The latest instance of the self-deceiving nepotistic nattering about self-reliance is former California Congressman and scion of the Goldwater family, Barry Goldwater, Jr. He ascended his privileged pulpit this month to lecture the rest of us on self sufficiency, freedom and personal responsibility in a March 14, 2011 Arizona Republic Op-ed http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/opinions/articles/2011/03/13/20110313goldwater14.html
He railed without irony asking that we not trade“the ideals of self-sufficiency and hard work for handouts, entitlements.”
And in a similar vein of not acknowledging his due to antecedent perspiration, he failed to mention Mr. bully pulpit himself, Teddy Roosevelt, who’d preceded him on the same topic. In an October 1915 speech delivered to the Knights of Columbus, Roosevelt said,“There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism.”
But chutzpah’s a poor substitute for credibility. But it hardly holds back the well-bred and well-born, or as the late Ann Richards once said, keeps those born with a silver foot in the mouth from telling the rest of us how to get ahead in life on specious merit.
Take, for example, another offspring of privilege, Donald Trump’s 29-year old daughter, Ivanka, who gives unabashed business and career advice in her book, http://www.thetrumpcardbook.com/
Last year, she shamelessly shared her not-quite-ripe insights on job interviewing and overcoming the tough road of good fortune to ‘earn‘ her own success in daddy’s business as she plugged her business memoir on NBC’s Today Show at TODAY.com.
There’s certainly nothing wrong with making the most of your advantages. My problem is with those who think they’ve hallucinogenically weaned themselves off wealth and advantage and think instead, that they’ve made their own way on their own sweat equity.
And as a result, they feel empowered with a hypocritical social responsibility to share ‘how-to’ prescriptions on success to those of us without a famous surname’s connections or influence. “Stop, you’re killing me.”
Photo: Ivanka Trump, by David Shankbone at Flickr Creative Commons Attribution License.