Last night’s Frontline episode profiling two middle-class families who plunged into poverty through no particular fault of their own will do little to fix the problems faced by people who once were middle-class working Americans. But maybe it can help them feel less like failures.
The Stanley family, one of the families profiled, is at least getting a hug from America today after the matriarch of the close-knit group sobbed that she felt like a failure, after a lifetime of working hard and buying into the proposition that the only thing separating failure from success in America is the willingness to work hard enough.
Today, her eldest son, the only one who got a college education thanks to his parents’ willingness to put some of it on their credit card, held a followup chat online, and posted the family’s Facebook page:
Keith Stanley said his family had a meeting before agreeing to be part of the documentary to try to anticipate what would happen if an entire nation knew of their struggle.
For at least this afternoon, America’s middle class is being viewed in the way it once was: heroic.