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The Stigma of Stigmas

Comment

"We should measure welfare's success by how many people leave welfare, not by how many are added." — Ronald Reagan

Boy, how times have changed. Smack dab in the middle of a budget crisis, President Obama is sending out representatives from a variety of federal agencies on a 100-city tour to promote government programs and freebies. Much like the S.S. Minnow's three-hour tour, the results are sure to be disastrous for most Americans.

This tour is emblematic of big government liberals (as if there is any other kind) who love the notion of government dependency and the idea that government can cure all ills. But to go out and actually encourage and promote these programs — are these guys on commission or something?

The question I have is: Whatever happened to the negative stigma? When I was growing up, there were stigmas associated with being on welfare, being an illegal immigrant, being a convicted felon, failing in school or being an unwed mother. While I don't want to see people unfairly stigmatized, there is a big difference between eliminating a stigma and the government sacrificing proven moral principles and legislating that someone be so comfortable that they have no incentive to change their circumstances.

In 1984, Ronald Reagan won 49 states delivering a message of smaller government and personal responsibility. Fast-forward to today, and 51 percent of the electorate voted for Barack Obama and his message that only government can solve your problems. What the heck happened?

I believe that one of the liberal strategies since the 1960s was to systematically eliminate the stigma of welfare, food stamps and other forms of government dependency. In 1998, Barack Obama even talked about creating a voting bloc with the poor through government programs.

Yikes, Obama may be smarter than his unreleased college transcripts might suggest, as his strategy seems to be working. Under Obama's watch, recipients in the food stamp program alone have gone from 32 million to 47 million.

Unfortunately, many of these people are like the slowly boiled frog. The stigma has been eliminated, and these people have become wards of the state acting like rats living in a cage while voting for whoever gives them the most cheese.

Liberals aren't satisfied with merely eliminating their pet stigmas; they want to create new ones. Liberals have successfully managed to classify anybody who is in need of government assistance as a "victim." A victim, as in a person who is deceived or cheated, as by his or her own emotions or ignorance, by the dishonesty of others or by some impersonal agency. And, of course, in order to have a victim, one must have a villain.

Welcome to the world of conservative stigmas. If you disagree with President Obama, you're a racist. If you're wealthy, you were just lucky. If you own a gun, you support mass murder. If you believe marriage should be limited to a man and a woman, you're homophobic. If you're in the upper income bracket, you're not paying your fair share. Well, you get the idea ... at least my conservative readers do, anyway.

The Oscars were just handed out (no pun intended), and year after year Hollywood has celebrated rags to riches scripts. The reason these movies are so popular is that the themes are based on events that occur on a daily basis. The movies are not compelling because somebody fills out a government form and waits for a check.

President Obama should know this better than anybody. Whether you agree with him or not, he overcame some major stigmas and obstacles to become president of the United States. It's a shame he's too arrogant to think anyone else can.

Dear Mark is a public platform for your enrichment and entertainment. E-mail your questions to marklevy92@aol.com. To find out more about Mark Levy, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com.

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Comments

3 Comments | Post Comment
Not just your conservative readers get your points, but so do your libertarian readers. We understand the dangerous trend that the country is headed down. While we may not agree with conservative on all issues, we can at least unite against the "frog in the water" act that is being used to deceive us.
Comment: #1
Posted by: Chris McCoy
Fri Mar 1, 2013 11:24 AM
Somebody has to say it.

Mark, do you have any idea how silly that little beard under your chin looks?

It looks like a moustache crawled down your face and got stuck.
Comment: #2
Posted by: Geoffrey James
Sat Mar 2, 2013 8:08 AM
The stigma of taking food stamps to eat.Is that similar to the stigma of President Ford who pardoned the criminal Nixon for his crimes?Or Reagan who was given a pass on breaking the law in the Iran Contra scandal.Or George Bush who started an elective war for no good reason.Or Johnson who did the same thing.Lets face it Levy when your highest leaders break the law who give a damn about getting a handout of free government cheese!
Comment: #3
Posted by: WILLIAM KELLEY
Sat Mar 2, 2013 4:52 PM
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