WASHINGTON. Everyone chooses to be a hero in life. Or a victim. Dragonslayers and distressed damsels aren’t just the stuff of fairytales. They’re a driving force in contemporary American politics. In America, the country we have is the country we build. And what we have is what we get when we make that crucial choice to be heroes. Or victims. Each embodies a vision of the kind of individual we want to be in life, and the way we choose to live.
Charles Dickens once wondered “whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else.” He feared that if he wasn’t the hero of his story, then he would surely be its victim.
Like most of us, Dickens wanted to be the hero. A hero carries a sense of accomplishment. Heroism means that we have done everything we can to meet our goals. It means we have fought and not surrendered.
Heroes concentrate on things they can control.
People admire or idealize heroes for their courage, outstanding achievements and noble qualities. Heroes have a different outlook on life. They tend to feel – and act – more fulfilled. They take advantage of opportunities, using them to become independent, self-reliant and responsible. Heroes have a positive view of life and enjoy where they are since they achieve lives through their own efforts and not those of others. They always maintain focus on things they can control, and subsequently endeavor to control them.
Victims focus on things they can’t control.
Victims view themselves as the wretched objects of outside forces and the unfortunate targets of other people. They endure suffering, damage and loss. They fear death at the hands of others. Things happen to them. They don’t make things happen. Whatever happens to them is never their fault.
Victims aren’t where they want to be. But they blame others for putting them there, never themselves. Victimhood comes with a healthy sense of grievance.
Victims blame others for their failures, never themselves. As a result, they demand “social justice” at the expense of everyone. Other than themselves. Victims depend on others and blame others. They refuse to take full responsibility for themselves. What happens to them is not their fault or their problem. They always “need” compensation. From us.
Republicans embrace heroes while Democrats crave victims they claim they will save
The major political parties tailor their messages to their specific audiences of voters. However, their audiences are very different. Hence, the messages of Republicans and Democrats are very different as well. Yet their differences stem from the same cause: the desire to appeal to their specific audiences with radically differing views of life.
With regard to health care, for example, Democrats endorse a government-run, single payer, “Medicare For All” system, their always intended Son of Obamacare. That solution benefits the 9 percent of Americans who do not currently have health insurance. The rest of the population, however, will pay more and receive less. But the 9 percent who are the current alleged victims of the “system” will be covered under the Democrats’ costly new entitlement.
The Republicans want more competition in the market. They want more price transparency as well, plus the ability for individuals to set up accounts enabling them to pay directly for healthcare services. The GOP supports more individual responsibility and more direct control of health care spending. That way, when market forces push down prices as Americans shop around for services at a reasonable price, individuals can feel like heroes for joining to confront accelerating healthcare costs. And act to rein them in. Under Republicans, Americans will clearly exert more individual control over personal health care decisions.
What about income inequality?
For decades, and especially in the 10 years prior to President Trump’s inauguration, income inequality demonstrably worsened in America. Due to the relatively stagnant, Great Recession and post-recession U.S. economy from 2007 to 2016, few new job opportunities materialized. After approximately 2010, this was largely due to the effect of the Obama administration’s emphasis on higher taxes and income redistribution policies.
Higher income Americans with specific skills were able to do well financially as the Federal Reserve’s series of quantitative easing (QE) efforts took hold. With the White House doing little to help the Fed, however, the continuing lack of opportunities at the entry level meant lower-skilled workers suffered from a prolonged period of unemployment.
The Democrats’ redistribution schemes worsened the income gap
As the rich got richer, the poor didn’t and the already severe income gap grew. Republicans today want to close that gap by growing the economy to provide more opportunity to those left behind. The GOP believes the solution to income inequality is increasing opportunities in this country so those who have little will be able to earn more, without middle-class taxpayer handouts. They want to close the gap by pushing the bottom up. That way, each income earner has the opportunity to become one of Americas heroes.
The Democrats say that low-income workers have been left behind. They are, therefore, victims. The poor position of average American victims is not their fault. Rather, it results due to the sheer greediness of those on top of the system. To correct this, Democrats want to overtax high-income earners and overtax all holders of large amounts of wealth so they can give the victim class more free stuff.
Specifically, Dems want to redistribute extra tax revenue to lower income earners in the form of social programs. Managed, of course, by Democrats. That means the government can pay for health care, education, additional income and housing expense for low-income earners. The idea of the Democrats’ scheme is to reduce income inequality by taking income away from those who earned it and giving it to those who haven’t.
The Dems want to push the top income earners down. That, they believe, will reduce income inequality and compensate victims of corporate greed. It’s called Socialism: the same scheme that built the economic paradise known as Venezuela.
Freedom vs. victimhood: Pick one
When Americans vote for a Republican candidate, they want an economic policy that provides opportunity for all. This leads to more individual freedom, more individual responsibility, lower rates of taxation and a limited role for Federal and local government. These policies allow Americans to become the heroes and heroines of their own lives.
A vote for a Democratic candidate, however, translates to free health care, free college tuition, basic universal income and protection from the alleged predations of American businesses. These policies always result in less individual freedom, more social burdens, higher rates of taxation and a larger role for the national government. The increasingly left-wing policies promoted today by America’s self-proclaimed “Democratic-Socialists” will allegedly help all Americans who have been victimized by what the Dems called a “rigged system.” Even though they’ve largely been the ones who’ve rigged it over the last 90 years.
So, in 2020 are you planning to vote as one of America’s entrepreneurial heroes? Or will you choose to remain one of this country’s designated victims for the rest of your life?
— Headline image: Generation Blame by “Tina Toon” @ grrraphics.com.
Reproduced to fit our format with permission and by arrangement with Ben Garrison.