Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Spoiled Brat Politics

Thomas Sowell at Townhall.com:

An editorial in a recent issue of the National Geographic's "Traveler" magazine complained that kayakers in Maine found "residential development" near national parks and urged its readers to use their "influence" to prevent such things.

"You are the stakeholders in our national parks," it said.

Really? What stake do kayakers and others of like mind have that is not also a stake held by people who build the vacation homes whose presence offends the kayak set? Homeowners are just as much citizens and taxpayers as kayakers are, and they are even entitled to equal treatment under the 14th Amendment.

The essence of bigotry is denying others the same rights you claim for yourself. Green bigots are a classic example.

The idea that government is supposed to make your desires override the desires of other citizens has spread from the green bigots to other groups who claim privileges in the name of rights.

Sowell rightly refers to this as "spoiled brat" politics. It results in the transformation of providing "equal opportunity" to providing "equal outcomes". It leads to a world where, "all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average." Garrison Keillor may think that is a sort of ideal place, but in reality, it is a place where the mediocre is glorified; and where it is a sin to be above average.

The usual response to this is that those of us who oppose the continual creation of new and more vocal victim groups, all of which are demanding their "rights"--is that we are "mean-spirited". Who could possibly be agains the Americans with Disabilities Act, after all? Only a scrooge, or a grinch, or a Hitler.

Sowell has a response for that:

It [the Americans with Disabilities Act- ps] was a lawyer's full-employment act, creating another legally recognized victim group, empowered to claim special privileges, at other people's expense, in the name of equal rights. Nor could such legislation make the usual claim that it was coming to the defense of the poor and the downtrodden. Golf courses are not the natural habitat of the poor and the downtrodden.

Indeed, that is the result of the rhetoric that equates equal opportunity with equality of outcomss. It creates more and more groups demanding special privileges at other people's expense. The man referred to above wanted a golf course to provide him with a special cart to play golf on their course. Well, I have always wanted a Ferrari sports car to drive around town. Why shouldn't someone else pay for that too? Just because the gentleman has a disability doesn't mean that other people are automatically responsible for satisfying all his desires (they should, instead, be responsible for satisfying all of MINE).

In psychiatry we use the term "sense of entitlement" to describe the outrageous attitude of some of our more narcissistic clients who believe that the world "owes" them and they want to collect NOW. Patients with this type of attitude always want more. Whatever you do is never good enough for them, and they also generally show no gratitute or express any thanks--even when someone goes out of their way for them. Like the most spoiled of royalty, they merely expect that they should be the center of your world at all times.

This attitude is normally seen in toddlers, who want what they want and they want it now. Every parent has had to deal with this kind of whining. When you see this attitude repeatedly in an adult, then you know you are dealing with psychopathology. Many adults whimper at the slightest inconvenience, delay, or restriction. Why? Because, like toddlers, they are convinced they deserve what they want when they want it. They are "entitled" to it.

At any rate, read Sowell's entire article, and you will begin to understand why the victimhood game is so popular and why the number of spoiled brats in our society is growing exponentially.

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