It Should Be All About You, the Smallest Minority…
Regardless of your race, your religion, your gender, you are a minority. In fact, you are the only minority that matters.
All the others are simply social constructs, ways societies categorize and manage groups of people, ways in which governments are able to prioritize the distribution of resourcee of alt-right “racialism.” or measure the use of force.
But, you? You’re different, special and unique. In fact, you belong to a minority so unlike all other minorities that there is an exclusive name for this minority to which you and only you belong: individual.
I’m not trying to turn you into a convert of Ayn Rand, the controversial Russian philosopher and creator of Objectivism, but to get you to examine your uniqueness and what that means to the current state of American politics.
Without spending much time revisiting Obama’s presidency or delving into Trump’s new administration, can we agree that the country is surpassingly preoccupied with issues of group identity? If Black Lives Matter isn’t captivating headlines and our attention, then Muslim terrorists are. If Mexican immigrants crossing the borders illegally aren’t dominating the news, then angry, white, disaffected rural workers chanting “Build that wall!” are.
The smallest minority on earth is the individual.
Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.
– Ayn Rand
But, Lost in this Din of “Look at Me” politics is…you.
And it was you who Ayn Rand had in mind when she proclaimed the greatest and most important minority on the planet is the individual. To some, that may seem as self-evident as the truths proclaimed by the Founders in the Declaration of Independence as rights endowed to us from the Creator, but why then is there no impassioned sp
eech to be found from the lips of leaders from either party extolling their fierce defense of individual rights?
Recent campaign speeches were full of paeans to this group or that, but nary a word from either listing the virtues of rugged individualism and the inalienable rights of … well… you.
So, when you heard one candidate ask one group of Americans what they have to lose by voting for him or when another candidate said that electing an opponent could undo years of progress made by several groups, did you ask yourself why weren’t they talking about you?
The answer is simple.
In today’s American politics, the individual is simply not as important as the group. Both parties, even Republicans who, at least, give lip service to the idea of individualism, are obsessed with group politics and coalition building. They value your individual vote, but really only as representative of the demographic their pollsters have assigned to your race, ethnicity, orientation or whatever label they are polling today.
The danger is, of course, that our leaders are becoming less concerned about YOU and your rights than they are about winning votes and support from the groups that put them in power and keep them there. When one candidate posits that we should make New York City’s “Stop and Frisk” practice the law of the land across America, he doesn’t really believe doing so will reduce crime – it didn’t in NYC – but he does believe it will appeal to certain members of the Law and Order focus group willing to sacrifice individual liberties – your liberties – to feel safer in their tree-lined, suburban neighborhoods where no police officer would ever dare stop and frisk them.
Appealing to the voter who is not you
And when you heard another candidate talk about imposing restrictions on the Second Amendment to reduce crimes involving the use of firearms, that candidate didn’t really believe those laws will lead to an end to mass shooting, but did believe it would appeal to voters who live in tony neighborhoods where the likelihood of needing a firearm for self-defense is no more likely than their Starbucks’ running out of grande lattes.
Now, as crazy as this is going to sound, there is one way that we can ensure that politicians pay greater attention to the rights of individuals and the importance of the minority of one and that is to … form a group. I know, that’s nuts! But the reality is we are much more effective as a political force if we unify and present our case for greater focus on maintaining the rights of each and every American if we – YOU – are a member of a group of rugged individualists. I know, it is counter to your nature, but if YOU want to make a difference in American politics today, if you want to ensure that politicians are as eager to listen to YOU as they are to all the groups out there clamoring for attention, YOU need to organize. Maybe create a PAC called YOU-PAC?