What the Despised Rich, Smart Kids, and Fallen Heroes Have in Common
What do the despised rich, smart kids, and fallen heroes have in common? They are all victims of the progressive movement. When being rich is finally made synonymous with undeserved privilege, individual achievement in other areas will be targeted. When success is considered unfair, then being unsuccessful will be called unfair and undeserved. And those of means and ability who reject this burden will be demonized.
Progressives have turned society against conservatives who are successful through business; they claim that the rich have hoarded the profits that they made on the backs of the public. "Spread the wealth around" and "you didn't build that" are designed to convince Americans that the rich are not that way because of hard work or intelligence; it's because they gamed the system, and they should be despised.
The left is now doing the same thing to students who get good grades. The education establishment has begun an attack on homework. Schools have begun issuing "students' bill of rights" which give the students the right to little or no homework. Recently in France it has been proposed that homework be eliminated entirely (so that kids who actually do their homework will not have an advantage over those who don't).
Clearly the goal is not to ensure that all students rise to their potential.
The essence of the attack is that some students have more stable homes that are more conducive to learning and that, therefore, these students have an unfair advantage. So the underachieving student is a victim of his environment, and the overachieving student is an exploiter of his environment because he capitalizes on his peaceful and ordered home life by actually doing his homework. The logical result of this kind of "thinking" is to be unimpressed by an A student because he only won life's lottery. This will lead to valuing weak students as morally superior to smart students because smart students stoop so low as to accept unearned benefits such as better grades and then better jobs. Be on the lookout for progressives to start finding ways to evaluate students that are based not on achievement, but rather on things like "overcoming adversity," "sacrifice," and "selflessness."
Notice that their solution is not to bring the low-performing students up to speed, even though that's what they're paid for, and they have the kids nearly seven hours a day. Their solution is to stop giving homework so that the smart students' learning will be slowed down until they're as dumb as the low-performing students. And to add a dose of good old liberal white supremacy, one school board has set their achievement goals for blacks lower than for whites.
The parallels are striking; in the same manner that they have demonized the rich as being undeserving, liberal educators are now demonizing gifted students. They reject the idea that high-achieving students deserve recognition for the hard work they put in, just as they reject the idea that business owners deserve recognition for starting and growing their businesses.
Progressives do not accept that some kids actually care about their grades and study accordingly -- any recognition for personal effort is being erased from the system; any achievement can be traced back to winning life's lottery in the form of a stable home life. The common theme is the rejection of individual achievement.
And since they are teaching that we are not responsible for our failure or our success, it follows that we have no reason to admire a person of virtue, such as a hero. Progressive philosophy teaches that we "didn't do it on our own," so any virtuous behavior should be credited to a person's environment. Soon it will be unfashionable to revere a person for bravery , honesty, caring, or accomplishment; liberals will say that that is unfair to the average man, who would be admirable, too, if he had been given the opportunity. If we follow their train of thought, when we admire a hero, we are insulting the average man, and when we admire smart students, we are damaging the self-esteem of low achievers, and when we admire business leaders, we are ignoring the contributions of the working man.
The progressive movement is making great strides in the elimination of personal achievement. Many already regard being an individualist as being greedy and worthy of scorn; soon the smart will be despised because they are smart and not average like most of us. "Who do they think they are, acting superior like that?" will be the theme. And our heroes will be rejected because it will be painted as unfair to credit a man for virtue when he is really no better than anyone else.
These societal changes are a direct result of the ongoing expansion of the progressive movement, and it can't be stopped now. Our only hope is a decades-long effort to reverse the tide for following generations. Just as there will be more and more soccer on TV because so many modern kids grew up playing it, the progressive propaganda machine has already produced generations of followers, the full effect of which will be unfolding over the coming decades.
One good way to start is to begin back-feeding our younger generation. Let's give them the skills needed for critical thinking and respect for skepticism so that they won't blindly accept the party line but will think things through for themselves.