Thursday, May 8, 2014

Obamacare vs. the Common Core: GOP Flunks on Priorities

Would you be okay with your 4th grader learning how to masturbate from his school textbook? Would you think it’s a good idea to teach kids that the correct answer to 72+81 is 150, not 153? What about cutting Tom Sawyer from the curriculum, and replacing it with articles about the imminent dangers of man-made global warming? Do you look forward to the day your teacher informs you your kid has been held back, because he just “isn’t getting” the coursework?

With the passing of the Obamacare enrollment deadline last month, Republicans have sunk their teeth even deeper into the disastrous healthcare exchange, tearing to shreds the broken promises and misleading enrollment numbers from talk radio, to Fox News, to the blogosphere.

It's pretty clear that the GOP is flunking Political Priorities 101.

It's one thing to encumber an adult's ability to buy affordable healthcare coverage; it's another to target children, America's future, with the most damaging and far-reaching education policy ever to be implemented on a national scale: the Common Core, an exhaustive set of allegedly "rigorous" K-12 education standards aiming to make graduates "college and career ready".

Common Core is one of the real and present dangers our nation faces, economically, politically, and culturally. But the Republican Party, as usual, is trying to ice the bruises and bandage the cuts from a botched Obamacare rollout when the patient is experiencing the rapid and ravaging spread of a cancer we should have diagnosed years ago.

The Common Core was initially introduced to us as a set of "rigorous standards", applicable to mathematics and the literary arts, that will prepare our children for competition in a global economy, providing a uniform academic standard of measurement for every public school in the country. They claimed they were "internationally benchmarked" and would make our K-12 students "career and college ready".

The results have been far from what we were promised, but neither this or the fact that not a single educator approved the final standards hasn't stopped Bill Gates from expressing strong support for the admirable cause Common Core espouses to serve, giving $200 million to fund the efforts of bureaucrats from various Big Ed institutions, including the Department of Education, Achieve Inc., and the Council of Chief State School Officers, to craft the set of standards.

In 2011, 45 states quietly adopted Common Core standards through the National Governor's Association, and the mainstream media didn't catch so much as a whiff of a story.

But the standards merely laid the foundation for the developing shift in standardized testing, and a hugely consequential "curricula shift" that is at once radically incompetent, and competently radical.

While the use of a uniform set of content for educators has not been mandated for Common Core, the textbook companies have already shifted to producing course material aligned with the standards, targeting their sales to capture as much of the federal subsidies states received under the Race to the Top initiative as possible, which, in wake of the recession, they eagerly accepted in exchange for signing on to Common Core.

The result is a curricula market that is flooded with Common Core material tailored to meet the extensive set of standards, making alternative course material difficult to find and more expensive. It's infected the bloodstream of American education, and every public school, every cell, will manifest the consequences.
Take note that Common Core shares this in common with Obamacare: they aren't top-down mandates per se, but a steadily and increasingly limited range of choices. If you like your textbook, you can keep your textbook... until you can't.

Welcome to the new educational paradigm; the shift is nearly complete.

Although the battle against this disease seems like a losing one at the moment, we have the technology to at least track its symptoms as it spreads. The internet is one of society's most effective tools, and you can find copious parent and teacher testimonies on YouTube regarding the negative content and deeply leftist approach in the K-12 textbooks, including demonstrations of social justice themes and lessons for 1st graders on how to use "emotional words" to provoke anger or sadness in their readers to get them to do what they want, which not only teach children to manipulate people on an emotional level, but stunt their rational thinking and their ability to empathize.

There's a heavy sexuality component to the "health-related" coursework as well, aligned with the National Sexuality Educational Standards and spanning grades as low as 2nd grade up through high school. The standards for the elementary grades focus heavily on sexual orientation and "how to recognize different family structures", even how to argue for their value (you can guess what "family structure" means here). Planned Parenthood is seeking to get into the textbook industry as well, providing children as young as 2nd grade with graphic illustrations of masturbation.

