Thought of the Day: Pocahontas Goes to Washington
Before anyone says anything, I know that Pocahontas was Algonquian, while Elizabeth Warren claims to being Cherokee. Nevertheless, of all the elections on Tuesday, the one that most astonished me was the decision to send Ms. Warren to the Senate, especially given that her opponent, Scott Brown, is a very moderate Republican. The decision says something about people of the Commonwealth whom I know to be intelligent and well educated, but who apparently have the need to feed on the sanctimony of their Left-leaning political leaders.
It also says something about that great institution, the Harvard Law School and the University of which it is a part. But why would the good people of Massachusetts send a woman who is such a blatant liar and hypocrite to the Chamber that supposedly represents our most distinguished legislators? Before you answer, I know what Mark Twain would say – she will be among her own kind!
Her claim to Cherokee heritage has been questioned by many and challenged by Cherokee nation genealogists. It was based on such spurious “facts” as family lore, and that apparently her maternal grandfather had “high cheek bones.” (And that from a woman whom I am sure detests racial profiling.) She has said that she was doing no more than repeating stories she had heard as a child. However, Cherokee genealogist Twila Barnes pointed out: “Excuse me, but you were not a child when you started ‘checking the box;’ listing yourself in law directories as a minority; or were counted as a Native American for diversity reports.” According to the September 26, 2012 issue of the Christian Science Monitor, Ms. Warren first listed herself as a “minority” in 1986 while at the University of Texas. She was 37 at the time, no longer a child. She continued the habit until receiving tenure at the Harvard Law School in 1995. To the extent that she helped satisfy minority quotas at the institutions where she taught, she deprived a legitimate Native American a job.
Yet, despite persisting with this cockamamie story about her ancestry, which Harvard used in a 1993 issue of the Harvard Women’s Law Journal when it listed her among “women of color,” Ms. Warren had the audacity to stand before the Democratic Convention in Charlotte last September and, in that short speech, blame Republicans five times for “rigging the game” against the middle class. Who, then, is the fabricator? Does this woman have no sense of shame! She teaches law, yet spurns the truth.
Most of her Convention speech consisted of typical Leftist, patronizing platitudes meant to appease self-interested constituents. Her speech consisted of the type of generalities that are meaningless when parsed, and they ignored the fact that the country faces a severe fiscal crisis. The Left has always been more focused on comparatively more trivial issues, but ones with vocal advocates – the rights of gays to marry, legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes and the free availability of birth control devices under Obamacare – rather than on the more serious, but uncomfortable issues like how to pay for the programs we have already promised. While I personally feel that birth control should be the responsibility of the user, I have no objections to gays marrying or legalizing marijuana. But these issues pale in comparison to what will happen if we do not get our fiscal house in order: reduce our nation’s debt and lower our operating deficits. Too often, the Left ignores the hard, unpleasant decisions that will have to be made; for example, the preservation of Social Security and Medicare. Left untouched, those two entitlement programs will bankrupt our nation. Like ostriches, the Left have their head in the sand when it comes to fiscal responsibilities. Too many of them are simply mired in a past which is no more.
Beneath and behind Ms. Warren’s empty words, however, are the empowerment of government and an off-setting emasculation of individual freedoms. We should never forget that a right granted government is one less in our personal quivers – think the "nannyism’"of Mayor Bloomberg. There are many well-meaning Leftists who feel the need to care for the poor and the incapacitated. But those sensitivities are not exclusive to them, despite their claims otherwise. One would be hard pressed to find anyone in public life who is as generous and considerate in their private life as is Mitt Romney. He was battered during the campaign as a rich plutocrat, one indifferent to the plight of the poor. But his generosity is an aspect of his character, not a function of public policy.
In a recent TOTD, I mentioned a silver lining that could emanate from a changing, downsizing Wall Street. It might be that thousands of math graduate students may well abandon the idea of taking their expertise to Wall Street in order to formulate algorithm trading platforms that would enrich them and their firms. I suggested that many of these people might now go to work in the real world, creating products and businesses that might employ thousands. A good friend of mine, with principled Leftist opinions, suggested that there were millions of poor around the world that could use help from these people. I suggested that what the poor really need are jobs, not hand-outs. His comment was a reminder that too often the Left’s instinctive concept of helping the destitute has uncanny similarities to one of the most de-humanizing aspects of colonialism – a perpetuation of the “white man’s burden.” Independence and self-respect, keep in mind, are cast from the same mold.
I have no personal animosity toward Ms. Warren. People do what they have to do to get ahead. She had been told since childhood of her supposed Native American heritage, and then used those stories as facts in adulthood to advance her career. Her actions, while I may morally disapprove, are understandable. But then to stand before last September’s Convention and blame Republican’s for rigging the system to their advantage is the height of hypocrisy. For all her blather about understanding and representing the “little person”, this is a woman who operates in her own elitist cocoon, having “rigged the system” to her advantage, and now, patronizingly, declaims that she (and government) are best able to decide what should and should not be done when it comes to protecting people from themselves. Perhaps that is what Massachusetts wanted. I would be embarrassed.