Why Apologize For Being Right?

Sen. Hillary Clinton has apologized for stating that many young Americans think “work is a four letter word” – specifically apologizing to her daughter Chelsea:

Clinton spoke to more than 2,000 graduates days after she criticized young people at a gathering of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington. There she said young people have a sense of entitlement after growing up in a “culture that has a premium on instant gratification.”

Brace yourselves for an irony overload:

The senator said that her daughter, Chelsea, phoned to complain after learning about the comments. The 26-year-old was hired in 2003 by McKinsey & Co. as a consultant, reportedly for a six-figure salary. She received a master’s degree from Oxford University after graduating from Stanford University in 2001.

Yes, while I’m sure that Chelsea does work hard – when not clubbing on the French Riviera – the fact that she got a six-figure job right out of school hardly supports her point. I’m sure her pedigree had nothing to do with her getting into Stanford or Oxford either. Most people don’t have the luxury of having been born so fortuitously, and even if Chelsea really is a hard worker, she doesn’t have it nearly as hard as everyone else.

The fact is, loathe as I am to praise Senator Clinton, she’s exactly right. My generation grew up in the world of Nintendo instant gratification and were raised in the image of the Baby Boomers – with all that baggage and lack of discipline that entails. Our culture has spend decades systematically devaluing the very thing that makes our nation great – the work ethic, personal responsibility, the value of family, etc. I’d agree with Senator Clinton wholeheartedly: we do have a society that puts instant gratification over hard work and a culture of entrenched entitlement. (Adding to the irony, Senator Clinton is one of those figures who personally advances both.)

Now, Sen. Clinton was probably doing what she does best: pandering to her audience. However, when Clinton happens to pander her way to some semblance of truth, it’s best not to immediately backpedal away from it.

3 thoughts on “Why Apologize For Being Right?

  1. Oh, I don’t know- the attitude towards work generally changes pretty fast when kids are thrown out of their parents house and have to sink or swim. I know mine did. In the protected world of high school and college, work ethic is a luxury- as soon as you’re out of that, you have to decide if you’re going to pour coffee all your life, or work hard to push yourself into a position where you can continue to afford all of our luxuries of “instant gratification.” Thus I’m not too terribly worried about the attitude of “work as a four letter word”- in America, few people have the luxury of maintaining that attitude past the age of 22.

  2. And again, you forget Jay’s First Law of Polling: always look at the internals.

    For instance, supposedly 51% of those polled disagree with the NSA program. Then how do they explain answers like this?

    7. If you knew that the federal government had your telephone records, how concerned would you be — very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned, or not concerned at all?

    Very concerned 22% Somewhat concerned 13% Not too concerned 20%

    Not concerned at all 44% No opinion 1

    So, 51% disapprove, but 64% would be either not too concerned or not concerned at all? That doesn’t jive with the results.

    And take a look at this:

    1. Do you think the Bush administration has gone too far, has been about right, or has not gone far enough in restricting people’s civil liberties in order to fight terrorism?

    Too far – 51, About right – 34, Not far enough – 19, No opinion -6

    So, supposedly 51% disapprove of the program, but a majority (53%) think Bush has either not gone too far or hasn’t gone far enough in fighting terrorism.

    The internals for the poll are all over the place, and even then only a narrow majority seem to disapprove of the program.

    I really hope the Democrats make a big stink about this – it’s one of the few things that might buoy the President’s approval ratings, just as it did the last few times they’ve tried to make this an issue.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.