With the constant media blitz of violent crime, racist cops, transgender harassment, and corporate scandal, you would think America had completely derailed. While there is room for improvement on many fronts, America is by almost any measure one of the more tolerant, opportunity-laden and transparent nations on the face earth. You certainly would not believe that if you picked up any major newspaper or turned on the network news, but compared to the racial divisions, class divisions and risk faced by citizens in other societies, America is exceptional. Conversely, our national perception (According to Pew Polling) is that we are less safe and face more risk than previous generations. The exact opposite is true. We have somehow transitioned national interest to focus on a perception that we are the land of the oppressed.
The real tragedy of the media’s fixation on violence, crime, scandal, and bigotry is the national reputation in the eyes of young Americans. In Milwaukee in 2008, at 43 years old, Michelle Obama, a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School announced, “for the first time in my adult life I am proud of my country “. Many young American college students echo similar sentiments from the cafeterias of some of the greatest educational institutions in the world. Imbuing self-loathing into Young American College students is not exclusive to Ivy League institutions and an oppression mantra has become rampant in our entire education system. It permeates every segment of our society, and numerous studies indicate that we are inundated with grossly excessive coverage of the negative events in our society by the media. Sadly, young Americans have lost the conviction that America is the bastion of freedom and the land of opportunity for the modern world.
When the rights of the few, derail the liberty of the many, it is time to consider whether or not “those chosen few” really have cause for separate laws… There are no means by which we can protect every individual’s freedoms in every circumstance. We cannot develop a specific set of regulations that apply to every unique person. The law is designed to provide a framework for our judiciary to make judgments about how they should apply across society. As we codify new laws protecting classes of people, individuals or institutions as worthy of special protection or exemption, regardless of how noble the cause, we segregate that class of people from the rest of society.
Treated differentially under the law is a recipe for enhancing the social exclusions that invariably accompany special treatments. We need to look no farther than hate crime legislation as a prime example. Why is murder treated differently depending on the racial or social opinions of a theoretically free human being? Is murder somehow more significant, or deserving of special punishment because an ignorant racist committed it? We have many examples of differential treatment: Politicians exempting themselves from the laws they pass, long-term subsidization of businesses, the exemption of religious organizations from taxes, and more recently protection of individual fetishes. There is no shortage of laws on the books that apply only to a small subset of the American population.
Economists around the globe will tell you that protection erodes competitiveness. In protecting a business, we make it less subject to market competition and subsequently less Competition – Aegis Academy – Inequalityefficient over time. This inefficiency invariably results in underutilized resources and waste. Charles Koch and I may not agree on many social issues but his take on corporate welfare is dead on. According to Koch “Corporate welfare is eroding American competitiveness “. Just as surely, long-term welfare is eroding the competitiveness of the individuals receiving it. When we exempt institutions from paying taxes, we burden other productive enterprises with making up the difference which removes resources that productive enterprises could use to create jobs and opportunity.
When we protect even the most pitiful of mentally competent adult citizen, we do the same to our society. When we look at affirmative action, we see an entire class of American being told that since they cannot compete, they will be given an opportunity they don’t deserve. That is absolutely corrosive to the individuals who qualify under these programs. Even worse, the reality is that they probably can compete; and if we only expected them to do so, many would. Further, we deny that same seat to a potentially better-qualified candidate because they do not fall with the protected class. That is pretty far from equal treatment under the law.
For the past two decades, we seem to have been applying special circumstances to smaller and smaller subsets of the population. more recently, A high school student who has decided to dress like a female and use the women’s bathroom is now the national rallying cry for transgender “equal rights” in Hillsboro. Why should the biological females have to share a bathroom with a biological male when our social norms dictate otherwise? How is that “equal”? If we as a society generally agree that gender-specific bathrooms are unfair, then the correct response is to allow the entire population of high school age children to choose to shower in a locker room of their choice rather than one associated with their biology. I for one consider that pretty unreasonable.
If a restriction or subsidy does not make sense for the whole, then we need to take a thoughtful and serious look at the long-term impact on the class of people or organizations that we are segregating. The impact of ever expanding protected classes of people on the competitiveness of future generations is absolutely catastrophic. We should be imbuing the future generation of Americans with the confidence, education, strength and skills to look not to government and legislature for protection, but to look to themselves to create the world they want to live in. With every protected class, every restriction, every exempt organization, and every handout, we are chipping away at the ingenuity, creativity and work ethic that makes this nation exceptional.
Our founding fathers were brilliant, but, in this case, they got it wrong: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness are not unalienable human rights. Those concepts are incomprehensible to much of the world’s population who are simply content to avoid conflict and do only what their masters allow them. That incomprehensibility applies to many of our citizens right here in America because we have convinced them that they are dependent. What makes America Great is that Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness are rights that each American has access to, and the opportunity to put to use every day of his or her life and the right not take advantage of that opportunity. Segregation, special treatment, and exemptions are eroding the value of those ideals.
~ Patrick Henry