Part of the backlash against Biden’s plan to forgive federal student loans is really a backlash against education. College education has become stereotyped into identities that some dislike. The fact that American society has pushed the necessity of a college degree for one to get a good job and have a good life is also problematic and wrong.
Scary thing is, true education in which one practices critical thinking and decision making is more critical now than ever. The United States is not and was not ever intended to be a pure democracy. Our government is a representative democracy, which by definition means there are gatekeepers, some voted in to positions (Congress, the President), some appointed by those we voted for (Supreme Court, Attorney General, Secretary of State), and some defacto (political parties, the Press).
Technology is eroding away the whole idea of gatekeepers upon whom our country was built, which slides us towards pure democracy. At first this might seem like a good thing, but what it really means is that more responsibility is with citizens. From within democracy tyranny can easily emerge, all it takes is to convince enough people that the tyrant’s cause is virtuous.
The guardrails against tyranny is education and free speech, and liberty to practice both. Critical thinking and systemic decision making. If we are left to not trust politicians, journalists, or anybody else for that matter, then we need to be able to trust ourselves. Education does not necessarily mean a college degree, but it does mean an openness to idea that one might be wrong, the desire to understand why, and the willingness to change one’s mind.