Learning to be more self-reliant
By: Hayden Cunningham
The United States of America was never intended to be a pure democracy. The foundational flaw of pure democracy is that inevitably the majority will always cast a shadow over the minority, leading to the logical term “Mob Rule.”
Although we have a structure of government that defends those in a minority (such as the electoral college, equal senate representation in conjunction with proportional representation, etc.) American culture over the last view years has increasingly put value on the individuals who are part of a minority group. While this may have the purest of intentions to give those less fortunate in a certain category more opportunity and success, it has led to unfortunate consequence: the modern movement of “victimhood.”
Being a victim in any way, shape, or form should be something you avoid at all costs. False victimhood not only is disrespectful to those who are disadvantaged, but it does not set you up for success. More people want to be in the minority where it may feel cool. After all, if you’re in the minority you can blame factors other than yourself for your failures because the majority holds more power than you. False victomhood equals a lack of self-accountability.
One of the biggest flaws that come with this movement is for someone to discredit your opinion on something because you do not share the same life events as them. Human beings are individualistic; we all have a different history and past events that shape who we are. Because of this, no two are the same. Creating a dialogue with one another and communicating with them is encouraged to find ways you can relate to someone, and by sharing your events with others you help them understand who you are, where you came from, and what factors have formulated your opinion. If someone dismisses your opinion, expressing yours can not be equal to theirs on a certain subject because the two of you have a different sex, race, past, etc., that is unethical to use in communication and is morally reprehensible.
This illegitimate reasoning is used in various political topics. Often heard on Twitter and other platforms are statements such as “since you did not move here from Mexico, you don’t understand what it’s like and therefore cannot say that it is wrong to come here illegally” or “since you are not a woman, you can have no opinion on abortion” or “you are not a scientist and do not have a PhD, therefore you cannot have a respectable argument on climate change.”
Take the topic of low income neighborhoods with a large black population. At a debate held by Seattle University, Ben Shapiro spoke with several Black Lives Matter activists about modern race issues. He made the argument that many of the disadvantages that black individuals in low-income neighborhoods have has nothing to do with the color of their skin, but rather the culture. He went on to explain several statistics (which can be found today at his website ‘The Daily Wire’) such as that black high school rates are low, that black individuals commit violent crimes 7 to 10 times more than whites, that 13% of the population is responsible for 50% of the murder, the number of black kids in prison for violent and real crimes is so high, and the single motherhood in the black community has jumped from 20% to 70%.
Ben Shapiro is a white, Jewish man who attended an Ivy League school. He is clearly not black, he did not grow up in the ‘hood’ or interact with gangs as a kid. And yet, every statement he made about the subject was correct. However, he faced heavy criticism for his comments because he did not experience the childhood of being a black kid in urban American. People tried to delegitimize his argument on the basis of his skin color and past. What is the term for judging someone based on those factors?
In this statement there is also the argument on the lack of self-accountability. There is nothing productive about blaming others for your problems. Being born into poor circumstances is beyond your control. But the actions that you make are entirely up to you. This is how you make your life better. This can be done by taking advantage of opportunities you have, valuing education, managing your time and your finances wisely, not putting yourself in dangerous situations, not doing things that you know to be damaging to you and those around you, and setting goals. Fix yourself and your life before waiting for someone to fix it for you. Because if you wait, it will never happen.
Telling people that we live in a country where there is institutional racism, discrimination, sexism, etc. is not helpful for present-day youth. When you tell someone that there are forces beyond their control that are set-up to make them fail, how can they ever succeed? Likewise when you tell youth that the good things of our country such as its capitalistic sturcture are flawed, the results are seen in ANTIFA riots and movements that promote more socialistic policies in America. This is the opposite of individualism. Capitalism, not socialism or communism, is the only economic system that allows someone to reap all the benefits of their hard work and success. If you’re an ANTIFA activist who doesn’t believe me, then just go research what the acronym NAZI actually stands for.
Equal opportunity and equal outcome are two different things. Many on the left in today’s political culture seek an economic system of equal outcome. They argue that because some are disadvantaged from birth, and others are born into wealth, this creates an unfair and unjust class system. While it is true that we do not all have equal opportunity, we all have equal access to resources. After all, that’s the American Dream. It may be the best of intentions to want the government to help everyone but it can’t. And it certainly can try in ways, but not at the expense of others. The best chance of success for someone would be for government to be out of the way once they have the resources available to them to take initiative and better their own life. Unfortunately government is not the solution, self-reliance is.