Okay, this has nothing to do with free speech. But I can’t resist commenting on tonight’s episode of The Apprentice with Donald Trump.
As usual, this season of The Apprentice pits a two teams of “entrepreneurs” against each other. The twist is that one set of contestants has college degrees, the other set have completed high school and then clawed their way up from the bottom. “Street smarts vs. book smarts” as the promos say.
Well tonight the victors (the folks with college degrees) had the wonderful opportunity to have dinner and cigars with Steve Forbes on his private yacht. That really isn’t my idea of a reward…but that’s probably why I’m not on the show. In case you don’t know, Forbes is the publisher of that bastion of capitalism Forbes Magazine and also a chief proponent of the so called “flat tax” that would tax the likes of him equally with a construction laborer (gee that sounds fair). Well, as the yacht passed by the Statue of Liberty, various “book smart” contestants gave fawning praise to Forbes as THE icon of the American Dream. And as Forbes flew away in his private helicopter, one contestant actually said “I want to be just like him.” I guess this is what Bush’s “ownership society” is all about.
It was an oddly profane moment. With the symbol of immigrant America illuminated in the background, we are asked to see a man who inherited his job and money as a great symbol of freedom. Sure, Forbes has immigrants in his background, but they were not the kind that came through Ellis Island.
P.S.: I found this genealogy of Steve Forbes online. Can’t vouch for it, but if it’s correct it looks like old Steve has some very fine ancestors.