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Travis Rowley: American Victim

Saturday, February 15, 2014

 

“I have seen boys like these…their arms torn out, their legs ripped off. But there is nothing like the site of an amputated spirit. There is no prosthetic for that.” – Lt. Colonel Frank Slade (Al Pacino), “Scent of a Woman” (1992)


Creating the widespread impression that particular people share a condition of victimhood is undoubtedly found within the Democratic playbook – the most common and glaring examples being blacks, gays, and girls.

But we must not forget Hispanics, Arabs, Native Americans, Asian-Americans, Muslims, immigrants, illegal immigrants, children of illegal immigrants, the elderly, the young, the poor, active military personnel, military veterans, and nations of the Third World.

Oh, and Earth.

The victim card has become so overplayed within the political realm that we’re now hard-pressed to find anyone within the liberal lexicon that isn’t seen as a casualty of American society. Even white, heterosexual males – particularly union members – qualify among the injured. After all, they are oppressed by greedy CEOs and evil corporations – the capitalist system itself.

That is, they are harmed by other people’s freedom.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that traditional Americans don’t believe in valid injustices. Surely, not all victims are of the fantasy variety. For instance, those people who suffer at the hands of thieves, murderers, and rapists. Or anyone who happens to incidentally read a column written by the Projo’s Froma Harrop.

In fact, conservatives continuously point out the harm done to otherwise innocent and unsuspecting citizens by government actors. What public unions have done to the average laborer and what the welfare state has done to the black community are just two examples of the state’s commitment to reckless endangerment.

The famed libertarian Ayn Rand once summarized the original American approach to handling the reality of injustice: “The government’s function was changed from the role of ruler to the role of servant. The government was set to protect man from criminals – and the Constitution was written to protect man from the government.”

A Crippled Mind

Aside from taking one’s money in order to offer it to other people, perhaps the cruelest action a government can take is to inject its citizens with an outlook of victimhood – to preoccupy them with sentiments of anger, envy, pessimism, and defeat.

Yet, that is the Democratic method.

Buttressing scores of socialist policies is the idea that certain people are helpless and incapable; that they are “disadvantaged” or “disenfranchised” due to what others have done – not necessarily to them, but to their respective group.

Invariably, this requires a stripping of the individual out of every equation and scenario. What remains is the establishment of a group identity, and the irreproachable lesson that every member shares an identical tale of struggle, and needs government help.

Or, worse, is entitled to it.

Alexandra Pelosi, the daughter of Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D), produced a short film several years ago that helped to expose the ugly depravity of the welfare condition. Standing within a like-minded crowd outside of a New York City welfare office, a black man confesses to Pelosi that he’s “not looking for a job,” that he hasn’t worked in “half a decade,” and that he’s entitled to other people’s money “because my ancestors came here [and] helped build this place…My ancestors, the slaves.”

These types of outright confirmations of the conservative indictment of the welfare state have a way of getting even prominent liberals to acknowledge basic human nature. “This is painful for a liberal to admit,” New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote in 2012, “but conservatives have a point when they suggest that America’s safety net can sometimes entangle people in a soul-crushing dependency. Our poverty programs do rescue many people, but other times they backfire.”

Isaac Lufkin

With an awareness of the power and sanctity of the human spirit, conservatives aim to protect and foster an attitude of independence. While they recognize the reality of hardship and the need for charity, they are careful not to allow the victim mindset to calcify.

Even if someone has a legitimate claim to victim status, it is a disservice to continually remind him of that. A sense of victimization threatens to sap the spirit. It’s that simple.

“I don’t like pity. Pity just makes me weaker,” Isaac Lufkin told the world several weeks ago. Lufkin is the 14-year-old Rhode Islander who was born without arms. As many learned when he was introduced during the airing of the Super Bowl, he’s also the kicker for his undefeated freshman football team at Classical High School. He has plans to someday play in the National Football League.

He also has a mother who says, “I don’t find him disabled at all…And I never looked at him that way.”

He also has a doctor who has advised against the use of prosthetic arms. According to CNN.com, “Isaac has become so capable and flexible on his own – able to type, play video games, eat and dress himself with his feet – prosthetic arms may hinder that.”

A crutch would hinder this crippled boy.

Surely, Isaac is aware that he has been unduly disadvantaged in this life. But nobody around him seems to be willing to allow him to dwell on that fact. Nor does he want them to.