Not all this content is mandated by federal law, but Common Core has yanked open the door, previously left ajar, to full-blown indoctrination and re-education.

In mathematics, where the majority of students already struggle, the designers of the Common Core Standards have taken a most unscientific, uneducated, and unprecedented approach to teaching math. Commentators are cracking a lot of jokes about the "right is wrong" nature of the Common Core math curricula, where 3x4 can equal 11, "estimative math" is encouraged, and the answer to 7x6 isn't "42"--it's 42 circles drawn on the page, but it really isn't that funny.

Multiple psychologists have criticized the radically incompetent, damaging and stress-inducing standards placed on children whose brains can't fully comprehend what's being asked of them, but instead are trained on the right answers in order to pass their tests. For instance, one of the uniform K-12 math standards is to "reason abstractly and quantitatively", and one of the kindergarten standards asks 5 year olds to "fluently add and subtract within 5", despite the fact that anyone who's ever spoken with a 5 year old knows that the former is impossible, and the latter will take massive amounts of class time to train on.
Psychologist Dr. Megan Koshnik asserted that to teach by these standards, teachers "would have to wear the hat of a magician".

Without a solid foundation of concrete understanding, they'll have to learn all over again in the upper grades, or even be held back.

Graduation won’t be the joyous occasion your teenager hoped for, as he contemplates the choices left for him without the skills needed for college STEM classes; he may be incapable of even gaining entrance into the selective institutions of higher education. High school will be spent learning all the basic qualitative skills they should have mastered in the lower grades, and freshman year at college will be spent learning all the math and science competencies they should have gained in high school—only these classes are much more expensive.

At the same time that we're pushing advanced concepts on immature brains of elementary school, the level of "rigor" we should expect from high schoolers simply doesn't exist. Do they read the classics? No, though they might read a few pages from each, and maybe Mark Twain's "Jumping Frog".

In a competently radical fashion, Common Core requires a 50-50 split between literature and informational works, increasing to 70% by 12th grade. Going back to the themes of social justice, this required space for non-fiction texts is the perfect platform for activist education, for taking up even more of a students brain space with anti-American sentiments, the positive societal impact of 99% movement, and the imminent dangers of climate change. Not only that, but as a Hillsdale professor illustrated, this is destroying any creativity of thought or imagination that might have survived the previous 9 years of dictatorial classroom training.

So you've gotten just a glimpse of Common Core's threat to public K-12 education. You'd think the direct impact of Common Core would cease when the grads throw their caps, but the cancer has reached beyond the involuntary organs to infect the higher functions, our education's voluntary institutions of higher learning.
The SAT and ACT have already reformed their tests to align with the Common Core standards. That means not only that universities will be basing entrance evaluations off exams that aren't meant to test college readiness, but rather the results of Common Core education, but that private and homeschooled students will be at a disadvantage going into it, not having the same base knowledge or skills (if you can call them that) as the public school student.

The many emotions that course through me when I think of Common Core are overwhelming, at once a burning rage and an ice cold fear.

As someone who was homeschooled and then graduated college two years early, I am severely disappointed that even fewer people will have the kind of opportunity a rigorous education provides. I'm despondent over the fact that if your kid doesn't have a brain exactly wired to be receptive to Common Core methodology, they'll likely be labeled as defective or remedial learners, just because they learn differently.

The thought that some of the world's most brilliant minds will go unrecognized and dis-incentivized in a classroom that stifles independent thought and creativity crushes my spirit. They will likely never know or reach their potential, all because some bureaucrats thought they knew how to teach your kids better than you or their teacher can.

As a future mother, I am outraged on behalf of the kids I will someday have, whose futures I'm seeking to protect. What future am I preparing them for, if I remain speechless and compliant?

And as an American, I have a much deeper and more intense fear of Common Core's effect on our country than I do of Obama's limitations on health insurance and incompetently run healthcare exchange.

