There is an idea among college students on both sides of the political spectrum. It is the biggest danger to the young mind as all thoughts stream through the world-view filter before manifesting as beliefs. The idea—worldview, danger—upon us is that of entitlement.
“All men are created equal,” important enough of an idea to be writ into the Declaration of Independence. When first penned it wasn’t all-inclusive; slaves didn’t fit the bill.
Slavery has long since ended, however, and every American enjoys the full rights gifted to them by the Constitution.
So why do people, liberals especially, feel like they’re owed more? As Americans, we are entitled to what is given to us by the Constitution—not an inch further.
The feeling of entitlement springs from a higher self-image. Confidence in your own abilities and comfort in your own skin is not a bad thing—it’s when the self is viewed as a higher being than those around you that’s the problem.
While the threat of feeling superior to your fellow man is all-pervasive, it hides in plain sight on the liberal side of the spectrum: more liberals feel like they are owed something by the government than any other group.
The welfare program and free healthcare serve as fine examples of this phenomenon. According to rare.us, liberals are on average 40% or more likely to receive benefits from the government.
The most popular push for a handout among college students is a no-brainer: free college. Bernie Sanders once promised to provide free education and immediately won the 18-25 age vote.
What liberals can’t seem to fathom is the fact that it’s not free stuff—the money has to come from somewhere, and in the case of government handouts, it comes from fellow citizens. Entitlement is leading individuals to believe that everyone else should be the ones to take care of them.
Businesses earn the right to give away free stuff. Someone had an idea, came up with a product, figured out how to market it, structured their company, and lived the American Dream. They put in the hours and they reaped the benefits.
One day, they decide to give back by offering a free item. They worked hard to create their product, earned a profit, and celebrate how they see fit by sharing their creation with the masses.
Are you entitled to that food? Did you earn the right to that free hat? Of course not. You didn’t earn it, there was no work put in, debt was not owed to you. It was given to you as a gift by the person who earned the right to give it.
So why do some liberals think the government should give us things? They didn’t earn the right to spend other people’s money, either. Again, it’s the idea of me before you that is causing the problem.
This type of narcissism came from somewhere and goes hand-in-hand with entitlement. It had to be learned; an entire generation was taught to be entitled.
Blame does not reside in one spot, as it is up to the individual as to what sort of idealism they buy into. However, several sources can be identified in the form of pop culture and the baby boomer generation, otherwise known as the “Me Generation.”
Pop culture has pushed us into being materialists. Constant advertisement, reality shows, performers pandering to the young audience for money, all culminates in a society obsessed with themselves and the next best thing.
The baby boomers started the trend in the 1970’s with the self-fulfillment movement. They are now the ones running ad campaigns, making products, managing celebrities and businesses, and making movies.
We have been learning from what we watch and hear. Some of us are able to reject the nonsense, not buy into the crap—while others leap in, head first off the high dive.
The next generation—our younger siblings, our kids—are going to continue learning narcissism. It’s a vicious cycle. If the cycle isn’t broken, entitlement could be the downfall of America.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.