"I look forward 20 years and I'm on my own, and I have my own house,” Isaac explained. “Who's going to help me? My mom's gone. Who's going to help me? I'll just be sitting on my bed in the same clothes. Never being able to brush my teeth or my hair or washing it. No, that's not a life for me.”

Today, Isaac is somehow opening up cans of Coke for himself.


Uninspiring

At the outset of the latest economic recession – amidst news reports about how terrible things were, and how much worse they were likely to get – conservative icon Rush Limbaugh offered a warning to his listeners that was sure to confuse his left-wing detractors. As far as the recession was concerned, Limbaugh advised everyone “not to participate in it.”

Sure enough, the progressive website ThinkProgress.org excoriated Limbaugh for “laughing off the recession” and “belittling the poor and dismissing the economic trouble of others.”

It’s informative to compare Limbaugh’s advice with the Democrats’ message during the controversy over extending federal unemployment benefits last month. In order to justify the extension, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D) reminded the public that those who had been collecting government checks for 99 weeks had “[lost] their jobs through no fault of their own.” Rep. Steny Hoyer (D) recently echoed Pelosi’s perspective, arguing to “re-establish the safety net for those who are unemployed through no fault of their own.”

How else are we to interpret the liberal ideology other than as the wholesale rejection of the spirit of Isaac Lufkin?

Travis Rowley (TravisRowley.com) is the author of The RI Republican: An Indictment of the Rhode Island Left.

 

Related Slideshow: New England Worker Fatalities

Below are the top 25 deadliest jobs in New England, based on the absolute number of fatalities for each occupation from 2008 to 2012, the most recently available year. Along with fatality figures, the median salary for each position, the overall occupation category, and the number of on-the-job deaths for each category are included. Where necessary, descriptions of each job are also provided. Data was obtained from the New England office of the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics in Boston. Note that data for 2012 remains preliminary. It will be finalized later this spring.

Prev Next

#25

Social Workers

Number of Fatalities: 6

Median Salary: $39,980 to $54,560

Occupation Group: Community and social service occupations

Total Occupation Fatalities: 12

Note: Category encompasses several specific occupations, including social workers in the child, family and school, health care, mental health and substance abuse fields. Because of insufficent data a breakdown by specific occupation was not available.

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#24

First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers

Number of Fatalities: 8

Median Salary: $36,820

Occupation Group: Sales and related occupations

Total Occupation Fatalities: 26

Note: First-line supervisors directly oversee and coordinate activities of retail sales workers in an establishment or department. Duties may include management functions, such as purchasing, budgeting, accounting, and personnel work, in addition to supervisory duties.

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#23

Driver/Sales Workers

Number of Fatalities:8

Median Salary: $22,670

Occupation Group: Transportation and material moving occupations

Total Occupation Fatalities: 167

Note: Includes those who drive trucks or other vehicles over established routes or within an established territory and sell or deliver goods, such as food products, including restaurant take-out items, or pick up or deliver items such as commercial laundry. May also take orders, collect payment, or stock merchandise at point of delivery. Includes newspaper delivery drivers. Excludes Coin, Vending, and Amusement Machine Servicers and Repairers and Light Truck or Delivery Services Drivers.

Prev Next

#22

Farmers and Ranchers

Number of Fatalities:9

Median Salary: $69,300

Occupation Group: Management Occupations

Total Occupation Fatalities: 37

Prev Next

#21

Roofers

Number of Fatalities: 9

Median Salary: $35,290

Occupation Group: Construction and extraction occupations

Total Occupation Fatalities: 129

Prev Next

#20

General Maintenance and Repair Workers

Number of Fatalities: 9

Median Salary: $35,210

Occupation Group: Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

Total Occupation Fatalities: 53

Prev Next

#19

Commercial Pilots

Number of Fatalities: 9

Median Salary: $73,280

Occupation Group: Transportation and material moving occupations

Total Occupation Fatalities: 167

Note: Category includes those who pilot and navigate the flight of fixed-wing aircraft on nonscheduled air carrier routes, or helicopters. Requires Commercial Pilot certificate. Includes charter pilots with similar certification, and air ambulance and air tour pilots. Excludes regional, National, and international airline pilots.

