by David Safier
"People need to help themselves," says Vic Williams (R, LD-26). Sounds good. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps. Seize the opportunities that are out there instead of expecting someone to give you a handout.
That's Williams' comment in support of Prop 107, the vile proposition that would wipe out programs trying to correct centuries-old imbalances and inequities in our society. The proposition refers to those efforts as "preferential treatment."
A few interesting facts.
• The people who originally wanted to put Prop 107 on the ballot couldn't gather enough signatures. Since they couldn't succeed by "helping themselves," they got Russell Pearce to push it through the legislature and put it on the ballot for them.
Maybe that should be called legi-firmative action. Sounds like coddling to me.
• As for Vic Wiliams, he got a GED. No crime in that. I guess he couldn't cut it in high school, but instead of whining about, he "helped himself" by earning his GED.
But Republicans have cut funding for GED programs. So Arizonans who want to "help themselves" won't have the same opportunity as Williams.
Strange logic, isn't it, locking a "help yourself" door after you've walked through it? Strange, but quintessentially conservative: "I've got mine. Screw you (unless you have money and influence. Then it's 'How can I help?')."
And while we're talking about GEDs, the Accidental Guv is also a GED recipient, yet she also agreed to close the door on people who might want to help themselves by pursuing the same path she did.
• Another point, and I admit this is a bit speculative, so someone please correct me if I'm wrong.
I believe Vic Williams had money in his family, which he "helped himself" to when he needed it. It's a little hypocritical for him to suggest others pull themselves up by their worn bootstraps if he was born wearing Gucci booties.
I also believe Williams had (or has) a trust fund he has dipped into on occasion in his life. It's always easier to "help yourself" when you have some of that family money you can help yourself to, isn't it?