by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
People benefit by playing the victim.
Activists look for people they can declare victims, to bring attention to their causes.
The New York Times once called the Super Bowl the “Abuse Bowl,” claiming that during the game many more women are abused than usual because their men get crazed watching violence. CBS called Super Bowl Sunday a “day of dread.” The Boston Globe claimed a study showed calls to anti-violence emergency lines go up 40 percent during the game.
Then Ken Ringle of the Washington Post tried to trace those claims.
The Globe reporter admitted she never saw the study in question but got the numbers from the left-wing group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. FAIR said they got them from a psychiatrist on “Good Morning America.” That psychiatrist referred callers to another psychiatrist, who said, “I haven’t been any more successful than you in tracking down any of this.”
The “Super Bowl victim” claim was bunk.
Sometimes I feel like a victim. I stutter. Had today’s disability laws existed when I began work, would I have fought to overcome my stuttering? Maybe not. I might have sued my employer, demanding they “accommodate my disability” by giving me a non-speaking job. Maybe I would have just stopped working and collected a disability check. …
… Some people are just inclined to complain, and the modern welfare state encourages that. Lawyers made it worse by encouraging people to sue, rather than strive. That changed America.
When you reward something, you get more of it.
We change people’s character by teaching them that “victimhood” is a way to get attention and moral status.