We live in a fantastic country. It's true. Despite the many challenges the United States faces, despite our often heated debates and disagreements, there are few places in the world that provide the kind of openness and opportunity for its people that America does.
Even though we have the occasional riot over Free Speech, where a few deluded and ignorant children lash out violently, those seem to be aberrations. The United States is a country that provides freedom. That freedom is specially designed to allow an individual to chart their own course in life, their destiny if you will.
Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the right to bear arms are tenants meant to empower an American to live the life they see fit. Why is that so important? As Americans and by extension all Westerners, we might take for granted the amazing liberties granted to us. We might not understand that the Bill of Rights and the rest of our freedoms are about protecting our self-determination and self-reliance.
The American Way is built around individuals going out and staking a claim for themselves. Sure, we may have long left the era where we could literally stake out some ground to call home, but the principle is the same. Anyone can make a name for themselves in the pursuit of success, fame, notoriety, or simply to have a good job or career. But the necessary ingredient is a certain measure of personal will to make it happen.
That means a certain measure of personal responsibility. Freedom and responsibility also mean the chance of failing. If we want to make a life for ourselves, of course there will be times we fall flat on our faces. But every notable person in our history, the people who accomplished great things, had their setbacks, mistakes, and failures. It's a part of the process.
The difference between a successful person and a failure is the willingness to shoulder those mistakes and carry on regardless. I can talk at length about the many famous people who had their fair share of setbacks, but soldiered on. Steve Jobs was a millionaire before the age of thirty when he founded Apple Computers. But before a decade passed he was forced out of his own company. Jobs seemingly languished during the 90's; from the outside, he might have appeared as a has-been. But during that time he turned Pixar into a movie-making force, and even Apple begged for him to come back. We know the rest.
Jobs and every other successful person in American history understood the importance of taking advantage of every opportunity provided for them. The freedoms granted by our country are tools we can use to make something of ourselves, to shoot for higher goals, and leave our mark on the world.
Yet there are obstacles standing in our way; some of them very new and destructive. These obstacles can derail our chances at success, even our chances at a healthy, contented life.
I rail against liberalism, not because I hold a grudge against a political party. Truth be told, there are plenty of times I disagree even with Republicans and other conservatives. Yet the underlying agenda of the left is something every American should be concerned over.
In the past liberals fought for liberty, especially in ages where the working classes, minorities, and women were oppressed or denied basic rights. But that's not the goal of modern liberalism. It seems today's left is determined to create an entirely different kind of United States: a nanny state that dictates every aspect of our lives for us, from how we eat, what we wear, where we live, to how we acquire health care. Some even want to just give us paychecks, no work required.
While all the "free stuff" people like Uncle Bernie want to promise us sounds great, it comes at a cost. Nothing in life is free- and the things we cherish the most we have to work for. Just ask anyone in a happy marriage. It wasn't an accident that your grandparents were married 50+ years. They had their rough patches, but were determined to stick together. That meant hard works sometimes- also sacrifice, compromise, and taking responsibility for the things they said or did.
But today we live in a liberal culture that wants to put the responsibility on someone else. Social justice warriors point the finger at everyone but themselves. It's the white man's' fault. It's the patriarchy. It's the one percenters. It's "society" (that nebulous group everyone's a part of, until they want to blame it for something). It's everyone that isn't me.
It's remarkable how liberals want others to shoulder responsibility for society's problems, yet they are mysteriously unwilling to include themselves.
The real danger of the left's insistence that the federal government (or local or state) pay or provide basics we should be providing for ourselves is that it erases your will in charting your life. Do you really expect to preserve your freedoms when the government is providing your food, clothing, housing, paycheck, health care, and transportation? Freedom equals responsibility. That means letting go of the idea of blaming others for your problems and working to achieve something for yourself.
But this toxic idea of Socialism (Social Justice = Socialism) doesn't just extend to health care and the size of your soda drinks. Social justice warriors have conceived new, even more destructive ways of erasing your personal responsibility for your life. They have attacked the very fundamentals of what it means to better one's self. How? By embracing faults and vices that should be overcome.
The "body positivity" movement seems to mask itself in the idea of promoting self-esteem in people and eradicating negative stereotypes that are holding people back. They claim to create "freedom from suffocating societal messages that keep people in a perpetual struggle with their bodies." (Source). Really, it's an excuse for people to stay fat.
