America was founded and expanded from sea to sea by rugged individualists, freedom-loving men and women who believed in personal responsibility, self-sufficiency and independence. Our pioneering ancestors had a no-excuses attitude toward life. They believed in working hard, smart and long to build better lives for themselves and their families, wanted opportunities not handouts, would accept only what they earned and preferred a government that stayed out of their way. For decades, this approach to life carried over from generation to generation, making the United States the most productive and prosperous nation on earth, a nation where being “self-made” and “upwardly mobile” were compliments.
Over the past several decades, things have changed, and not for the better. In contemporary America — a nation whose culture is increasingly controlled by the left — rugged individualism and personal responsibility are being purposefully and systematically supplanted by a victimhood mentality. Leftist ideologues, whose ultimate goal is complete control over the lives of all Americans, now encourage people to deny responsibility for their circumstances and view life as something over which they have no control.
In other words, leftists encourage Americans to view themselves as victims. To no one’s surprise, people who see themselves as victims are perpetually frustrated and angry, believing the deck is stacked against them and they have no hope of improving their lives. As a result, they turn to nanny government to rescue them, which is precisely what the left wants Americans to do.
This “poor me,” self-pitying view of the world is behind such absurdities as critical race theory, claims of systemic racism and the entitlement mentality, all of which are based on an oppressor versus victim philosophy that is devastating. It’s an outlook that hurts our country and the supposed victims as well. Victims are never victors; they will never improve their lives by wallowing in self-pity and blaming their circumstances on others.
In addition to feeling entitled, “victims” have turned being offended into the new national pastime. Anything that doesn’t comport with their “poor me” view of the world offends them. Further, today’s privileged victims never see themselves at fault. No matter how bad their choices, a victim’s less-than-desirable circumstances are always someone else’s fault.
Since President Franklin Delano Roosevelt demonstrated politicians could win and retain power by turning Americans into dependent wards of the state, leftist politicians have been promoting victimhood and the entitlement mentality it produces. George Bernard Shaw said, “A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.” Leftists got the message. They have persistently applied Shaw’s principal to seduce Americans into government servitude, a condition not only encouraging victimhood but guaranteeing loyal Democrat voters.
Ironically, the worst victims of the Democrats’ nefarious machinations are the “victims” they purport to defend. If you want to help people build better lives, the worst thing you can do is convince them they are victims. Calling people victims gives them an excuse for failure, lassitude and self-pity. Victims don’t do what is necessary to improve their circumstances — things such as taking responsibility for their own lives, refusing to make excuses and working hard, smart and long. Instead, they wallow in self-pity and expect the world to take care of them or they turn to crime. This perspective on life makes victims easy targets for unscrupulous politicians who use them to gain and retain power.
Never ones to worry about the ultimate consequences of their shortsighted policies, leftist Democrats continue to push their strategy of ensuring a perpetual bloc of loyal voters by creating an entitled subclass of victims permanently dependent on the government. Unfortunately for America, they are succeeding.
Oliver L. North is a combat-decorated U.S. Marine, No.1 bestselling author, and founder and CEO of Fidelis Publishing LLC and Fidelis Media LLC. Find out more about him at www.olivernorth.com. David Goetsch is a Marine Corps veteran, member of the Florida Veterans Hall of Fame, professor of business, Christian counselor, and author of 76 books. Find out more about him at www.david-goetsch.com.