Common Core is not just putting "health" and education in the iron grasp of government bureaucrats. It is putting your children's future, and their children's future, under the watchful gaze and manipulative hands of a radical elite aimed at indoctrination and social control. And the thing is, the next generation won't have the intellectual capability, much less the freedom, to fight back.

It's past time Republicans wise up and reassess their priorities. Your biggest threat is not the most visible, the surface wounds from the Affordable Care Act; it is the disease that's spreading rapidly, almost unhindered, through the our education system. It's Common Core, and competent radicals will not yield to an opposition that doesn't take the fight to them.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

76% of Americans Live Paycheck to Paycheck and the Left Wants to Boost Minimum Wage. SHOCKER.

Every once in a while I'll see a report on cable news, the radio, or some other medium, telling me that most Americans live paycheck to paycheck. CNN just reported that 76% of Americans don't have enough savings to cover major life upsets, such as a health emergency or getting laid off.

That's not a comforting statistic, especially with health plans dropping all over the place thanks to Obamacare. The fact that the great majority of Americans "live paycheck to paycheck" is a zinger of a one-liner for pro minimum-wage-hikers, because after all, everyone should feel secure, right?, for instance, has this to say about the matter:
Bonuses allotted by firms on Wall Street in 2013 could “cover the cost of more than doubling the paychecks for all of the 1,085,000 Americans who work full-time at the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.” Even more alarming is the reality that millions of Americans are still living paycheck to paycheck. And while President Obama has signed an executive order raising the minimum wage for employees under federal contracts to $10.10 an hour, Congress continues to drag its feet on wage increases nationwide.
While it may pluck the heart-strings of other liberals in that 76% percent and benevolent billionaire leftists, it is simply exasperating to responsible earners like my husband and me.

I'll explain why, to the dramatic tune of the world's tiniest violin.

As a general rule, at least in Western societies, people spend what they earn. When you get a pay bump, so does your lifestyle. It's almost automatic, and I've experienced it myself. Before you've realized the trap you've fallen into, you have a financed 2012 Honda Civic in your parking spot, an Xbox One, and $50 spent eating out every weekend, and $26k in student debt (personal example).

America really does have a luxurious middle class that spends more time consuming than they do producing, and often spend even more than what they make. You might be reading this post on your iPhone 5, or glancing through it while simultaneously watching cable on your 42" flat screen TV. You're probably sitting on cushy retail furniture.

Even below the poverty line, the majority of households don't go without the standard "essentials" of modern living, including TVs, cell phones, microwaves, washers and dryers, and even air conditioning. Just under 30% have gaming systems, 33% have flatscreen TVs, and 63% have cable. And as for healthcare, the supposed trump card for government involvement on behalf of the poor--only 13% of poor families reported not being able to afford medical attention at any point during the year (2009).

In other words, the fact that most Americans live paycheck to paycheck means that people usually have what they need, and more.

Mr. Money Mustache (I know, strange name), an extremely popular personal finance blogger and early retiree, shows through a case study that even minimum wage earners can get out of their debt
and spending cycles and starting building security by reforming their spending habits (yes, even in the city!). Actually, by implementing some of his strategies, my husband and I are about $300 a month away from being able to live off one income.

Nevertheless, the typical American seems widely unaware of his potential, and continues to consume the entire value of his labor...and that would be fine, if Life didn't happen. But as Michelle Obama incessantly reminds us, Life does happen. Maybe you fall off a bar stool and break your arm, or crash your uninsured car...or blow up your kitchen trying to make hash oil (congrats, Seattle). Life can sting like a Washingtonian sunburn in June. We can agree on that.

What we can't agree on, however, is how to address America's vulnerability to financial crises. Liberals say America "needs a raise", and are pushing for a higher minimum wage.

Conservatives disagree, but is a politician really expected to look straight into the camera and assert that no, we don't need a raise, and that we personally should stop consuming so much and start building some savings? That guy is definitely not the Man with the Plan.

And unfortunately, it seems that the general public does want some sort of plan from government to help ensure their general security.

