I've long wondered at the skewed thinking of those who defend the indefensible. People who look at criminals, and plead for the law-abiding to understand their crimes, even give them a special degree of mercy. People who see the bums on the street (to use the old term), and, insteading of focusing on the bad decisions that landed them on the street, decry the "heartlessness" of those who won't let them keep their "lifestyle", and even subsidize it.
Life in America is much the same as buying a lotto ticket. Just because we have an equal opportunity does not mean that we are automatically entitled to win.
Freedom and personal liberty does not include all behaviors and ideologies, it never did and it never will. We have prisons full of people who would love equal status in society. But their behaviors were deemed unequal, undeserving of equal status. Judgments were made, distinctions were drawn and they have been discriminately singled out as undesirable for society, by society.
There’s not a person on earth who does not discriminate, make judgments, choices or distinctions. Every person has some idea of right and wrong. But not all agree on what falls into which category. Here lies the division…and the never ending debate.
The problem is, in old school farmer’s lingo, “pigs don’t know that pigs stink”. Criminals think everyone is a criminal. Therefore, they don’t understand why they are singled out. Liar’s believe that everybody lies, therefore, they feel unfairly singled out when they get caught.
I've found that thinking in many of the students I have taught. You catch them doing something, and they immediately start whining about how you're picking on them. According to them, anything they do that you might object to, on the grounds that it's disruptive of education or against school rules, is no big deal. You're just out to get them personally. You couldn't be calling their attention to the behavior because it's wrong, but because you just hate them.
It's a victim mentality, that believes they're not doing anything wrong, or different than everybody else, and, therefore, whether it's against some rule or student code is beside the point.
It's the same victim mentality that says they deserve a decent grade, regardless of effort. If they fail, it's because the world is out to get them. For no reason whatsoever. When Asian or White kids get superior grades, it's because the teachers are prejudiced in their favor, not because of the meaningless things the students do, like homework, classwork, and studying.
I'm going to start calling the mentality of those who believe that all students, regardless of their willingness to work, should graduate from high school, the "Lotto for All" thinking.
As for equal economic opportunity. Everyone should have an equal right to buy the lotto ticket and best I can tell we do. But does that mean that everyone who buys a ticket is entitled to win, or that everyone will? Should the one who does win be forced to share the spoils with everyone who bought a ticket but didn’t win?
We all start out the same, equal in God’s eye’s and under American law, naked, unable to feed ourselves and flat broke. But we live in America, so we all have a lotto ticket, so-to-speak.
You might say that different environments unfairly alter the playing field, giving one a leg up while another a road block to cashing in their ticket. But I can show you people raised in a terrible environment who have succeeded as a result, as well as people born with a silver spoon who have failed as result.
Equal opportunity does not mean we all have equal drive, talents, determination or willingness to sacrifice, or that we all even want the same things or define success in the same terms. Even when we do, we don’t always achieve the same results and nobody said we would.