From Meritocracy to Victimocracy

One of the most revealing developments that has taken place over the course of the past three to five years — when it became apparent that the global far-Left was beginning a full-court press to implement fully its political agenda in the United States — is that many people who consider themselves political conservatives and who truly pay attention to what’s happening in our country have found themselves capable of anticipating or even practically predicting the behavior and next moves from Liberals and those who have committed themselves to what passes for a Democratic platform. As with anything else, I could be wrong, but I’ve come to think that I see a pattern beginning to develop — a pattern that I consider disturbing and shameless, mind you — that may suggest at least something of the tactics of Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, a pattern that recently led me to thinking of a significant figure from American Revolutionary history but one that doesn’t necessarily immediately enter into a general discussion of our nation’s fight for independence.

Several years ago, Mel Gibson starred in a movie called The Patriot, a film that was based on actual historical events from the Revolutionary War and in which his character was loosely based upon the real-life figure of Brigadier General Daniel Morgan, a man who commanded the American forces at the Battle of Cowpens, one of the two most decisive American victories that effectively decided the outcome of the entire struggle. The battle at the conclusion of the movie is based on the events at Cowpens and, in truth, does a pretty solid job of presenting the actual facts.

Personally, I don’t think the movie as a whole was all that great, as it has always struck me as nothing more than Braveheart wrapped in an American flag. Although, Adam Baldwin is in it, and we like him around here at America’s Right. (We’d like him even more here at AR if he submitted a few more great pieces; I know he’s busy, but his political activism is admirable. — Jeff.)  But I digress.

The specific consideration here concerns the figure of Morgan, whom historians generally acknowledge as one of the greatest battlefield technicians of the Revolutionary War as well as, quite possibly, one of the greatest in American history. If we had never fought for our independence, however, would Morgan have ever had the opportunity to exhibit his talents as a battlefield commander and as a leader of men?

Not likely. The British military – heck, the entire British society – was based on family lineage and being relegated to the class into which one was born. The officers in the British military, especially the highest-ranking ones, were men from prestigious families, not men with any real, practical military experience. A commission as an officer in His Majesty’s fighting forces was more celebratory and an example of pageantry than it was a sign of something earned and deserved. The cultural and political revolution that was the American experiment was based in a person’s taking possession of his right to his own existence and to make any mark in the world that he could by virtue of his own hands and mind, which we call a meritocracy. Men (and later women) would no longer be judged by who their parents were.

Brigadier General Daniel Morgan was one of the first, greatest living embodiments of this new outlook. He was born to Welsh immigrants, people who were common laborers. Morgan never received any formal education and for the most part was destined for the same type of life as his father until he began serving in the British colonial militia during the French and Indian conflicts. As revolutionary fervor began to sweep the colonies and Morgan developed a serious disdain for the British, the opportunity to demonstrate his talents presented itself. Morgan took full advantage of the opportunity, and by the time his physical ailments forced him to the sidelines toward the end of the Revolution, he was a self-made and well-respected man.

Fast forward two centuries-plus, and it is painfully, painfully apparent just how far our society, culture, and politics have fallen. We now have a political class of “representatives” (mostly in the Democratic party, but the GOP is by no means exempt here) whose modus operandi is to convince those in the lower classes (and as many in the middle classes as they can) that their lesser position in life is no fault of their own and that someone or something has mistreated them in some horrible, unspeakable, immoral, and unethical fashion. In short, generally over the course of the past forty years but more specifically during the course of the past twenty or so we’ve seen our society devolve from a meritocracy to a victimocracy. Personally, the two most disturbing things that I see in this – beyond the obvious – is that first,  it strikes me as what I’ll call a valued victimocracy, in that far and away too many of our people are now so “invested” in this outlook that it seems to me that they try to be the “best victims” that they possibly can, which is quite perverse and, I suppose, is a type of “merited-victimization”, a victimization that some come to view as a “hard-earned” one. It has become such a pronounced social reality that people who actually work hard, try to earn their way through life, and take risks in an effort to possibly improve their lot in life are mocked as chumps for not gleaning off the system what they can.

Honestly, my mind turns to jelly just trying to wrap itself around all of this.

