Good Lord! I am –so– bloody sick of this. Senator Warren didn’t lie. She didn’t use her Native American ancestry to get a job at Harvard. And it’s insane that anyone needs to defend her on these grounds.
It started in 2012, when Scott Brown was defending his Senate seat for the first time. Quite reasonably afraid of his opponent’s credentials as an academic and accomplished expert on personal finance, he began mocking her as ‘Professor’ Warren. Then, when it was announced in the Herald that she’d been listed as Native American in a faculty guide, the Brown campaign jumped on it, suggesting she had lied to get hired.
Which is nuts.
First off: You’re saying it’s news that a politician lied. And that it’s a bad thing. As though almost every politician doesn’t lie as easily as breathing, or that it’s not a primary skill that qualifies a person for the job in the first place. I mean, come on, people: She’d be a worse president than Donald Trump because… she might have lied once?!
Look: This got so blown out of proportion she took a DNA test, which it turns out tells us she had a Native ancestor. So– not a lie. But leave that to one side.
It’s also true that, at the time Harvard went after her to teach a seminar on personal bankruptcy, she was one of the top three experts on personal bankruptcy in the nation — and the other two had tenure elsewhere. So, no, she didn’t need help to get the job. But let’s leave that alone too.
What I find ludicrous here is that people out there are buying the idea that Harvard College went out of their way thirty-odd years ago to hire someone who was not only female but not white. I mean, seriously: Harvard! The ultimate Ivory Tower, that bastion of pallid white privilege if ever there was one! I can just imagine the conversation between the Dean and the President:
“Look, I say, Squiffy! The government is offering us money to accept those scholarship students again!”
“Oh dear, Ratty. Any way we can get out of it?”
“Well, we could hire only white people. Against the law, don’t you know.”
“Right ho! Then that’s what we shall do!”
“Oh, I say, Squiffy! This applicant has a monocle!”
“Jolly good, Ratty! Absolutely top-hole!”
[sherry glasses clink]
(And now I’ve got Harvard mad at me. Ah, well; they don’t contribute anyway, rich buggers.)
My point is, it’s the losers in arguments that resort to the ad hominem attacks. Don’t get me wrong; it works, particularly in politics. Voters are legendarily stupid — and yes, that includes you.
Don’t feel too bad about it. After all, it’s a rare person that’s willing to stomach wading through the sewer that’s the normal state of our politics here in America, far less the mess we have now. It’s even rarer to find someone who has free time to sort through what passes for news, picking the true from the slanted from the horribly biased to the out-and-out lie. It’s what the Washington Post leader says: “Democracy Dies In Darkness.” It’s pitch bloody black out there, mate, and things are only getting worse.
So don’t feel bad about it; just do what you can to fix it, in this case by not spreading the lie further. Her name is Senator Warren, not “Fauxcahontas” — not even in a meme. Because other people will see the meme, and they’re stupid, remember? They need your help.
Besides, you’re making an effort to learn something; you’ve read this. And I’m not on anyone’s payroll here; unlike the Post, the Times, and Fox News, I won’t lie to you.
(Us freelance writers are proverbially broke. Did I mention you can contribute?)