Zero Sum Games

Well, at least white men still like him? Perhaps the same white members of the population who stick to Fox News and hate radio? Perhaps the same folks who have donned the trappings of victimhood and bemoaned their losses? This only works if freedom and civil rights are perceived as finite. The more I get the more you lose?

I suppose that this is possible if people spent hours each day bring bombarded by messages like ‘there’s a war on Christmas.’ The underlying idea is that Christians are under attack, no such thing of course is taking place or ever has. This is the classic examplar, but it does serve as a marker for the general image.

This in turn creates the underpinning for that zero sum game, and the associated double standard for how opposition is described. When women organize a march on Washington they’re indulging in a ‘tantrum’ but when tea bag adorned protesters descended on the District it was a grassroots movement — organized by Americans for Prosperity.

If women are guaranteed control of their own health care decisions this is characterized as anti-life, but when the government adopts a forced birth policy this somehow doesn’t violate their concept of personal liberty.

If African American home buyers are guaranteed that their financials will be evaluated under the same standards as those of white American home buyers, how does anyone lose?

If gay and lesbian couples are guaranteed the same benefits of marriage as straight couples, then how is the institution of marriage as a recognized contractual relationship not strengthened?

If police officers are better trained to adopt the best practices of community policing, then how are anyone’s rights diminished?

It is not by addressing ethnic and religious differences that we are divided, it’s because there’s truncated dialog that stops when the majority decides that discussion is a form of assault.

It is not by debating the merits of financial, educational, and economic reforms in terms of their impact on minorities, women, and working people that’s divisive, it’s when we don’t acknowledge the needs of others that we unsure of their commitment to our interests.

So, only when those trappings of imaginary victimhood are removed will the scales drop from the eyes. <rant>

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