Throughout most of American history, it was common for people to rise above their circumstances. To strive, to work hard, be thrifty, educate themselves, start businesses and otherwise take advantage of America’s liberties in order to succeed. This recipe worked so phenomenally well that the U.S. became a beacon of hope for those who were still living in oppressive countries.
This beacon shone for millions of immigrants (including my grandparents and three sisters-in-law and their families). Where before they faced poverty, persecution and tyranny, in America they could buy a home, send their kids to college and open businesses with relatively little interference from the government. In America, all it took for anyone to succeed was hard work, thrift and education (whether formal, vocational, or on-the-job).
But then a funny thing happened: The government started getting in the way. The government began a slow and systematic dismantling of the very chains with which the Founding Fathers fettered it, in order to remove our freedoms and grow more powerful and oppressive. It began doing this by instigating a tyranny of low expectations. The advantage of low expectations, of course, is that it slays individual responsibility and encourages victimhood.
How? Consider the following:
- The government decided women didn’t need a husband to have children. The government paid their expenses and increased their income for each additional out-of-wedlock child, which resulted in exploding illegitimacy.
- The government decided immigrants didn’t need to be legal. They could enter this country under cover of darkness and take advantage of hospitals, schools, food stamps, welfare and other entitlements at taxpayer expense, but without the corresponding need of loyalty to America or its principles. (By contrast, most legal immigrants are very loyal to America.)
- The government decided it wasn’t necessary to have a job. It would provide welfare and nearly endless unemployment benefits instead, despite studies that show these “benefits” strongly remove the incentive to work.
- The government decided it must have a monopoly on schools, which in turn no longer strove to educate their students in sound, classical subjects. History was rewritten to paint a cheery face on communism and depict free-market capitalism and rugged individualism as evil, even though these are the principles on which our economic strength was built. Government schools decided that students didn’t have to be even marginally literate to graduate from the 12th grade, as long as they could properly parrot the progressive agenda.
- The government decided health care is a “right” and must be nationalized. National health care monitors, tracks and controls people to a frightening degree. It removes peoples’ vigilance for their own health and hampers and discourages countless doctors for whom the medical field is becoming a bureaucratic nightmare.
- The government decided it was necessary to tax and regulate manufacturing jobs out of existence, forcing companies to move overseas to stay in business.
- The government decided that patriotic citizens are, in fact, domestic terrorists, and therefore all forms of communication must be monitored.
- The government decided firearms are evil and moved to restrict them by various tactics, despite the incontrovertible worldwide proof in the last century that an unarmed citizenry invites an enormous spike in crime and inevitably a despotic government.
This, my friends, is known as the tyranny of low expectations. You don’t have to lift a finger to do anything for yourself – the government will do everything for you. It will feed you, house you, clothe you, educate you, medicate you and – what the heck – even give you free cell phones.
In exchange, all you have to do is … shut up. You don’t have to work, you don’t have to raise or educate your children and above all, you don’t have to question the government’s motives.
Low expectations are often disguised as kindness. No one wants to see people struggle, so out of the kindness of our hearts we ask the government to provide for them. In doing so, we sabotage all efforts for people to rise on their own, to overcome adversity, to learn and grow through their own efforts, to acquire discipline and self-control. Low expectations create mental and physical laziness and an entitlement mentality.
If expectations get low enough – if people no longer have the self-respect and determination to chart their own course and excel on their own – then apathy results. The government is then free to do whatever it wants, and tyranny is the natural outcome.
It’s working. America has become so obsessed with low expectations and entitlements and free goodies that the government doesn’t have to do much more than fold its hands and wait for our cities to rot from within and collapse.
The funny thing is, many people are screaming mad about where our country is heading – but they’re screaming for the wrong reasons and for the wrong solutions. People are screaming for the government to DO something about crime, so the government responds by removing firearms. People are screaming for the government to DO something about poor schools, so the government responds by centralizing “common core” standards and punishing homeschoolers. People are screaming for the government to DO something about unemployment, so the government responds by increasing welfare, food stamps and unemployment benefits.
See the irony here? People are so attuned to low expectations that it never even dawns on them that the very problems they complain about are caused by a too-powerful government violating every constitutional restriction in existence. Get those expectations low enough, and there will be no one left to stop our destruction.
We must STOP accepting government solutions to government-created problems. The Founding Fathers understood this. That’s why they created a constitutional republic, which limited both the ability for the government to cause and fix problems.
If we do not correct this tyranny of low expectations and learn to stand on our own two feet, I fear America will no longer be recognizable as the country it once was. We will sink into tyranny, spurred by the very apathy our “generous” government has created.