The messaging from the Right seems less than robust in this regard, at least in Seattle, and as a result we come out looking like the wary watch dogs of corporate interests, not the defenders of liberty and opportunity. "Minimum wage kills jobs" is not a particularly persuasive response to low wage workers, especially since it is so difficult to prove (how do you prove that a job would have been created under different circumstances?) meaning the Left can flat out deny the economic costs again and again.

I'm no political mastermind, but if an Independent were to ask me, "What would YOU do about the fact that Americans live paycheck to paycheck?" I would drive home a message of empowerment, maximizing opportunity and earning potential through a thriving economy that welcomes new businesses and new ideas to improve our quality of life, and ultimately reduce the cost of living.

 I'd throw in some practical policy rhetoric, but just enough to pique their interest and let them know we have practical solutions, like tax-free health savings or emergency accounts and letting you buy the insurance plan that fits your budget.

I'd say we aim to make life easier and more simple for everyone, and let you make your own decisions on what you should put away... and if you're really barely scraping by, encouraging workers to demand higher wages or find someone who will pay them more. If I were a local statesman, I might even add a line or two about mandating Personal Finance classes for public high schools.

This is precisely the opposite of the liberal messaging, but it's just as appealing, if not more so. Liberals aim at benefiting a tiny portion of the population, while conservatives want to expand opportunity for everyone. Liberals don't have a plan to truly increase opportunity, only a plan to privilege a few by mandating that opportunity be given to them at someone else's expense--the opposite of their own messaging.

And while the Right is fighting for you to keep what you earn, the Left chips away at your take-home pay with taxes and withholdings, and increases your living expenses with countless levies, tolls, tabs, and costs passed on to you from businesses--all while assuring they're keeping you safe.

Most Americans live paycheck to paycheck, and most do it by choice. But there is something we can do about it after all, if you take into consideration the way liberals are quietly robbing you of your ability to use your income when you need it. Conservatives want you to have the freedom to negotiate your own employment terms, and do whatever you want with your income...doesn't that sound appealing?

So while this 76% statistic is annoying and misleading, I am all for letting my fellow citizens consume, save, and give however they want. The individuals who brandish this statistic as a weapon of class warfare want the opposite.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Identity Politics II: I Discuss a Liberal Response to "How the Left Wins on Gay Rights"

On the evening I posted Identity Politics: How the Left Wins on Gay Rights, I received an opposition response on Facebook from a friend of a more liberal bend. Here is the response in its entirety. Nothing has been edited or removed:

Interesting points, Georgi. My two cents from the other side of the fence:
On your first point, on the liberal's broad generalization and categorizing as a political tool: I find this perspective interesting. I see what you are saying, but I disagree. I find that the left's success in representing minority groups is actually that, while they do seek to define them initially (as I believe you must do in broad scale politics, on either side of the table), they're interested in bringing them into the fold. In other words, I think many people see the left as inclusive, and the right as exclusive. The left accomplishes this, in part, by touting the "your minority *doesn't* define you. You deserve to be treated like everyone else." mantra.

This shifts into your last point, the creation of a victim group. I frankly find this portrayal to be insensitive, and invalidating to the members of minority groups. Rather or not it is your belief, your wording to me sounds like the many issues facing minority groups are simply political construction, and not the living reality of many people. The left is more successful than the right at treating these groups inclusively, often using their very real victimization as a political tool. But they do not create victims, and why would they? They certainly don't need to. There are plenty of disadvantaged people in the world.

Additionally, your last point seems contradictory to your earlier ones. When you discuss the gay sports players, and talk about how the right wasn't concerned with them because their sexuality has nothing to do with their ability as players, this seems to be the attitude you accuse the left of earlier. The right is only concerned with these people as one thing, sports players, and does not consider them holistically as people. The left however, takes advantage of the situation, acknowledging that these young men made a difficult choice in coming out, and taking the chance to celebrate that fact.

