Four Times Mike Rowe Responded to His Critics with Clarity, Humor, and Common Sense
My favorite phenomenon in politics is the elevation of non-politicians responding to their critics with common sense. No one is better at this than TV and podcast host Mike Rowe. Here are some of the most epic Mike Rowe aggressions. (Yes, this article began when I thought of this play on words.)
Mike Rowe on the “nonsense” of signing a pledge that “Skill & Work Ethic Aren’t Taboo” in order to get free money
A few months ago, Rowe reposted a letter from a mother who was “appalled” when she found out her son, who wants to be a welder, had to sign the mikeroweWORKS Foundation’s S.W.E.A.T pledge in order to be considered for a scholarship. She wrote, “Where did you come up with this nonsense? There are so many things wrong with this document I don’t even know where to begin!! Suffice it to say, we will not be applying!!!”
The exclamation points tell me this mom has abused her “I want to speak to the manager” privileges. Read the offending S.W.E.A.T pledge here and play a game of finding what passage she could have possibly found so appalling. Was it “I believe that I am entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Nothing more.” Or “I understand the world is not fair, and I’m OK with that. I do not resent the success of others.”
“I’ve also been told my Pledge is “weighted heavily in favor of employers,” who are really just looking for “more and more ways to abuse their workers.” I don’t see it that way, but I can understand why some do. It’s very popular these days to portray all employers as the enemy, and hard work as the reason for individual unhappiness. I reject that out of hand, just as I reject the idea that the ethic of an individual worker has anything to do with race or gender. Personally, most of the successful employers I know started out as employees who would have enthusiastically agreed with every statement in this Pledge. But again, that doesn’t mean you’re wrong to disagree — it just means your current objections — while welcome — are not very persuasive.”
Get an autographed copy of the S.W.E.A.T. Pledge here and benefit the mikeroweWORKS Foundation.
Mike Rowe responds to the ‘lost fan’
In January 2017, a self-identified fan was outraged that Rowe was speaking at SHOT Show, an annual trade show sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation for the shooting, hunting, and firearms industry. Every year my friends torture me with their finds from this magnificent display of ingenuity and freedom.
Marla wrote, “I just read that you’re speaking at the SHOT show in Las Vegas this week. VERY disappointing. There are already too many guns in this country, and too much faux patriotism surrounding the second amendment. I can’t believe you’d risk your good name associating with a bunch of gun nuts. You’ve lost a fan.”
Oh, Marla, you are either a fair-weather fan or an uneducated fan. Rowe has been a supporter of the Second Amendment (and all the Amendments, for that matter) and SHOT Show is a natural place for him to be because the event raises thousands of dollars for veterans and other important causes. At this particular SHOT Show, Rowe worked with The SEAL Family Foundation.
Rowe responds to his lost fan:
“Obviously, you and I have a difference of opinion regarding the role of the second amendment in modern society. But thanks to the first amendment, we can express our differences in whatever way we prefer. We can criticize those with whom we disagree, or we can try to persuade them. We can make a case as to why we believe what we believe, or we can simply announce our disappointment to the world, as though our feelings alone are enough to justify our beliefs.”
Mike Rowe knocks down the safe space door
After high school I took a non-traditional route at the time by going to the local community college for a year, then earning my BA after two years at my dream school (Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida). I didn’t take out any school loans and instead worked 30+ hours per week to pay for rent and expenses, doubled up on classes so I could get my BA in three years, did what I needed to do to keep scholarships, and limited my educational choices to what the in-state educational savings plan my parents paid for would cover. I often joke that it’s the only financially responsible decision I’ve ever made.
Rowe fans know that his intent isn’t to denigrate others’ education choices, but to shed light on the misconception that there is only one path to success. However, the dimwitted Dawn, a public university employee, writes:
“Is it your intent to make those who choose college to feel ashamed, lazy and brainwashed? Our country’s education system is under attack, and you seem to be supplying more ammunition to those attacking it……There’s a reason many of these jobs pay well — they are truly HARD WORK — physically hard. Dangerous hard. Mentally hard. Feel free to send reps to the local unemployment office and brow beat them to send people to these jobs. Whether you mean to or not — your are sending a very bad message to those who want to destroy our higher education system.”
Rowe responds to the claim that he is supplying “ammunition” to destroy education:
“Yesterday, they installed a ‘Cry Closet’ at The University of Utah, where students feeling stressed-out over finals can clutch a stuffed animal and bawl their eyes out in private. https://bzfd.it/2HYu7pB. Last week, Ranga Jarrar, a professor at Fresno State, called Barbara Bush a witch and a racist the day she died, then bragged to the world that her tenured position meant that she could speak without fear of consequence. https://dpo.st/2vTSrUI. Meanwhile, Berkley just banned another speaker with views and ideas their students find ‘objectionable.’ Or was it Yale? Hell, who can keep track anymore?
Point is, Dawn, the hypocrisy in our educational system is rank, the bias undeniable, the disrespect for our flag ubiquitous, and the entire ‘safe space’ mentality the exact opposite of what life is like in the real world. Higher education has created its own PR nightmare. Is it any wonder parents are trying to figure out if their kids should be sent into such a lopsided environment? Is it any wonder reasonable people are beginning to question the value of a four-year degree?”
Mike Rowe on logical fallacies everywhere…
One of the great things about all of Rowe’s endeavors is that they highlight people from every walk of life. Some have PhDs and some didn’t finish high school. Rowe’s embrace of all of the wonderful people he meets inspired me while writing a book with a guy who dropped out of high school and has gone on to have a huge impact on his family and community.
Get ready for a doozy of a letter from Chuck:
“One of the tenants [sic] of white nationalism is that college educated people are academic elitests [sic]. Comment? No? I’m not surprised. You never take a political stand because you don’t want to alienate anybody. Its [sic] bad for business. I get it. But there is a current of anti intellectualism [sic] in this country — promoted by Republicans. Those people love you, and they think your initiative is their initiative.”
You should read all of Rowe’s response, but here is an excerpt:
“You say that White Nationalists believe that everyone who goes to college is an ‘academic elite.’ You then say that Republicans promote ‘anti-intellectualism.’ You offer no proof to support either claim, but it really doesn’t matter — your statements successfully connect two radically different organizations by alleging a shared belief. Thus, White Nationalists and The Republican Party suddenly have something in common — a contempt for higher education. Then, you make it personal. You say that Republicans ‘love’ me because they believe that my initiative and ‘their’ initiative are one and the same. But of course, ‘their’ initiative — according to you — is now the same initiative as White Nationalists.
Very clever. Without offering a shred of evidence, you’ve implied that Republicans who support mikeroweWORKS do so because they believe I share their disdain for all things ‘intellectual.’ And poof — just like that, Republicans, White Nationalists, and mikeroweWORKS are suddenly conflated, and the next thing you know, I’m off on a press tour to disavow rumors of my troubling association with the Nazis!
Far-fetched? Far from it. That’s how logical fallacies work. A flaw in reasoning or a mistaken belief undermines the logic of a conclusion, often leading to real-world consequences. And right now, logical fallacies are not limited to the warped beliefs of morons with tiki torches, and other morons calling for ‘more dead cops.’ Logical fallacies are everywhere.”
Chuck and the rest of Mike Rowe’s critics would be well advised to remember Dr. Martin Luther King’s words:
“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.’
No work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”