Individual Exceptionalism: It Doesn’t Take A Village

The last 100 years have been an amazing attack on the power of the individual.  If you have studied progressivism and read the words of people such as Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson, and the countless other progressives leading up to our current president, his staff with people like Hillary (who openly says she is a progressive) and the others that espouse this ideology, you cannot but marvel at the fact that they have been relentless in pursuing the progressive dream. We are now really starting to see the effects of it more than ever.

It started in the early 1900s with Roosevelt and then was taken further by Wilson.  The idea was that people could not successfully make their own choices and decisions about their lives and what they wanted, and that a select few or government could — and should — do it for them.

D.M. Lukas is a contributor to The Brenner Brief. His columns appear on Fridays.

D.M. Lukas is a contributor to The Brenner Brief. His columns appear on Fridays.

Prior to this happening, in the previous 100+ years the United States, just as the founders had sought, was the shining example of the power that is unleashed when individuals are free to pursue the life  they desired, unimpeded by government, monarchs and kings.  The United States, in its short existence, has created more prosperity for this world than the previous 5,000 years of all civilizations combined. Sadly, progressives — people with this flawed ideology that individuals are not good enough to take care of themselves or make the right decisions — started to creep in.  President Wilson, even before Hitler, was openly discussing eugenics and how to implement it in our society.  There were even forced sterilizations done by progressives to U.S. citizens in the 20s, most notably in California.  Progressives have done everything they can to erase these facts from history, and to hide who they really are from you. There are countless examples of things they have done that are much worse.  Obama continues to give us examples every day.  Whether it is the class warfare he espouses, the “you didn’t built that” comments, healthcare or circumventing the constitution through regulation by his agencies, he and his team are very much deciding what your life should be.

The worst thing that progressives have done in our society over the last 100 years is to do everything possible to break the spirit of the individual and make them part of a “collective society.”  They have succeeded on large levels.  They have made victims out of whole groups of citizens when they are not, and kept them down. Bob Costas is blaming guns for a man’s decision to take a gun and decide to kill someone with it. It is becoming very transparent in our society that there is no need for personal responsibility any longer.

The prevailing thought is becoming that if you have a problem, or you do not have what you want, it is someone else’s fault and not your own.  Failure is avoided at all costs when it should be celebrated and fostered. It has been proven throughout history that an individual grows the most from learning through their failures on the path to success.

The truth really is that there is no such thing as “collective salvation” or “it takes a village” because in the end — your salvation, your happiness, your success — everything is defined by you, not a government or ideology.  The founders knew this well.

The power of the individual is so much greater than any group identity or so-called class because an individual can truly accomplish anything they desire if they are committed and want it badly enough.  That is why “the collective” will never work. There will always be the human spirit wanting to break free and not be the same or stay on the same level as everyone else.  “Collective” societies have always failed because of this and because, many times, the people who are “breaking out” are the ones who lead the ideology in the first place and are doing it for less than notable intentions.  The fall of Rome, Greece, other ancient civilizations, Mao, Pol Pot, Stalin, Hitler, Castro, etc. are examples throughout history of what happens when the thirst for power, under the cover of collectivism, destroys a society.

Look around you at what our society has become.  Who takes responsibility any longer for their own actions?  It seems that the majority do not.  They justify, blame, and complain away their problems instead of attacking them head on and changing their lives for the better.  People gravitate toward playing the victim role when they are not actually victims.  This is because it is easier to do than face reality.   The founders knew this and that is why they gave us the right to life, liberty (freedom of choice, decision, action, etc.), and the pursuit of happiness — not guaranteed happiness.

Simply put, the opportunity is yours to go after and what you do with it is your choice, but there are always consequences to the choices we make.  Some will fail, some will succeed, and that is the way it will be.  The funny thing is that no matter what economic system exists (capitalism, communism, fascism, etc.), that principle always holds true.  It is just made harder or easier by what the government does to their citizens.

In order for the United States to continue to have its “American exceptionalism,” we must continue to foster and reignite individual exceptionalism.  It is only through each and every one of us as individuals going after our pursuit of happiness that we will stay the great nation that we have become.

We must do all we can to resurrect this belief in our society and foster it at every turn.  We must celebrate failure and learn from it.  We must strive to better ourselves and our fellow-man, and stop the victim mentality from prevailing in our society.

Take some time to reflect and think about how you can better unleash your individual exceptionalism and help others to do the same — and then, go do it.




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