Lastly, while the left may be accused of resting overly on the disadvantages of minority groups, the right has the opposite issue: Not acknowledging that things like the sexuality, class, skin color, and sex you are born to have a drastic effect on your ability to live: safely, comfortably, or in some cases at all. Some people are born into better circumstances than others, and it's the responsibility of those of us who are in that position of privilege to help and champion others who are less fortunate.

Dear Friend,

Let me start out my saying that I believe you are truly compassionate and interested in doing what you think is right for people in general. For that reason, and that identity politics is part of the core dialogue between the Left and the Right, your comment deserves a response. I don't expect it to persuade hard-core liberals, or even you, but it should at least provide more clarity for those who aren't 100% persuaded for or against my argument.

Your response to my initial first point, about liberals dividing the population into broad demographical categories, was this, "I find that the left's success in representing minority groups is actually that, while they do seek to define them initially (as I believe you must do in broad scale politics, on either side of the table), they're interested in bringing them into the fold. In other words, I think many people see the left as inclusive, and the right as exclusive".

Well, you're partially right. Many people do see the Right as exclusive, and the Left as inclusive and trying to bring minorities into the fold. However, whether you means to convey it or not, this is an ad populum fallacy, and it only holds up under the critique of those who believe that perception and consensus is the both the ends and the means.

What's funny about this claim to Inclusiveness, which is supposed to give liberalism the moral high ground, is that while conservatives may not center policy debate around people's ethnicity like liberals do, liberals have their own sets of people that they go out of their way to exclude from debate, target, or deny protection to.

Here are a few:
  • Religious minorities. Anyone who pays attention to the products that come out of Hollywood, or hears Chris Matthews or Nancy Pelosi talk, knows this is true. In fact, the far-left is bent on destroying these groups.
  • Educational minorities. The Left would see homeschooling banned tomorrow if they could, which is why these individuals rely on the HSLDA to protect them from anti-home education policies.
  • Fathers: when dysfunctional parents go to court, it's almost always the father that gets shafted in custody battles. Liberals heavily favor mothers, regardless of whether the father is better fit to raise the child.
  • Small business people & employers: People motivated by profit are consistently excluded from the liberal agenda.
  • The unborn: Need we even discuss how the left has neglected the most vulnerable among us?

As for "seeking to define them initially", I understand what you're getting at regarding having to define people broadly, since you have to have words in order to talk about things, or in this case, people. However, the argument that I made in my previous post was that liberals go beyond simply talking about people in general terms, to actively seeking to represent people through a single defining descriptor, in large categorical blocks. (i.e. gay, black, Latino, etc.). For instance, instead of talking about America, as a liberal I'm more likely to talk about Hispanic America, Black America, and White America, as if somehow there's a critical difference among these ethnicities that has to be reflected in policy in order for us to be a fair and just society . The Left has succeeded in having ethnicity be reflected in policy, beyond making sure that we are all equal under the law (Affirmative Action, for instance). Social Justice is all about grouping people and treating each group differently.

When you say that liberals seek to tell minorities, "your minority doesn't define you; you deserve to be treated like everyone else", this might be consistent with certain strains of "academic liberalism", which is the pleasant and seemingly benign kind that children are taught in school. The kind that everyone should agree with, in theory. However, when you enter political dialogue and policy application, this simply isn't true.

When Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor got up to discuss minority activism, that certainly wasn't the case when she said, "'I'm very optimistic about the power of minorities to change the dialogue (not just activists or good people).. Money was the obstacle to women and minorities in government. We [minorities] are going to have to work the political system at the highest level." As if Latino or African American students have a particular obligation, simply because of their ethnicity, to make certain kinds of political efforts.

So I would ask anyone to show me where I can find this broadly used rhetoric about how "your minority doesn't define you" among Democrat politicians and community organizers, because that simply has not been my experience.

As for the second point of the response: "I frankly find this portrayal [of a victim group] to be insensitive, and invalidating to the members of minority groups. Rather [sic] or not it is your belief, your wording to me sounds like the many issues facing minority groups are simply political construction, and not the living reality of many people."

