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Elizabeth Warren needs to go
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czarina
Minor Deity
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quote:
Originally posted by Amanda:
If nothing else good comes out of this expose which proved to be the ruin of the woman who ignorantly spoiled what later became her life's goal, I hope it will be to teach a lesson to youth to think once, twice, thrice about dishonest "fibs" to supposedly advance themselves.

And the same goes, for men and (to a lesser degree) women who behave in a way that might be considered unprincipled by others they respect - anyone who doesn't think through issues of right and wrong in their youth. Here, considering more the Me-Too sexual misbehavior and/or racist/other minority group put-downs, whether or not considered at the time as a "joke".

True, no one has a crystal ball to foresee what cultural changes might "get" them down the road, but perhaps one might at the very least work at developing a moral compass (and using it for guidance). Likewise, for other career choices they might follow (watch those tweets - or whatever is the future equivalent! especially if you might someday hope to find a place in public media, humor or otherwise (thinking of Trevor Noah, as an example).

If the evolution of cultural history catches them out down the road, then at least they'll be better able to explain their youthful choices as having been based on something resembling ethics.

Of course, we all undergo genuine changes of heart with time, but the ambitious especially had best consider carefully what they believe and why in their youth. Not that it's not important for ALL of us to do right, including figuring out what that means! However, there are means to ends considerations too. I include resume padding and perhaps others of you can think of even better examples. (I can think of successful family members who got ahead to a large extent based on misrepresenting themselves when seeking jobs or academic advancement.) I wonder if it was worth the risks they took, and whether they were justified on the basis of having gotten away with it.

True, that there are some leaders (starts with "T") for whom dishonesty or certain unethical behavior is actually a plus in being chosen - much less being a disqualifier. I'd still argue that it's not just more principled but wiser and safer to examine ones self-promotion carefully both on the basis of integrity and a "just in case" basis, foregoing what may be short-term advantages.

All the more for parents. I certainly hope today they expand their parenting wisdom today by the regrets many of today's would-be leaders are experiencing. That they are sure to include honor (remember that word?) in their life lessons to their children. That is, whether or not they raise them in the context of some formal religion or philosophy. It's not just a matter of whether one gets away with bending the rules, but that ethics are critical for children's well-being. (Thinking of the many contexts today, in the US and elsewhere, where parents actively participate in helping their children cheat to get ahead - hiring school admission coaches, writing admissions letters, looking the other way when their children develop workarounds for music or other downloads (or still more, setting an active example of such dishonesty). It's hard to draw lines in the sand for what our personal points of honor are (tax returns?), but generally I'd say we serve our children poorly if we don't make values a critical part of their education.

Not to say that sadly, deliberate twisting of applied standards aren't a critical part of many parents' teaching. I'd advocate making a strong effort to think through our own choices especially when "the children are watching/listening" - and when are they not?

Recalling a New Yorker cartoon where a board chairman pronounces, "Honesty is one of the better policies" - which as it happens, was drawn by my father (and used as the title of one of his books). His own standards were perhaps his best contributions to parenting us, including his pointedly informing me he was glad and proud to be paying at least half his income in his taxes. Also, that he advocated strong inheritance taxes (lucky for us, my mother circumvented that, to a degree!)

At which point I find myself examining my own example to my sons, and what as adults they have told me as mattered most to them. Not that anyone is able to be 100% honest however hard we may try (besides which in Warren's case, she defends her truth-twisting as the result of misinformation by her elders), but it's still a worthy goal.

And - as it turns out according to so many modern lessons - honesty IS also one of the safest policies.


Very thoughtful post, Amanda. But I think that claiming you are Native American when your relatives always told you that you were is not dishonest. If she weren't running for president this would not be a big deal. It's not like she claimed she has a degree she doesnt have, or was class president when she wasnt. If she says she really believed this about herself because her family told her this, I believe her.

I agree with you that the integrity one has as the result of scrupulous honesty is important for mental health. My own parents always preached this, however they did not practice it, and sometimes their "fibs" were pretty flagrant. They set a horrible example all while extolling scrupulous honesty. Interestingly, rather than following their example as a child, I called them out on their hypocrisy. This is a textbook path to becoming a family scapegoat, btw.

One of the reasons I fell for my husband is his scrupulous honesty. I believe this is something all children and adults hunger for, whether they know it or not.

Maybe frying Warren over her claim to be Indian is a displacement of our rage against Trump's pathological dishonesty, since our rage has no force over him, we put it some place where it can actually have impact.


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fear is the thief of dreams

 
Posts: 19290 | Registered: 18 May 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Minor Deity
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Yes, indeed, re the path to becoming the family scapegoat! (Family therapist said I was the "white sheep of the family".) The word "Jew" could not be spoken...(Dad couldn't hide his food tastes, though, but I was brought up being told he'd put some "Nova Scotia" in the fridge - even "Lox" was censored. Big Grin). My father was brave enough to pilot a B24 bomber, but not enough to own up to having had a Bar Mitzvah. For a long time, I thought Jewish was a genetic disorder only my family suffered from. (Really)

Apart from the social contract principle of honesty, it's critical for mental health, as you say. (And that includes lies by omission.)

