Jeb Bush Cribs Daugaard’s Disdain for Liberal Arts

Jeb Bush must think he’s going to last until South Dakota’s June primary. He appears to be angling for Dennis Daugaard’s endorsement:

Jeb Bush Chick-fil-A“Universities ought to have skin in the game,” the former Florida governor said at a South Carolina town hall with Sen. Tim Scott and Rep. Trey Gowdy. “When a student shows up, they ought to say ‘Hey, that psych major deal, that philosophy major thing, that’s great, it’s important to have liberal arts … but realize, you’re going to be working a Chick-fil-A'” [Curt Mills, “Jeb Bush: Psych Majors Work at Chick-fil-A,” Washington Examiner, 2015.10.24].


Someone told me recently that the most common college major is psychology…. I don’t know if that’s accurate or not, but there certainly are a lot of them. I know when I go to college graduations, sometimes I’ll be a commencement speaker, and you can read through the program, how many graduates there are in this or that field, and boy there are plenty in of psychology grads. There’s philosophy grads, there’s art history grads. And those are great fields of study. They’re interesting. Those who graduate with those degrees will go on to become counselors and historians and great philosophers. Many of them, though, will go on to work at jobs that don’t require those kinds of degrees, and those students will be burdened with lots of debt and a job that has nothing to do with the degree that they spent a lot and borrowed a lot to obtain [Governor Dennis Daugaard, remarks at dedication of A-TEC Academy, Aberdeen, South Dakota, 2015.09.01, reported in C.A. Heidelberger, “Funding Vo-Tech Better Than Corporate Welfare; Daugaard Education Philosophy Still Flawed,” Dakota Free Press, 2015.09.02].

If Jeb Bush weren’t doomed, I’d say let’s break out the Daugaard for VP signs and watch Michels drive Jackley, Mickelson, and Noem into the backseat in 2018. The GOP does love its anti-intellectuals, and Bush and Daugaard sound like a pair.

p.s.: Jeb Bush got his undergraduate degree in Latin American studies. Dennis Daugaard got his undergraduate degree in government. Neither has worked at Chick-fil-A.

17 Responses to Jeb Bush Cribs Daugaard’s Disdain for Liberal Arts

  1. Bob Newland

    It’s a sad day when a school is reduced to inviting DDDDaugaard to speak at its commencement. I hope the class song is The Doors’ “This is the End.”

  2. mike from iowa

    Wingnuts have done their part to funnel kids to low paying menial jobs and provide college grads with extraordinary amounts of student debt and no future.

    Many large college athletes get degrees in Communications,simply to have a degree comparable to their major-football-basketball.etc.

  3. There is merit to what Jeb Bush said on this topic, whether you will admit it or not.

  4. Donald Pay

    I find both sides of this issue are wrong. What you want out of a good college education is not necessarily a certificate to get you into a mid-level job where you may be limited, bored and stuck for the rest of your life. A B.S. in chemistry or botany will get you a life as a lab rat or a field technician, but not that necessarily that high paying career. That’s not bad, and I loved my lab rat jobs after I graduated from college. But I also found ways outside of my job to put my science to work for me in what we called “guerilla research.” And it was really through a lot of the non-science courses that I learned how to be creative enough to not be limited or to limit myself. So, no, you also don’t want a certificate to a McJob, as the Gen Xers used to call it, but you want courses that are going to unlock sides of yourself that you don’t know you have.

  5. Porter Lansing

    Many with psych and art history backgrounds are involved in the “farm to table” restaurant trend. The American Studies high school class I took was very helpful as a chef. The class taught the inter-relationships and core essences of English, Am. History, Music and Art in a three hour class every day of my Junior year. That Donus Roberts taught the English portion was icing on the cake. These psych/art history grads are the hipsters and are vital to retain in your state because they are liberal and they are vocal. If they all move to MN or CO or CA or OR the Conservative culture of the state’s politics won’t change. It’s no wonder they scare those Republican Governors.

  6. touting “hipster” is like saying “lol”

    thought u were just a one issue guy porter.

  7. jeb’s association with hit man trey gowdy is no different than daugard’s cover-up allowing round’s election and is a clarion call to dump these idiots in 2016. the dem party in sd will get the job done, thanks to support from cory and mercer.

  8. Porter Lansing

    Leslie … My dear, you are a perfect example of “negative bias”. Simply, that’s people who automatically dislike, scorn and reject any new ideas or things. It really comes through in your personality. Not my business to advise you but I’m just sayin’. lol

  9. twice in two days.

  10. I think it is important to have a liberal arts background precisely for the reasons Jeb mentions. A liberal arts background requires you to get a background in areas such as psychology, history, or the arts without going all in on a nearly suicidal financial outlook on life. Major and minor in something useful and realistic; use the rest to expand your viewpoint and diversify your background. Many technical degrees are heavily skewed toward a narrow field. It is great if that is what you really end up doing for the rest of your life. It can be a problem if that field drastically changes or is eliminated altogether or if one simply loses interest in it…welding burnouts come to mind. That person may literally have to start from square one after being trained in only that field. That being said a liberal arts education could always benefit from a few more frank discussions between professors and students about realistic career prospects.

  11. So, Mr. Spenser, I think I may agree with you except for the terminology. These are not the “liberal arts”, they are not arts. They are certainly not sciences. They are fields of fuzzy study that really have no practical value in life.

  12. I really hope that the Republican Party nominates John Ellis Bush Bush and he brings his low-energy, milquetoast, can’t-think-on-his-feet style and all his family baggage to the general election.

  13. Mr. Spencer, I apologize for mis-spelling your name.

  14. Pulling together Rohr and Spencer: I recognize the merit in reminding students that no degree guarantees wealth. I recognize the value in the “frank discussions” Spencer recommends we have with every student about realistic career prospects.

    But the proper response is not to consistently denigrate the liberal arts as a waste of money. The proper response is to be clear about the real and full value of higher education of all sorts, and in terms that go beyond personal income. Thinking exclusively about financial payoff and thinking exclusively about beauty or truth both pose problems: the student obsessed with picking the job that makes the highest salary may end up with an empty soul (not to mention an empty pocketbook when that job is rendered obsolete by technology or the market), while the student who pursues beauty and truth exclusively may have trouble making rent.

    As long as students understand the opportunities opened and closed by their choices, who are we to complain about their choices? I won’t denigrate students who choose to specialize in auto mechanics—I need them to keep my Bug running! I won’t denigrate the philosophy major who says, “Sure, I know no one’s going to pay me to sit around and philosophize, but I’ll be happy to pay the bills waiting the tables and spend my breaks and weekends reading Rawls.”

    Jeb Bush and Dennis Daugaard are not high school counselors… thank goodness.

  15. Porter Lansing

    Extrapolating, Obamacare may just usher in a new American Renaissance. Artists are now able to have affordable healthcare insurance if they choose to pursue a career more liberal arts oriented. It was never really a problem to live hand to mouth and put your art foremost … until you got sick and there were soon bill collectors demanding your attention and money.

  16. ObamaCare, art, market freedom, and renaissance… interesting thesis! And it could work: too many people have clung to jobs that don’t fulfill them and don’t make the best use of their talents just to hang on to good health insurance. Make health insurance easier to get, and more people can move around in the marketplace to do the jobs they love.

    Income matters, but so does love (or, perhaps more accurately, vocation. Denigrating certain fields dismisses the notion that vocation may trump maximized earning potential.

  17. Porter Lansing

    Even the avid pursuit of political justice can be art. It certainly is a form of love and as so, it’s never without pain. ?