The second thing that truly bothers me in all this is that the members of the new “political aristocracy” of ours would like nothing better than to return to the pre-revolutionary social order, in that we will be judged by who our parents are. To wit, all one has to do is to take a closer look at the glorious new “financial regulatory reform” signed into law last year by Barack Obama in order to see that the larger theme of that bill is directed at ensuring that those in the lower and middle classes “learn and keep their place” in life.  Any attempt to lift oneself above his or her station is seriously frowned upon nowadays, by both the members of our political aristocracy and those in the lower classes who are more determined to pull those in the middle classes down to their level than they are in possibly trying to improve their own lot in life by virtue of their own hard work.

As I’ve pointed out, there are now a lot more everyday Americans who can see so clearly what the Left is attempting to accomplish and the manner by which they’re willing to undermine American ideals that generally anticipating Liberals’ next moves isn’t all that difficult. Truth be told, the Leftist agenda has now been so fully exposed that they’ve been, for the most part, reduced to name-calling and personal attacks, the most common being their use of the race card and the terrorist talking points with regard to the Tea Party. They certainly cannot argue on the merits of any of the issues, and they certainly cannot argue on the record of the Obama administration, as the entire body of work has been one, giant, abject failure.

So – what do they have left?

It seems to me that the next card that they’ve pulled from their quickly-diminishing bag of tricks is the victim card. They obviously have decades of experience in either convincing others that they’re victims (in an effort to build a political power base) or assuming the mantle of victimhood themselves. In this case, it appears that the road is being paved (with union labor, no doubt) to help set up the American electorate to view Barack Obama as a victim. The American voter will be expected to believe that he is a sympathetic figure who has been wrongfully mistreated by….well, by whom, exactly? The media? I don’t think so. The Tea Party? The moms and dads who are doing something that they’ve never done before by protesting the quickly-encroaching power of the federal government into their personal lives? But isn’t dissent patriotic? Conservative bloggers like myself, people who are merely offering their thoughts?

This occurred to me as I’ve watched some of the give-and-takes between political pundits during the last month or so.  One of the dominant ideas that I think I’m now hearing from those on the Left is that Barack Obama “inherited a political maelstrom” – a time in American history when he’s had to deal with the Bush recession, earthquakes, tsunamis and nuclear meltdowns, political and cultural meltdowns in the Middle East, a major oil spill, a downgrade of the U.S. Credit rating, and, of course, Hurricane Irene. I’ll say this for the Left – their talking points are always in order.

While we’ve all been numbed by the incessant “He inherited this mess from Bush” drumbeat of the past 2 1/2 years, this has struck me as something different. This is an attempt to portray the entire disaster of Barack Obama’s administration as one that was beyond the control of him and his advisers from the get-go, a situation in which no man, woman, or child could ever have been successful.  Isn’t that tantamount to admitting failure on a rather grand scale?

Correct me if I’m wrong, but Barack Obama asked for this job. No one forced him into it. He stridently proclaimed that he could make the sea levels return to normal, that he could make the rest of the world like us again. The fact that none of it seems to have worked out … well … it’s clearly not his fault. Interestingly, the pundits arguing in defense of the president never offer to talk about the policies and decisions of this administration, whether or not blaming George W. Bush is any longer a viable consideration, the fact that he did little to nothing to address the oil spill in the Gulf (other than using the draconian sledgehammer to shut down offshore drilling), and whether or not natural disasters are crises that have a debilitating effect on a president’s administration. No, this strikes me more as throwing an emotional appeal up against the wall to see if it sticks in the hope that a few handfuls of uninformed voters might marginally latch onto the flimsy ideas being tossed into the political marketplace. Unfortunately, that may, in fact, happen.

The president of the United States as “victim” — wow. I’m wondering if we all can put this in the “uncharted territory” column. I think, when November 2012 finally does roll around, I may write-in my choice for president.

Brigadier General Daniel Morgan.