It certainly was not my intent to convey that all issues facing minorities are a fictitious, and if you read any of my other writings, you won't find any evidence in support of this. Rather, what I was articulating in my first post was that liberals generate a victim mentality within an entire group, instead of focusing on the actions of specific individuals who would harm or hold back anyone simply because of their minority status, or directly address the economic issues that heavily affect certain minorities.

The left frequently manipulates minority categories on a demographic level, taking any specific instances of homosexuals coming out, or minority individuals being introduced on the political stage, as opportunities to portray whole groups of people as victims, and whole groups of people (always conservatives) as persecutors. Liberals make poor generalizations from the specific to the group level, because they so strongly tend to view people in groups, not as individuals.

If you acknowledge this, it isn't surprising to see the Diversity Coordinator of South Sound Community College publicly defend an invitation to a "diversity happy hour" that explicitly excluded whites from attending... because white people as a general rule are so racist as to make minorities feel uncomfortable sharing their beliefs about diversity. Or take the ACLU's lawsuit against the City of Yakima on the ground that the Latino ethnicity doesn't have any representation on the "all-white" city council... therefore the city council must be treating Hispanics unequally.

You continue: "But [liberals] do not create victims, and why would they? They certainly don't need to. There are plenty of disadvantaged people in the world."

Yes, there are many disadvantaged and persecuted people in the world. That's precisely where the great hypocrisy of applied liberalism comes to bear, because the most disadvantaged among us are refused protection from by the Left. It's nearly impossible to find common ground with a liberal on the abortion debate, but you cannot deny that the rights of the unborn are not completely neglected by the Left.

If we look internationally, we see terrible human suffering: religious persecution, ethnic hatred, oppression of women... and yet the Left is very selective when it comes to which victims they call attention to, give money to, or work through policy to protect. I think liberals and conservatives are guilty of this to some degree, but the Left in particular seems extraordinarily willing to poor precious resources into fighting a non-existent anti-gay bill, or for "women's right to choose", than they are for the rights of women to be educated in Saudi Arabia.

...More willing to stand on the Senate floor all night to lament the imaginary impact of man-made global warming than to work on providing clean drinking water to underdeveloped regions...

...More concerned with Palestinians' right to settle in historic Jewish land and call it their own than for the right of Israel to have even their existence acknowledged...

...More interested in the righteousness of suing a Catholic school for discrimination against a homosexual than in the Constitutional right of religious people to freely express and defend their convictions...

...More provoked to publicly defend the dignity of an barely legal porn star than to call for action against human sex trafficking, which in some US cities maintains a bigger black economy than the drug trade.

I don't lay these out because I revel in proving somebody wrong; indeed, I think you're probably much more aware of many of these issues than the general liberal population. I lay them out so that we can clearly see where resources are being spent and where attention is being drawn. If liberals devoted the same time to the latter issues as to the former, imagine what they could accomplish! Imagine what life and liberty could be preserved and restored!

With regard to the third point of your response: "When you discuss the gay sports players, and talk about how the right wasn't concerned with them because their sexuality has nothing to do with their ability as players, this seems to be the attitude you accuse the left of earlier. The right is only concerned with these people as one thing, sports players, and does not consider them holistically as people."

This brings an opportunity to elaborate on a point I didn't unpack in my last post, for the sake of brevity. And that is merit versus characteristic. If only reading that paragraph on the surface level, you could see how that statement might seem contradictory. I asserted that liberals are focusing with laser-like precision on NBA player Jason Collins' homosexuality, and I stated that conservatives are not that interested in Collins in general, because they tend to be more interested in sports than in athletes' sexuality. However, if Collins had been a particularly good basketball player, you might see a little more interest in, for example, how this announcement would affect his contracts, sponsorships, or team affiliation, if at all.

It should also be noted that, short of being real-life friends with Jason Collins, it's not reasonable to expect the general population to see Collins "holistically". We see him as an individual, not just a symbol of a larger societal category; however, the only sides you can really get of Collins from the mainstream media is his sexuality and his profession.