Prev Next

#18

Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators

Number of Fatalities: 9

Median Salary: $30,220

Occupation Group: Transportation and material moving occupations

Total Occupation Fatalities: 167

Prev Next

#17

Janitors and Cleaners (Excluding Maids and Housekeepers)

Number of Fatalities: 10

Median Salary: $22,320

Occupation Group: Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations

Total Occupation Fatalities: 52

Prev Next

#16

Electricians

Number of Fatalities: 10

Median Salary: $49,840

Occupation Group: Construction and extraction occupations

Total Occupation Fatalities: 129

Prev Next

#15

Firefighters

Number of Fatalities: 12

Median Salary: $45,250

Occupation Group: Protective service occupations

Total Occupation Fatalities: 48

Prev Next

#14

Fallers

Number of Fatalities: 12

Median Salary: $35,250

Occupation Group: Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

Total Occupation Fatalities: 64

Note: Fallers use axes or chainsaws to fell trees using knowledge of tree characteristics and cutting techniques to control direction of fall and minimize tree damage.

Prev Next

#13

Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics

Number of Fatalities: 12

Median Salary: $36,610

Occupation Group: Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

Total Occupation Fatalities: 53

Prev Next

#12

Taxi Drivers and Chauffeurs

Number of Fatalities: 12

Median Salary: $22,820

Occupation Group: Transportation and material moving occupations

Total Occupation Fatalities: 167

Prev Next

#11

Painters, Construction and Maintenance

Number of Fatalities: 13

Median Salary: $35,190

Occupation Group: Construction and extraction occupations

Total Occupation Fatalities: 129

Prev Next

#10

Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers (By Hand)

Number of Fatalities:15

Median Salary: $23,890

Occupation Group: Transportation and material moving occupations

Total Occupation Fatalities: 167

Prev Next

#9

Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers

Number of Fatalities: 16

Median Salary: $55,270

Occupation Group: Protective service occupations

Total Occupation Fatalities: 48

Prev Next

#8

Tree Trimmers and Pruners

Number of Fatalities: 16

Median Salary: $32,310

Occupation Group: Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations

Total Occupation Fatalities: 52

Prev Next

#7

Landscaping and Groundskeeping Workers

Number of Fatalities: 18

Median Salary: $23,570

Occupation Group: Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations

Total Occupation Fatalities: 52

Prev Next

#6

Light Truck or Delivery Services Drivers

Number of Fatalities: 18

Median Salary: $29,390

Occupation Group: Transportation and material moving occupations

Total Occupation Fatalities: 167

Prev Next

#5

First-Line Supervisors of Construction and Extraction Workers

Number of Fatalities: 22

Median Salary: $59,700

Occupation Group: Construction and extraction occupations

Total Occupation Fatalities: 129

Prev Next

#4

Carpenters

Number of Fatalities: 24

Median Salary: $39,940

Occupation Group: Construction and extraction occupations

Total Occupation Fatalities: 129

Prev Next

#3

Construction Laborers

Number of Fatalities: 26

Median Salary: $29,990

Occupation Group: Construction and extraction occupations

Total Occupation Fatalities: 129

Prev Next

#2

Fishers and Related Fishing Workers

Number of Fatalities: 34

Median Salary: $33,430

Occupation Group: Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

Total Occupation Fatalities: 64

Prev Next

#1

Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers

Number of Fatalities: 59

Median Salary: $38,200

Occupation Group: Transportation and material moving occupations

Total Occupation Fatalities: 167

 
 

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Comments:

A video has just surfaced in which the newly minted conservative hero the "Duck Man" Phil Robertson offers more harsh comments about all gay folks (many of whom are fighting for our country right now in the middle-east) . In the video, Robertson says that Gay folks will receive the "due penalty for their perversions." He goes on to say that they are full of "murder, envy, strife, hatred. They are insolent, arrogant, god-haters. They are heartless. They are faithless. They are senseless. They are ruthless. They invent ways of doing evil."
But he is not judging them..... Remember that...LOL
The "TOLERANT" right proves their true selves again.

Robertson is still "free" to go repeat himself on Fox News and all the other professional victim outlets that the right-wing rubes are so enamored with. We all know how conservative rubes just love to play the "victim card".

Comment #1 by Sammy Arizona on 2014 02 15

I like this one. Feeling like a victim can be demoralizing.

Hey Sammy, not only is your comment irrelevant to today's topic, but it is an exact copy of what you wrote one month ago. Got any new material?

You know, something other than trying to paint Phil Robertson as irrationally homophobic, and then suggest that mainstream conservatives agree with everything he says....when all conservatives REALLY did during that controversy was stand up AGAINST political correctness, and stand up FOR free speech.

Nice try, toolbox.

