“Acting is a nice childish profession – pretending you’re someone else and, at the same time, selling yourself.”
The great Katherine Hepburn was talking about Hollywood roles when she said that, but it applies as easily to politics. We may accept this sort of Elmer Gantry quality in politicians, but most of us still hold other professions to a higher standard.
And so, people are turning on the darling of the progressive-occupy Left, Elizabeth Warren, candidate to represent Massachusetts in the U.S. Senate. Ms. Warren cited (some reports claim “fabricated”) Native American heritage to improve her career prospects in higher education. Warren, you see, is about as WASP-y as you can imagine. Playing on the culture of politically correct victimhood, Warren claimed to have some Cherokee blood from a distant relative. Warren subsequently sold herself as a minority candidate for positions at colleges up to and including Harvard University.
It worked. Warren herself speaks openly of how the phantom Cherokee DNA helped her land positions and meet all the right people.
Finally people are tearing into Warren, researching her falsified background, and gleefully watching her squirm with weak and contradictory explanations of why she acted the victim. While grateful for the outrage at a person who has made hypocrisy a centerpiece of her credentials, I think we are all missing the big point.
Warren acted the part because it was a help. Just ask Ward Churchill about the advantages to be gained by playing a role. However, the real scandal is not that Warren abused a system, but the system itself. Why should the ethnicity of one of your 32, great-great-great-great grandparents matter to your career?
Are we the sum of our experiences, work, and education or are we born into a genetic box that will ever influence our fate? Is it right that Kim Jong-Un rules North Korea simply because his father and grandfather enslaved the people before him? Is it proper that the great-great-great-great grandson of a Dhalit suffer the life of an “untouchable” in the Indian caste system for no other reason than his bloodline?
If America is to be survive and thrive as a great nation, we must wash ourselves of the ridiculous practice of judging each other on the basis of factors we cannot control. Though I will enjoy watching Warren self-immolate on the tinderbox of political correctness, Warren herself is beside the point. The system that created her is the problem.