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Comments

  1. P Winteregg says:

    Good analysis, John, but I’d go one step further to predict exactly who the evil monsters are that our erstwhile ‘victim’ in the White House is planning on blaming in the upcoming election cycle. The Tea Party is at the core, but the Republican House will be blamed. All of the lead up to the speech on jobs next week by our Great Leader, including the rather juvenile attempt to sabotage the Republican Presidential Debate, point to a campaign narrative that this is all the fault of Congress’ inaction and refusal to cooperate–and specifically the House Republicans, and even more specifically those nasty knuckle-dragging Neanderthal Tea Party folks. Of course poor Barry could have saved us, and wouldn’t things be much better, if we just didn’t have those pesky ignorant Conservatives blocking everything he’s trying to do for us?

  2. Jordan Bell says:

    The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design. ~ F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit

  3. Brad Fregger says:

    Interesting take, one that had not entered my mind, but so obvious once it pointed out. Thank you.

  4. Randy Wills says:

    Spot on, John.

    In a similar vein I would recommend reading Shelby Steele’s article, “Obama and the Burden of Exceptionalism” in Thursday’s WSJ. I think it’s very apropos to the subject that you cover so well in this article.

    My personal conviction (and I’ll confess up front that I have come to that conviction based on what my “lyin’ eyes” tell me and what I know of Scripture regarding the battle between evil and good) is that we are witnessing a deliberate act of destruction – not by just Obama, but all of secular humanism’s proponents – of the core values that made the United States “exceptional” in the first place.

    As you point out, the polical battle in 2012 will pivot on the false images projected by the Obama administration, such as the obstructionist “Tea party terrorists” and universal “victimology”, starting with the President and decending all the way down to the entitlement-dependent, non-productive, economic and moral, parasites, which, if nature was allowed to run its normal and logical course, would be self – eliminating from the gene pool in short order.

    It has been obvious to those with eyes to to see that for some time the goal of the secular humanists has been to separate every individual from any sense of personal responsibility – economically or morally – for the declining state of national affairs, soothing their natual, instictive, anxieties, in order to make them comfortable in their ever-increasing self-gratification of all of the senses and their virtually total dependency on the largess of the government.

    As they say in the investment world, “It’s difficult to catch a falling market”, so it is with a culture; it’s difficult, if not impossible, to catch a falling culture which is simply responding to the laws of gravitational (in this case, that would be human nature) acceleration.

    Keep up the good work, John. I look forward to your articles.

    Randy

  5. whats_up says:

    I find it interesting that some of the first people right now to claim “victim” are Conservative Christians. Why do you think that is?

  6. John Feeny says:

    Yes, What’s Up…I’m a victim. The world has wrongfully relegated me to a lesser position in life.

    Most people of honesty and integrity are often known to tell those closest to them in their chosen professions to “let me know when I’ve lost my fastball.”

    I’m here for you, big guy. You never had one.

  7. whats_up says:

    @John Feeny,

    John you may scoff, but even you try and claim that liberals are out to “destroy” what Conservatives belive in. I have also heard the tired mantra of how Christianity is “under attack.” I stand by my statement.

  8. Randy Wills says:

    Good to hear from you, “whats_up”. I always enjoy our banter, but hey, now that persons such as I have achieved the status of “terrorist” in the judgment of none other than the sagatious Joe Biden, I wouldn’t be able to see the “victimhood” mile-marker in my rearview mirror, even if I wanted to. I apparently blew past that so fast that I wasn’t even aware of it, but thanks for pointing it out. Strange that I didn’t notice it though, considering that half the population “makes” their living somewhere around there.

    If the secular/humanists and Old “that’s a big ******* deal” Joe have their way, I’ll probably make it all the way to Gitmo, along with the other terrorists of the world, but it could be worse. I understand that the accommodations are really fine and the food is so great that the biggest problem that the detainees face is gaining weight. And on top of that, I won’t even have to pay for my own defense lawyer to represent me when I appear before the tribunal to answer for, as a self-confessed member of that terrorist sect called “Christianity”, becoming an Enemy of the State. That’s a lot better deal than the only One who ever got it right received.

    Stay in touch. I’ll drop you a line from the next stop on my path to the secular/humanist-defined perdition.

    Your old friend, Randy

  9. John Feeny says:

    As do I, my friend.