Comment #2 by Bryan Sullivan on 2014 02 15

ha! Thank you, Bryan. I was thinking the same thing. I knew Sammy's comment sounded familiar.

Sammy, there are so many things wrong with what you wrote. First off, you pretended as if it was an original thought. Loser.

Second, that video shows Robertson almost directly quoting a New Testament passage, and the context is sort of hazy. It's probably that Robertson is referring to all sinners, not just homosexuals in that clip.

Third, no conservative/religious person ever claimed not to "judge" anyone. Of course human beings make judgments. Why do you think you've discovered some sort of damning hypocrisy??

Fourth, as Bryan pointed out, even if Robertson's views on homosexuality prove to be extreme, conservatives weren't sticking up for him based upon his views. But, rather, his right to express himself without losing his job!

The left-wing fascists were at it again during the Duck Dynasty controversy.

What a revisionist liar you are, Sammy. Or maybe you just can't grasp simple concepts...? Which would explain why you failed to respond to what this article actually talks about.

Comment #3 by Jeremy Soninjer on 2014 02 15

LOL. Sammy, just give up. Liberalism is for animals.

Comment #4 by Bryan Sullivan on 2014 02 15

I like Sammy.

He always comes up with something that's a stretch/irrelevant/off topic. But he is entertaining and always generously provides insight into the liberal mindset.

Comment #5 by Art West on 2014 02 15

The next time you whine about Obamacare, remind yourself that victimhood is in the eye of the beholder. Or perhaps familiarize yourself with Kansas House bill No. 2453.

Without (overly) belittling your Ayn Rand (conservative playbook) quotation, I will only say that Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, James Madison, etc. would vigorously disagree with her assertions.

Comment #6 by John Onamas on 2014 02 17

Am I the only one who has no idea what John is trying to say?

John, stop being so coy (read: Annoying). We're all willing to listen. Just tell us what the Kansas bill is. Just tell us what Hobbes, Locke, and Madison said.

Something tells me you're just full of shit. We'll see.

Comment #7 by Bryan Sullivan on 2014 02 18

Why does this simpleton Travis continuously make either/or arguments? The world is grey, problems are grey, reality is grey, and solutions are grey. Grey is the color of hope.

Comment #8 by bill bentley on 2014 02 18

Kansas House Bill 2453 explicitly protects religious individuals, groups and businesses that refuse services to same-sex couples. This bill would have allowed a group of Americans to be treated as second class citizens. If you don't like gays, supposedly for religious reasons, you would have the right to refuse service at the lunch counter you own. Sound familiar? The purported reasoning behind the bill: tyranny by gays against religious-minded people. In other words, poor me, the gays are victimizing me. Thankfully, it was shot down in the Kansas Senate yesterday.

As for Obamacare--poor me, I have to lay off workers. Poor me, I have to cut workers to part time. Poor me--I have to do this to maintain profits. Poor me, Obamacare is against my ideology. The law is more than flawed, but the way to fix it is to stop whining and playing the victim and win some elections.

Hobbes, Locke, and Madison all believed in the necessity of a strong centralized government. More to the point, followers of Ayn Rand remind me of devotees of L. Ron Hubbard. Sorry, you just can't be taken seriously.

I wasn't being coy. I assumed a basic level of curiosity or knowledge of the issues would lead you to the right conclusions or to a Google search. My apologies for my mistake.

Comment #9 by John Onamas on 2014 02 18

Thanks, John. That was better. I guess I'll respond one-by-one:

Kansas: Not sure what point you're making. Rowley is saying that the victim mindset is destructive. So, it sounds like maybe you agree on that point...? "Oh poor me" ... "Stop whining" ... Also, remember that Rowley admitted that victims actually do exist. And there have been instances where gay couples have forced people to participate in gay wedding ceremonies. I'm assuming the Kansas legislation is in response to those occurrences.

Obamacare: Your "poor me" seems to be directed toward business owners. You want them to "stop whining." But I'm pretty sure the opponents of Obamacare are more concerned for the millions of workers who are suffering under the law. The actual VICTIMS of the law. You can call the arguments against Obamacare "whining" all you want. But what would you have people do? Not speak up when reckless pieces of legislation are thrust upon them? That was just weird.

Hobbes, Locke, and Madison: It doesn't matter what these three may or may not have thought about a central govt. Ayn Rand's description of the American system is accurate. That was the point. Not sure how you missed that.

Comment #10 by Bryan Sullivan on 2014 02 19




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