“The moment a person forms a theory, his imagination sees in every object only the traits which favor that theory.” Thomas Jefferson
As we have commented previously, we are witnessing a rare person in a high elected office who not only blames his predecessor for “what he inherited” but also for anything that happens on his watch for which he seeks to avoid responsibility. How does one measure the performance of a leader who describes his efforts as valiant and all others as weak? Out of touch? Or does it indicate something a bit deeper and a bit more problematic? Someone who sees only that which favors his “theory?”
Here are the lessons we took away from Wednesday’s very disappointing assessment of the state of the union.
1. The man is still campaigning. Still viewing the world as an academic exercise in which his philosophies and programs and ideals are not getting a fair opportunity to take hold so that America can truly be the changed and improved place he envisions. He adheres to policies and beliefs that have failed elsewhere; that are “feel good” and wishful and he is committed to them in the face of growing opposition from within and without his country.
2. The reason for the opportunity being denied is always a combination of outside forces – the party out of power will not vote for his agenda so they are obstructionists. All they know how to do is say no. The previous administration created so many problems that all the new guys can do is work around the messes. The party out of power distorts the new message and creates fear among the voters which leads to untimely political losses. These are all examples of what is call “victimhood.” There are many people in this country of opportunity who feel they are denied opportunity and benefits because of others. They are victims.
3. Victimhood is a learned philosophy. It is embraced vigorously in the community organizing community. Someone else is the source of our problems. Someone else is keeping me/us down. It’s not my fault that I have no education; that I can’t get a job; that my buddies are in jail; that I can’t afford health care; that I can’t support my children and that they are not doing well at good schools. I am a victim.
4. There is one more aspect to the leaned philosophy of victimhood. Someone owes me something. I have a right to my piece of the pie. Prosperity is my birthright. Gimme; gimme; gimme. See those other guys. They know how to work the system. They get something for nothing. Now it’s my turn. Many of you will recognize a key source of this philosophy. It is the city of Chicago and the state of Illinois.
So where do we go now? The year 2009 is gone; lost; wasted. It looks as if the same will be true of 2010. Record deficits. Not my fault. Record debt growth. Not my fault. Closer to the abyss. What are you talking about? We saved the country from the abyss.
On the other hand, America is awakening to this failed philosophy and its philosopher. It appears that about 54 or 55% of the voters are now aware that we must change course. Deficits must become surpluses. Debt must be repaid. It will take sacrifice and frugality. Opportunity does require some work; some responsibility. Victimhood requires neither. November 2, 2010.