In the past, liberals and feminists have attacked the fashion world and magazines for their "unrealistic" portrayals of women. This was something I heard a lot about growing up in the 90's. And these groups had a valid point. The media often uses sex to sell everything, and that might have created the idea in the minds of many that a woman needed to look a "certain" way to be appropriately attractive and acceptable in society.
Today, however, progressives have gone off the deep end. Instead of encouraging overweight people to pursue healthy means of getting in shape- through positive reinforcement and practical dieting habits- they are encouraging people to stay fat. Body positivity has become an excuse for laziness and poor decisions.
There are legitimate reasons for people to overcome issues with self-esteem. A person can struggle with depression and other issues, due to abuse in their past. Seeking help from a therapist or doctor can go a long way in restoring the basic confidence every person deserves and needs. Crafting an ideology that excuses bad behavior, by attacking the so-called evils of society, is not the answer.
That's not therapy or healing. That's a crutch.
Now we have liberal junk piles like Buzzfeed embracing this dangerous and destructive concept simply to pander to their readers.
Crowder's own personal style aside, you can't deny the stupidity of the Buzzfeed video. They are encouraging young women not to work to achieve success in the most fundamental way possible: their health.
Really, it doesn't matter what society thinks about your body. I personally don't care about that. But this movement wants to make society the bad guy, a straw man to excuse a lack of personal discipline with regards to a person's weight and health. You can be like the women in that video all you want, pointing the finger at how unjust our culture is. But it's still your health on the line. Who cares if someone online calls you a bad name- you're the one that will suffer for your bad choices.
Obese people are 3-7 times more likely to develop Type-2 diabetes. That doesn't mention all the other problems caused by obesity, including increased risk of heart disease, stroke, blood pressure, certain cancers, gout, and sleep apnea (the terrify condition where you STOP BREATHING while you sleep).
Yet the body positivity people have crafted the idea that being proud to be overweight is like sticking your middle finger up at society, as if the rest of us will "learn our lesson" for you being fat. By making the issue into an "us versus them" fight, they have bamboozled many people- mostly young women- into thinking they should stay overweight, instead of forging ahead to accomplish a significant personal goal.
How does this relate to liberalism? Trust me, I'm not blowing smoke. This is the major flaw in modern leftists: the idea that your problems are largely someone else's fault. That our "broken" society is to blame for your inability to get a good education, career, or ultimately, happiness. We are even to blame for you feeling bad about being overweight. I don't have to pull out this Bill Maher video again, but I will:
Liberals today are more concerned about protecting people's feelings, than helping them in any tangible way. Are you overweight? Don't feel bad, it's society's fault they created such an unrealistic standard for beauty. Be proud that you're 50 pounds too heavy for someone your size! Forget about your personal responsibility in the matter- or the many health problems being fat causes (which will require medical care that someone else will pay for). Just be proud to be you!Losing weight is a pain in the ass. It takes discipline, hard work, and above all commitment. But the results are incredibly rewarding. Plus you can take what you learned from that victory and apply it to other areas in your life. Before long you might be achieving great things and taking personal responsibility for your life, not waiting for someone else or the government to do that for you!
But it gets worse. Not content to push fat people over the brink, body positivity is mutating in other, horrendous directions.
The internet is not responding well to an article on Vice promoting the “pimple positivity movement.”
The article, titled “How fashion is embracing the pimple positivity movement we desperately need,” rails against the habit of trying to curb acne.
It reads: Now that facts of nature like cellulite and menstruation have finally entered mainstream conversation, isn’t it time we also, finally, remove pimples from the circle of shame?
Pimples likely aren’t going anywhere, so we may as well embrace them. (via Milo)
Ew. I mean, what the hell Vice? What is the end goal of all this "positivity" nonsense? Do we want to be a society that refuses to do the very basic steps in keeping ourselves clean and healthy? What's next: anti-showering articles? Are toilets repressive tools of the patriarchy?
Maybe running water, beds, and adequate clothing are getting in the way of our happiness.
Keeping your skin clean and free of pimples has nothing to do with "shame." It has everything to do with staying healthy. Once upon a time, the left railed against conservatives as being anti-science for their skepticism over climate change. But now we are seeing more and more progressives attack basic ideas about health, obesity, and even clear skin.
You can put in the hard work to achieve good things for yourself, be they in work, relationships, or health. It won't always be easy, but the goals are worth it. That kind of personal responsibility extends from your weight to the way the government influences your life.
Or you can make excuses, blame others, and allow society or anything else dictate the course of your life.
The choice is yours.