That brings us to the last paragraph of the response: "Lastly, while the left may be accused of resting overly on the disadvantages of minority groups, the right has the opposite issue: Not acknowledging that things like the sexuality, class, skin color, and sex you [sic] are born to have a drastic effect on your ability to live: safely, comfortably, or in some cases at all. Some people are born into better circumstances than others, and it's the responsibility of those of us who are in that position of privilege to help and champion others who are less fortunate."

So here we have the assertion that the Right has "the opposite issue", and do not acknowledge that race, class*, skin color, and sex have a "drastic effect" on not just your life, but your ability to live. Conservatives don't "acknowledge" this drastic effect because we don't believe it exists nearly to the same extent or is as widespread as liberals portray. This repeated assertion, not backed by a close examination of the evidence (see FBI crime reports, as far as safety is concerned), represents the victimhood foundation of liberalism.

The idea that conservatives are in denial of the effects of certain minority statuses again sets the Left on the moral high ground, and puts the Right in the swamps of ignorance and prejudice. This is always how the Left positions themselves, but it's not reality. If you set it up in absolutes, as in "this is reality, conservatives deny it, therefore conservatives are ignorant and bigoted", then liberalism will come out as the champion of minorities every time.

However, if you ask a conservative if the believe racism against African Americans and Hispanics exists in America, about 98% of them will say yes, but it represents a very small, lonely minority of the US population. If you ask her, "Does your gender affect your ability to live comfortably in America?" she will say no, because that is preposterous.

As far as a minority's ability to live comfortably (women are not a minority!), that's an extremely subjective statement that depends on a variety of factors. Certainly no minority is strictly confined to poverty, although it's true that a disproportionate percentage of racial minorities live below the poverty line as compared to whites. The Right and Left have differing ideas on how to lift these people out of poverty.

With regard to personal safety, any reasonably educated conservative will tell you that your ethnicity or sexual orientation could jeopardize your life itself in some parts of the world, but an instance of this kind of hate crime in comparison to all other violent crime in America is extremely rare. Note that out of total violent crime reported in 2012, only about .003%* were motivated by bias. In other words, as a minority you're much more likely to be a victim of anything other than minority bias.

All this to say, an individual's life experience is influenced by minority status, positively or negatively, and conservatives do not deny that. But in general, we believe that ethnic and sexual minorities in the United States enjoy a level of tolerance, opportunity, and quality of life that would be hard to exceed in any other country.

As for helping those who aren't born into better circumstances, I don't think anyone is denying it's importance or that it's the right thing to do. However, when we speak of "championing the disadvantaged", that's where the Left and the Right divide.

Conservatives want to champion freedom and the rights of the individual, rights that apply to everyone equally, regardless of minority status. We believe that freedom and unalienable rights are the foundation for prosperity and peace.

Liberals, on the other hand, have often taken the strategy of setting up a champion for each of the various categories of people in the belief that identity and degrees of privilege matter more than our God-given human rights. "Leveling the playing field" matters more than making sure everyone plays by the same rules.

Having a Congress ethnically and sexually proportional to the population matters more to the Left than electing people who are qualified to defend our life and liberty. Conservatives avoid the kind of tokenization approach that liberals take with their elected politicians, where minority status is often considered a qualification for leadership (Latina Sonia Sotomayor, for example).

I hope by now that the distinction between how the Right and the Left see people, and its tremendous impact on our culture and politics, is clear.

I appreciate that you provided a thoughtful and respectful counter response. Discussion of key issues is important, and I appreciate every one of my readers that comments, tweets, or shares my content. I give consideration to anyone who offers thoughtful and educated disagreements.

*Calculated by dividing the total number of violent crimes found in the FBI table by the total hate crimes against persons found on
*I don't consider class a "minority" status, because class, in America at least, is far from permanent--a social construct we use to talk about inequality, usually in divisive ways. Both poverty and wealth are states you can start in, fall into, or work your way into... Poverty can be overcome, and millions of people do it.