A couple of weeks ago I heard an interview on the radio with a Democratic leader talking about the Occupy Wall Street groups and what they represented. During the conversation the pol/pundit for the democrats framed a question that I thought highlighted the vast ideological and cultural divide between the right and left when painting with a broad brush stroke. The inquiry was whether the host didn’t believe that everyone was entitled to dignity and respect regardless of their circumstances. It also included the modifying condition that “as a Christian” didn’t the host believe such to be true. Well, the host fell into the easy answer and said yes.
I immediately said I couldn’t agree with that broad statement as posed. Yes, I do believe that everyone is due a minimum amount of respect and dignity as a human being. But that is minimal. What I found particularly telling was the use of that word “entitled”. It seems that the left believes everyone is entitled to everything. Sure as a human being I think the lowest of us should be treated with the basic respect. If you come across a homeless person you shouldn’t be able to kick them around or treat them badly simply because of their status. Likewise even the harden criminal is not to be treated with cruelty or abuse. Even the worst of us should still have that minimum standard of dignity and respect. But quite frankly that is about it.
Just like almost everything in life, dignity and respect has to be earned. The neighbor who lies about claims for unemployment compensation, rights to food stamps, is abusive to his family and torments the neighborhood is most definitely not entitle to dignity or respect from his fellow man other than that minimum due his humanity. We have to earn our daily bread and our grades in school (or at least we used to before the nanny state). Everything worthy or worthwhile must be earned by our actions and behavior, the example we set for others. Those own the left so often want to excuse just about any terrible behavior be reverting to a victimhood argument. That the gang- bangers on the street are still entitled to dignity and respect and that it is somehow society’s fault for their shortcomings. I do understand and appreciate the Pygmalion effect on people and that they can and do often rise to the level of expectations placed on them but it has its limits.
The poorest among us and the least educated can still be people of great dignity and respect if they conduct themselves within the accepted mores of society. They take responsibility for their actions and deal with the consequences of their own actions and take individual initiative to improve their life to achieve their own happiness and don’t take from society more than is their due based on what they contribute. They certainly don’t look to fault society for whatever ills may come their way. Those who peach the ideology of victimhood should remember the words of a wise man several centuries ago who observed– that our fault does not lie in the stars but within ourselves.
We need society where more people do deserve dignity and respect because they have earned by their actions and behavior. I only wish that “everyone” was entitled to that entitlement. www.olcranly.wordpress.com
The other day I was listening to the radio while driving on an errand. Don’t even remember the show or commentator. But, I sure do remember a comment by one of the talking heads on the program. They were discussing immigration both legal and illegal. There had been the usual division on the topic regarding amnesty or some pathway for legalizing those who crossed our borders in violation of law. It wasn’t so much the particular topic that interested me but the position of one pundit.
Someone on the panel had talked about the fact that a large majority of Americans were opposed to granting amnesty to illegal aliens and that many if not most should be deported for violating our laws and moving ahead of those who followed the immigration rules and came here the legal way. The offending pundit stated that he didn’t care about the views of those Americans because he no “policy analyst” he knew would ever support such an agenda. I was stunned but shouldn’t have been by the effrontery of the guy. The opinion and views of the American people were clearly of no concern to him.
He definitely was of the opinion that the elites with the proper education and governmental experience knew better than the man on the street and that such important matters couldn’t be left to the people. Only those who understood and formulated policy were worthy of respect and their views trumped those of the commoners. It was certainly a clear example of those who believe in central planning or state planning everything to do with our economy and political processes. Never mind what the people want they should be grateful for the elites that are smarter and more sophisticated than we and accordingly we should accept their beneficient wisdom without question.
Such arrogance. Democracy only matters apparently to him and those like him in the current administration if it conforms to their grand schemes and designs. I don’t care how you feel about illegal immigrants but I sure as heck care a lot about the notion of ours being a nation of laws with those in power being their as servants of the people. I know we have lots of real losers in a nation of over 300 million. All you have to do is watch the behavior of fans at a baseball or football game to get that message. Sure there a lots of Joe Six packs who never read the paper or listen to the news of the day and couldn’t name their representative or which came first the Revolutionary War or the War Between the States. But with all those shortcomings and with the warts thrown in with the beauty marks, I still believe in the collective wisdom of the people. Over time the majority of us in our messy way usually do get it right. As typical of the Left they actually has no respect for the people even though they would vehemently proclaim they are all about taking care of the “common man”. Only those they view at the top of the effete elite society have the grand view and intelligence to guide the nation.
Usually those closet to the problem can figure out the best answer. Thus we have States working on their own solutions to immigration problems. Again, the elites don’t like that because it is not in accord with smart policy decisions in their opinion. You can’t run everything from the central bureau very well. You can but it takes might to do it. See, the Communists in Russia. And how did that work out over the long run? Even the Romans realized that they couldn’t control everything in the Empire from Rome. That is why they appointed proconsuls to run most of the provinces. He was on the scene and was more responsive to the needs of the citizens there. The proconsul had control over most of the economy, the functioning of government and even the military in the Province.
We need to fire all the “p0licy analysts” in Washington. Let freedom ring and the people reign.
“Why should any living man complain when punished for his sins?” Lamentations 3. www.olcranky.wordpress.com