  10. Randy Wills says:

    To “whats_up”: Is there really anyone out there who engages in critical analysis of societal trends that would honestly contend that AUTHENTIC Christianity (and if there is any doubt about what I mean by “authentic”, may I suggest reading Nancy Pearcey’s “Total Truth”) is NOT “under attack”?

    The problem, of course, is that the “Conservative Christian” worldview represents a barrier to the secular/progressive/humanist’s aim to “fundamentally transform” society’s behavioral norms into a hedonistically irresponsible group of automatons, believing in nothing other than the gratification of their base impulses.

    To coninue this discussion on the basis of more relevant terms, I would suggest substituting the word “victim” with “adversary” because I think that we can all agree that we are certainly engaged in an “adversarial” relationship.

    But keep up the conversation. “Steel sharpens steel.”

    Randy

  11. nanas3 says:

    Great article, John! You are correct that the liberals are DESPERATE and the ‘race card’ is all they have to avoid discussion of Obama’s record. May I suggest this site: The Conservative Messenger which was established by K Carl Smith who is a Frederick Douglas Republican. He is a black conservative who has realized the TRUTH about the Democrat Party as it relates to the black community. He has a message that will TRUMP the race card! I would be interested in hearing feedback from you, Jeff, Randy and even whats_up about his ideas.

  12. whats_up says:

    @ Randy,

    Normally you seem to me to be a sane person, however the hyperbole does not do you justice. I would agree that an adversarial relationship does occur between Conservative and Liberals and is probably good for the American political body as a whole. It fosters a critique of the other side that would not be there otherwise. I dont have a problem with this type of relationship, do you? If so, how would you go about solving it?

  13. Randy Wills says:

    To “nanas3″ @ 11:38 Am:

    I’m sorry, but I’ve been really pressed for time and I haven’t gotten to that web site that you referred to, but I promise I will. Check back in a few days for my reaction to it.

    To “whats_up” @ 11:23 AM:

    Ouch! That hurts. I hate to be guilty of engaging in hyperbole. My apologies for coming across that way. Perhaps there is so much of that in the public discourse that we begin to think that if we don’t resort to that, no one will pay attention to what we’re saying.

    Randy

  14. Randy Wills says:

    To “whats_up” @ 7/11 11:23:

    It seems like I never get around to directly addressing the type of questions which you ask in the last sentence or two of your last posting. I’ll try to do better.

    First, no, I don’t have a problem with an “adversarial” relationship (recall my comment that “Steel sharpens steel”).

    And as for “solving it”, my feeling is that the starting point is being able to have a repsectful, measured, and informed, discussion among those who would disagree. It’s all fine and good that we be totally convinced in our minds that our worldview is correct, but it does no good if we reject, out-of-hand, the worldview of our “adversaries”.

    If the conversation is sufficiently imformed by at least a few points that we can agree on, than a productive conversation can proceed from that point forward to a more mutual understanding of what kind of actions make for a better world.

    Hyperbole doesn’t help.

    Randy

  15. whats_up says:

    @ Randy,

    Thanks my man for the fine answers. I would agree with your whole statement. It is unfortunate that politics has become “theatre” and not what is best for the country. However what is more unfortunate is that many Americans now choose their friends based on that “theatre.” I made myself a promise years ago that neither relegion or politics would stop me from being friends with people. I have found that this decision has enriched my life moreso than any other I have made.

  16. Randy Wills says:

    @ nana3:

    I spent a few minutes with the “Conservative Messenger” web site and found it to be pretty solid, although most of the material seemed to be a couple of yers old. I probably didn’t dig deep enough to find the more current stuff and will pursue that as I have time. Reminds me more than a little of Alan West, which, in my mind, is always a plus.

    Thanks for the tip.

    Randy

  17. Tdonovan says:

    What’s up, when you don’t believe I guess you would not be under attack. Or attacking is not under attack or my way or the highway is not under attack. I don’t understand you telling me is not under attack.

  18. Tdonovan says:

    What’s up, victims according to what we watch on obtv this kid in Florida, Sandra Fluke, women being attacked by the right who are trying to take away their rights as women. Voter ID, people with out healthcare .

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