedoms or Zip It

Free College with a Bullet — Earn Those Freedoms or Zip It

By Don Hall

The battle cries across the country are both broad and specific without considering the consequences nor the work required to accomplish them. Whether a product of the attention-deficit, Snapchat Age of brain rot or just a hyperbolic reaction to a sense of fairness most relegated to the most naive kindergarten teachers, the list is both daunting and unanalyzed.

Open borders.

The right to an unregulated internet.

Gender neutral bathrooms in every public space.

Unrestricted access to guns.

Medicare for All.

Lots of squawk about rights we should have but very little about the responsibilities we’re willing to take on to secure them as if the concept of customer service extends to the rights of citizens. “I have a right to a free refill of Shasta Cola and to demand immediate change in the country should I read about it in Vox or the Daily Stormer!”

NOTE: If you don’t vote in our elections, you’re like a vegan boycotting a butcher or a guy who buys no food but complains about the service — your voice doesn’t matter so shut the fuck up. Seriously, aside from you using the term ‘whypipo’, the stance that you don’t vote is the quickest way to have your opinion ignored.

We want open borders but we aren’t willing to change the laws (or at least lobby to change them) that criminalize immigrants coming across the border and living in the country. Changing laws requires time, persuasion, and money. You want change, then step it up and earn it. You want to be seen as a Righteous Agent of Indolent Rage, keep yapping online and doing nothing.

They want to be able to say anything they want on the internet — racial epithets, anti-gay rhetoric, critical race theory, Nazi ideology — but demonetize their platforms and they scream like little brats because they are being censored. You wanna make money saying things then you have a responsibility to say them in a way that does not violate the basic tenets of real life discourse. If you can’t say it in a way that doesn’t demean others then go ahead but do not expect to be paid for it.

Ultimately, the question posed is what are you willing to do and be responsible for in order to earn those rights you bellyache about each and every day?

Take the movement for Free College. 

College is not a right any more than car ownership is a right. You pay for it, you get it. You get a GMAC loan and don’t pay it, they take the car away from you. If you want a Porsche, it’s gonna cost you a heap more cash than if you decide on a beater Honda. Thus Harvard is pricey as shit, medical school is going to cost you more money than God has, but City Colleges are going to be budget-friendly. You want the pedigree, you’re going to have to be rich or take out a loan.

Absolutely, there are predatory loan companies that take advantage of eighteen year old kids, too shortsighted to comprehend the bargain with the devil they’re making and fuck them mercilessly for hundreds of thousands of dollars (because they can’t repossess an education). It seems simple to, instead of giving college away for free (which automatically makes every car a beater Honda), make getting a loan a lot more difficult and to take the degree sought into consideration. Thus, a medical degree is going to rate much higher in the loan acceptance pool than someone majoring in a mushy non-skill like Communications or Philosophy. The doctor of medicine will be far more likely to pay it back than the barista with a degree in Horticulture.

For those who cannot afford loans or are looking for a degree with less of a income-generating potential, there are government and foundation grants. One would think that those receiving them would be required to serve in some fashion following graduation as a means to pay the grant back. Say, teach in your field for three years and the slate is clean. Strictly regulate the predatory loans, expand government financial aid, require a service oriented pay back, and everyone wins. The service time counts as on-the-job training, the taxpayers get something in return for the aid, and college becomes more like trade school than an elitist institution for the wealthy. And only the stinking rich get stuck with unpayable loans.

What makes this fairly common sense approach is the bizarre entitlement that expands the righteous anger at paying for a cheeseburger and receiving no cheese to any transaction with little regard to the context of it. College students feel that it is their right to have courses changed because they are offended by them because they are not students but customers of education. Parents feel that teachers are nothing more than glorified babysitters and treat them as such. People breaking the law (known in most circles as criminals even if the crime is speeding) expect the police to be polite because “My taxes pay your salary!”

“I pay your salary!” is as pointless and needlessly infuriating to a police officer as it is to the Dairy Queen counter person but the police officer has a job no one envies (unless your idea of a cop comes from the nonsense television shows depicting forensic science that doesn’t exist and model-like physiques stuffed into those uniforms). And the stakes of that Serve & Protect transaction is far higher than the Blizzard you found lacking in Reese’s Pieces.

I’ve been scouring the speeches of presidents I respect (in contrast to the Trumpelton) and the thread of earning the rights you have is pervasive throughout the history of the nation. The most on the nose phrase is “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” It’s a solid way to look at things.

More importantly, ask what you are willing to do in order to earn your rights to free speech, to assemble, to practice your own religious beliefs without persecution, to bear arms, to be educated, to have access to healthcare? If your answer is nothing because these are rights you are entitled to, I know exactly how you behave in line at an understaffed Starbucks and can guarantee you have at least three encounters with Wal Mart managers you recorded to video and uploaded to YouTube.

I mean, the very least you can do — the very least — is to spend some time informing yourself on the issues and voting. If you can’t do at least that, you’re a bit of an embarrassment, aren’t you?

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