As for Elizabeth Warren, I think you missed my caveat at the end of my sermon, noting she had reputedly been misinformed by her family. This does muddy the water (although I have difficulty believing she hadn't caught on in later adulthood that she couldn't get away with continuing to claim she was "American Indian/Native American" without a strong disclaimer. That's especially so given how much minority status acquired positive value over time - at least, in educational circles. Her cheekbones weren't THAT high...*)

Perhaps in this regard, the lesson to be learned by today's youth is that what you do and say when you're young REALLY MATTERS. This is especially true for those who might consider seeking high office (and now all the more so with the wide publicity accorded reputation in today's media - and with the many ways of tracking one's past.)

***************************************

*Cindy's side comment is fascinating about whether or not Warren would have been equally ready to claim such status for a micro-matter of inheritance, if it had been a question of "blackness". Rachel Donezals are few in number.


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The most dangerous word in the language is "obvious"

 
Posts: 12392 | Location: PA | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Pinta & the Santa Maria
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I've been researching my family via Ancestry. Despite being an incredible time sink (and oddly addicting), I have definitely uncovered some items that are at odds with family mythology. It's possible that Warren was told of her Native American ancestry as part of family lore that was, ultimately, false. Or not. At this point, though, I'm afraid that her bungled attempts to address it have really cost her.
 
Posts: 32160 | Location: West: North and South! | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by jon-nyc:
quote:
Originally posted by QuirtEvans:
Cindy and Jodi's answer makes more sense to me than Jon's.



Odd since, of the three of us, I'm the only one who even addressed your question.



Really?

quote:
I think something else was at work.

If you are white, you are not allowed to have racial pride. People who profess “white pride” are called supremacists.

That makes it a little special if you are white and can claim some other ancestry. Now you can profess pride in that, can identify with the struggle. Having heard these stories about Native American ancestry, Warren felt a little different, special. So if she didn’t claim it every chance she got, it would die with her generation.


That seemed responsive to me.

quote:
I agree that it was most likely about pride and feeling different and special, and “cool.”


So did that.

Maybe you just didn't understand the question.
 
Posts: 42556 | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The question you asked me was about the advantage one might get from claiming to be an American Indian on a bar application.
 
Posts: 30980 | Location: On the Hudson | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
twit
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Five years ago, if someone asked me if I was Canadian, I would have said "no". I'd have said my father was a US citizen. Now, even though he was only in Canada for 2 weeks of his 90 year life, he's "Canadian". Damn it - and so am I once I hit the scan button on his birth certificate and play with the paperwork I need to establish that.
 
Posts: 9226 | Registered: 22 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by jon-nyc:
The question you asked me was about the advantage one might get from claiming to be an American Indian on a bar application.


Well, let's follow this through for a minute.

PD started this by suggesting that she might have made the claim "for an advantage", in response to Cindy's question of "why".

I then asked him what advantage he was imagining.

You then jumped into the middle and reframed the question as to what advantage she thought she'd get. I then turned that into a question about what advantage a rational person might think they'd get.

You answered, "preferential treatment", but I'm not sure there's any preferential treatment available in the context of a bar registration (a point that PD immediately acknowledged as valid, if only you had done the same). However, you later modified your answer to suggest that perhaps she did so to remain consistent with her answer in other places.

Cindy and Jodi both assumed that the motivation was a desirable feeling ...the feeling of being special, as Cindy put it, or the feeling of pride and feeling different and special, as Jodi put it.

A desirable feeling is either an advantage, or it isn't.

If it is an advantage, then they answered the question directly.

If it is not an advantage, then they answered the question indirectly, by (implicitly) saying, no, she wasn't looking for an advantage, she was looking for a desirable feeling. You might imagine that that was not responsive to the question, but actually it was. Because, in effect, it was saying, there's no advantage (which responds to PD's original point, not mine), there was instead a desirable feeling.

Either way, their position makes more sense to me than yours.

Please remember that we were starting from Cindy's question of "why", which was a thoroughly reasonable question, and PD's suggestion that perhaps it was for an advantage.

So, your defense of why you claimed that you were the only one who responded to my question is either not well thought out, or pedantic and deliberately obtuse. Feel free to pick either one.
 
Posts: 42556 | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I'll take pedantic for 100, Alex.
 
Posts: 30980 | Location: On the Hudson | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Minor Deity
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Well, you can’t claim surprise.


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“Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut, that held its ground.” - David Icke

 
Posts: 11124 | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Warren having to go has little or nothing to do with however she views her ethnicity.

Her ideas range from terrible to terrifying.


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Life is short. Play with your dog.

 
Posts: 27359 | Location: Yorba Linda, CA | Registered: 23 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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