When someone steals a credit card, what’s the big deal? Yes, technically it is a crime; but really, it’s just a piece of plastic, isn’t it?
The theft of the card it what might be thought of as the “original” crime. In the sense of a chain of events, it is the use of the card by the thief which becomes the “ultimate” crime. This “ultimate” crime is the one with associated monetary costs. Costs for the card’s legal owner. Costs for the bank that issued the card. Costs for the merchant who believed that the credit card was being used by its proper owner. The theft of the credit card itself, while relatively minor, is merely a link in a chain of crimes leading to that “ultimate” theft.
Each and every one of us are victims of such an “ultimate” crime, which started with a seemingly much less consequential theft.
What was the original crime that resulted in us being robbed on a daily basis? Just what was it that these thieves stole?
Well, to be more accurate, the honest definitions of words. Look at the word entitlement, for example. As citizens, we are entitled to certain unalienable rights. There is no disagreement with this from anyone, regardless of their political viewpoint.
The thieves have stolen the definition of entitlement, in order to perpetrate larceny on the American public. Judging from the value of the theft, the term “grand larceny” appears a little pale. Bernie Madoff’s scheme, when graded in comparison with this theft, is about on a par with a crooked Three-Card Monte game on any sidewalk in New York. It would only be a misdemeanor.
This theft involves billions, if not trillions, of dollars. Welfare, AFDC, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, mortgage subsidies made via tax deductions for interest, subsidized mass transit… the list of government programs that are now considered entitlements seems endless. And yet why do we all accept the use of the word entitlement when the more accurate word would be charity? We accept it because the Liberal / Progressive / Democrats have decreed through their state controlled propaganda organs (meaning the main stream media and academia) that the word charity hurts the feelings of the recipients thereof. And the L/P/Ds are all about manipulating feelings, not appealing to logic. Mustn’t hurt anyone’s feelings, or they might not vote for us. Or so their thought processes go.
The L/P/Ds might have a point, though. Charity might actually be a poorly chosen word. After all, charity is voluntary. What is happening today is hardly voluntary. It is about as coercive as a large man pointing a gun at you while demanding your wallet. The fact that he politely says “Please, and let me be perfectly clear about how your money will be spent…” is immaterial.
Academia has spread this corruption of the language into the basic text that describes and defines language, namely the common, household dictionary. Of course words sometimes actually do alter their meanings over time. If you could compare the word computer as it appeared in a dictionary from 1940 to one published last week, you would see that the earlier definition for computer described people doing calculations, the latter obviously would describe a machine doing the same thing. This is the simply recognizing that the world and technology have changed, and that the language must reflect this.
There are other words, such as entitlement, where definitions have not been changed because the world has changed but have been changed purposely in order to change the world itself.
Regardless of any teleprompter glitches, L/P/D wishful thinking, or the current iteration of revisionist history, the Declaration of Independence clearly states that the rights to life, liberty and the (occasionally futile) pursuit of happiness were endowed to us by our Creator. Those are our unalienable rights. The Bill of Rights expanded these defined rights to include the freedom of speech and the press, freedom of assembly, freedom to choose one’s own religious beliefs and so on. These rights are also unalienable. We are entitled to them just by being in this country.
But starting at the beginning of the last century, L/P/Ds determined that these enumerated rights didn’t satisfy them. Why should we only have the right to pursue happiness? Why can’t we skip the pursue part, and go right to the happiness part? I’d be happy if I didn’t have to worry about setting something aside for a rainy day, for example. Presto! Unemployment compensation to the rescue. You are now entitled not to have to plan for a rainy day.
I’d be happy if I didn’t have to skip a vacation because the money went toward feeding my kids. Once again, let the magic happen. AFDC, Aid to Families with Dependent Children helps those folks jump over that pesky word pursue and go right to happiness. Now there is an alternative for parents that don’t want to deny their children, but also refuse to deny themselves. They are now entitled to have the rest of the country support their kids to a greater or lesser degree.
The same logic applies to public funding for college tuition, public subsidies for mass transit, deductions for mortgage interest, and on and on. Why should parents have to save for eighteen years for their kids? Why should it cost as much for a citizen in New York City (just to use an example) to get to work via subway as it does for someone in a rural area who finds himself obligated to buy, maintain and insure a car just to get to work? Why shouldn’t I get a break on my property taxes when apartment dwellers can’t? Today these things are all believed to be rights, and many people feel entitled to have the government (i.e., We the People…) pay for things to which they believe they have a right.
These beliefs are the result of L/P/D word theft. In many cases the definitions that were altered were not just for the words entitlement and rights, but the words duty and responsibility. Checking online at dictionary.com and its counterpart thesaurus, the word responsibility offers no definition that indicates pride or self-esteem in a job well done. For instance, the word responsibility is matched with the following synonyms: albatross, burden, constraint, encumbrance, liability and onus. This is hardly seems like a word that one would aspire to embody. Duty was also listed as a synonym for responsibility. When the word “duty” is coupled with words like “albatross” or “burden”, it seems hard to believe that Robert E. Lee could ever have said:
Duty is the most sublime word in our language. Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more. You should never do less.
There has always been a need for balance in governance, a tension between rights and entitlements versus duties and responsibilities. For the past century, L/P/Ds in government, the media and academia have worked to add gravitas to the rights and entitlements side of the scale, while simultaneously attempting, with significant success, to eliminate any importance at all to the words duty and responsibility on the other side.
The country’s preoccupation with rights and entitlements must be balanced by an equal recognition of the importance of duty and responsibility. This is not simply a matter of semantics. It is a matter of national survival. Absent duty and responsibility, there can only be a disastrous ending for America. When all that we have left are competing claims for entitlements, the result will be akin to a run on a bank where depositors are afraid that their deposits will be given to someone else. Unfortunately, those mobbing this entitlement bank will have never made a deposit.
This imbalance of entitlements versus responsibilities will not end as a battle between those who are fighting to restore our nation (but who are being portrayed as mean spirited and selfish) and those who wish to see it transformed into something similar to socialism or communism, or a dictatorship of the elites (who are invariably painted as generous and caring). Rather, it will end in a civil war among those who feel a strong sense of entitlement with absolutely no sense of responsibility. It will be fought over ever diminishing sources of wealth to feed their competing demands to be given what they have a right to provided for them and to which they are entitled.