Everyone Is A Special Interest Group

April 22, 2008 at 3:25 pm 4 comments

Buried in the story about the brouhaha at U.Penn’s clashing endorsements, I find this telling quote:

Meanwhile, the joint Obama letter — signed by the student body presidents of Penn, Temple and Villanova Universities and Haverford College — takes pains to “note that we are speaking on behalf of our own views as prominent student leaders at our institutions, not on behalf of the student body or our student government,” even as it begins with the line, “We, the student government leaders of schools in the Philadelphia region….”

The letter’s argument hinges on Obama’s plans to expand access to higher education: “Barack’s plan to address the concern of financial assistance for higher education particularly resonates with us. His plans to simplify the application process for financial aid, expand Pell Grants to low-income students, streamline Direct Loans for students and create the American Opportunity Tax Credit are critical in truly making higher education available to any American who wants to go to college.”

Well then, apparently, everyone is a special interest group.  When privileged college students at Ivy League schools support a candidate because he promises them handouts from the federal trough… I suppose we’ve seen the beginning of the end for the American republic.

This is especially laughable coming from Penn, Haverford, and Villanova students who are paying roughly $30K a year to attend these private schools.  If they honestly believed that the lack of government handouts for students is the reason why people aren’t all going to college, then they ought to give up their places at these high-cost schools and hie themselves to the nearest State U, or better yet, nearest community college.

Privileged, pretentious jerkoffs prescribing government medication for the poor and underprivileged… that habit of nobility which Obama embodies so well is being taught well and early apparently in our schools.


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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. sethandray  |  April 22, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    As a Temple grad and a friend of the current student body prez there, I fully support the letter and efforts of this group. Their underlying effort and goal is to encourage activism among a group of people who tend to exclude themselves and be excluded from the process. I personally was a part of efforts to get students to vote in large amounts and ending the apathy we saw on the campus.

    The cost of a quality college education is ever-increasing, and a college educated population is that which this country needs the most to excel in the world. We should all encourage the government to do whatever it can to make college a bit more affordable instead of tearing down those who speak up.

  • 2. The Red Pill  |  April 22, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    This looks like it was taken right out of Michelle Obama’s thesis paper.

    I guess we’d better get used to it….

  • 3. TheSophist  |  April 23, 2008 at 3:44 pm


    With all due respect, I’m not sure that you even see the problem. I have no issue with the fact that you and students at Temple, UPenn or wherever want to encourage activism in college students.

    I take issue with the fact that you guys appealed to the most selfish interests possible and essentially defined ‘college students’ as a special interest group.

    If you and the others used opposition to the War in Iraq as the issue to generate activism, I don’t have as big a problem with this. And you should know by now that I oppose your perspective on Iraq quite vigorously. But at least that’s an issue of importance to everyone.

    Cost of college may be ever-increasing, but are you seriously suggesting that this is the most important and pressing issue facing Americans today?

    Basically, what your group has said is, “We really don’t care what his positions on other things are, as long as Barack gets us the gubmint booty.”

    Special interest groups erode democracy, erode responsibility, and erode community. And college students — especially college students at elite universities — won’t be college students in a couple of years. Rather than thinking of yourselves as Americans first with American interests to discuss and get active on, you chose to latch on to plundering the treasury as much as possible.

    That is both shortsighted and despicable.


  • 4. sethandray  |  April 28, 2008 at 5:06 pm

    I was trying to make the point that it is short sighted to ignore the cost of a college education when considering the future of this nation. If it isn’t affordable, you won’t have to worry about the American economy because there will be no economists. You won’t have to worry about our military problem either because the military will be a first option for many more young people than it is now, and we’ll have enough soldiers for a quest of world domination.

    As for appealling to selfish interest… each individual is a special interest group by themself. A bunch of individuals migrate together to achieve a common goal, and you will find they have the same interests as well. College students care about affording their education. Find me one who doesn’t, I’ll find you 100 who do. That the letter appealed to these thousands of students is logical and strategic. How can you find fault in that?


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Quote of the Moment

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." ---C.S. Lewis


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