Tiffany was everything that Boortz rails about: single mother who has to have government assistance to get by. The father of the babies is in prison. She blamed the culture she was born and raised in for making it impossible for her to dig her way out of the poverty and dependency cycle she abjectly despises and at the same time is grateful for.
I have heard Boortz attack people whose companies have folded and left them unemployed and dependent on public assistance because they did not do what was necessary to protect themselves—e.g., hove gotten a professional degree or became a qualified practitioner of a trade (plumber, electrician, elder, HVAC, etc). And how dare they, he rails, could they have been so irresponsible as to have had children without KNOWING they could provide for everything their kids would ever need regardless of job or other real-life situations.
And if anyone claims culture or the way they were raised or the situation their parents were in while they were raised, he will uncork a vial of vitriol strong enough to fuel the next flight into space.
Boortz asserts he did not have the best situation many moons ago, that his mother had programmed him to accept failure. Before he got into radio, he even had to take a personal bankruptcy in 1972.
If Boortz came from nothing—which he really didn’t (more in a minute), he exhibits the somewhat typical attitude of, “Look at me. If I made it, anyone can. I overcame all obstacles in my way. Why don’t you just get off your backside and do it too?”
Yeah, Boortz came from a bad life. He was born in Bryn Mawr, the home of his mother. Bryn Mawr is on the “Main Line,” west of Philly and is a wealthy string of towns, of which Bryn Mawr is the wealthiest. His father served in WWI, Korea and Vietnam and Boortz moved all over the place, like any self-respecting military brat, graduated from Texas A & M in 1967 and got his law degree in 1977.
I am not going to claim that the apparent wealth of his mother’s parents helped him in any way, because I know from personal experience that this doesn’t really matter, but by having them in his life at least somewhat, he knew people who had made their way. My mother’s father worked on Air Force One and she had as a girl been in the Oval Office more than once. I am sure this background affected me in some ways, but not directly.
Boortz gives the “Sylva Method” for his turnaround. This program claims to increase IQ and improve a person’s sense of personal well-being. So, he is going to send Tiffany to this. It’s a start for her and for him. For her, I hope it is a vote of confidence that allows her to begin working on her issues, but I think it will take more than that.
This is not to belittle the concern and assistance of Boortz. This is completely out of character of the person I have disagreed with almost constantly over the years. It is the first time I have heard him acknowledge that someone may be trapped in a cycle of dependency because of their past, because of the way they were raised, because of the culture they were bought into and grew in.
Boortz had at least the concept of a Bryn Mawr lifestyle; I had a set of grandparents who were well connected and on a first name basis with two Presidents and an uncle who ran for U. S. Senate. Tiffany has none of that. She was raised in a family with roots in slavery and Reconstruction, Jim Crow and the denial of civil rights; her parents experienced the white-flight of whites leaving the city to blacks while they moved to the suburbs to get away; her parents or her grandparents heard the phrase “there goes the neighborhood,” when a black family moved in.
It’s a crack in the wall, but anyone who heard Tiffany’s call could not help but be moved by the real despair in her voice, the helplessness. For Boortz to react the way he has is amazing and encouraging. If one person could shake him up sufficiently enough for him to get off his “anyone can do it” stance, then there is hope for the rest.
All it takes is a personal relationship with someone who is in a position similar to Tiffany to begin to realize that we are not all created equal when it comes to skills and intelligence and nature, nor are we all raised in a situation that allows the innate qualities to be realized. Yes, there are people who, without assistance, can crawl out of the very worst situations imaginable (neither Boortz nor mine’ situations seem to qualify for the worst), but there are very rare individuals.
Know someone— and I mean, really know someone like Tiffany—and your heart will change unless it is a stone, and you will realize the need to help.
One woman called in after Tiffany and said that if there were a way to create a program that would not be abused, then she would be for it. Typical. Any program will be abused. But if a program does good and helps the Tiffany’s of the world, then we should go forward with it, not defund it.
I wonder if Boortz will lose his status as a card-carrying conservative over this. I wonder if he wasn’t retiring in eight months how his show might change.
And lastly, I cannot help but wonder if this isn’t a stunt—the call orchestrated by Boortz. I hope not, but I have lived too long to ignore this possibility. I state it only so one cannot call me naive. But if it is a stunt, it means more about Mr. Boortz’ new=found liberal tendency than if it was not.