Thursday, May 10, 2012

Phony Truth

For those who may not be aware of the amusing events transpiring in the Massachussetts Senate race between Democrat Elizabeth Warren and Republican Scott Brown, here's a quick summary:

Back in the 1990s when Warren was seeking employment at Harvard's law school she checked the box on the application indicating that she was Native American.

Presumably, she hoped this would give her a bit of an edge in the hiring process, and, anyway, there was a legend in her family that her great, great, great grandmother was part Cherokee. That would have made Ms Warren at most 1/32 Cherokee if it were true, which is still no excuse for checking the box. By Ms Warren's standard, after all, George Zimmerman, the man who shot Trayvon Martin, could call himself black (his great grandfather was black) and Barack Obama could call himself white (his mother was white).

Nevertheless, Warren was still claiming to be Native American as recently as April 27th.

At any rate, it turns out that there's no evidence that the ancestor in question was in fact Cherokee.

As if all this didn't make Ms Warren look silly enough it now turns out that the g.g.g.grandmother's husband, Ms Warren's g.g.g.grandfather, was a member of the Tennessee militia, and as such was almost certainly one of the men tasked with rounding up the Cherokee people into holding pens and then sending them off to Oklahoma along the infamous Trail of Tears. He also likely fought against Indians in Florida in the Seminole War of 1837. Breitbart has the story.

A lot of people have a had a good laugh at how Ms Warren's risible, if not dishonest, attempt to identify herself with an oppressed ethnic minority has blown up in her face, but there's a more serious point to all this. In the postmodern world of much of contemporary liberalism, truth is "whatever your peer group will let you get away with saying," as the late philosopher Richard Rorty once put it. It's whatever grabs you personally, whatever appeals to your subjective desire. It has no objective component. Thus, Ms. Warren's Native American heritage is true for her regardless of what the objective "facts" are.

This is the sort of nonsense one must accept when one gives up belief in the objectivity of truth and embraces the tenets of liberal postmodernism, and it explains why so many politicians can lie so glibly. They're probably convinced they're telling the truth, at least as they see it.