Of all the comments and soundbites to emerge from the most recent GOP debate, it is Marco Rubio’s answer to America’s unemployment problem that may well prove to be the most “presidential.” While other candidates offered platitudes and promises, Rubio got real practical, saying, in effect: “we need more welders, not more philosophers.”
His comments were cheered by the audience in the room and by like minded Republicans across the country. At the same time, the overthinkers and Democratic pundits lost their collective minds. Some tried to pretend Rubio was comparing the average welder to the average philosophy professor, trying to turn his obvious metaphor into a falsehood. But that allegation didn’t stick.
Because the people Rubio was talking to understood exactly what the candidate was saying: “American business needs skilled tradesmen, and those positions pay more than the average liberal arts gig.”
More to the point, Rubio is one of the few candidates looking at the issue from the perspective of most voters. While it would be nice to debate the cost of college or eliminating student loan debt – positions most candidates are arguing about – the average person believes a student should look for work that is necessary and do that work well. While it might be wonderful to find something you love to do and make a good living at it, that dream should not be subsidized by everyone else who is doing their best to build a life in a field that supports their family.
That is the song Rubio is singing, and it’s resonating with voters. Especially those who believe the college system is a scam, a bloated cash cow that sucks up money and offers too little in return. Meanwhile, there are many, many jobs and employment opportunities available out there that don’t require traditional college, but do require post high school trade education.
Many people are waking up to this reality, and when they look for a candidate who supports these facts, they find Rubio. And, increasingly, they like what they see.
Jonah Engler is a successful entrepreneur from NYC.