Privilege. It’s the favorite word of demagogues and virtue signalers alike, used to explain away the ideas and opinions of those who have the unfortunate distinction of having opposing views. This word is privilege, and it comes in many forms.
White privilege, male privilege, heteronormative privilege, and religious privilege, among numerous others.
These certain privileges make it impossible for the beneficiaries to understand the situations of those not fortunate enough to be awarded such benefits. Those with these advantages need to be silenced, brought down to the level of everyone else, off their pedestal of privilege, so we can have a freer America where everyone is heard and not just the white patriarchy. We must decry our privileges and acknowledge that we have an unfair leg up in society.
Privilege has been the war cry of the American left, who have used it to explain alleged social and economic injustices that have stonewalled equality for all. They will tell you that these privileges are the sole reason for a person’s success. While undeniable that historically certain groups have had privilege due to race, gender, or religion, those are vastly overstated in America today.
There is one privilege, however, that is shared by all who are fortunate enough to be born in America, namely American privilege. American privilege is largely ignored by the Left, who denies American exceptionalism, and it is vastly understated in today’s dialogue.
America was founded on the ideas of the conservative enlightenment, whose view of personal liberty and equality were considered radical in a historical period of rampant inequality. This idea of innate equality of all people became the foundation for what would become the freest and equal society in World history.
Today, the United States still stands as a beacon of equality of opportunity, in which no group is systematically oppressed and whose citizens are among the wealthiest in the world. Even those in poverty in America would be considered wealthy in many countries around the world, lending credence to the idea of American privilege.
This privilege and freedom have led the United States to become an economic powerhouse, a brain trust of innovation and technological breakthrough. By increasing its own living standards, America has brought most of the world out of poverty. America is home to some of the highest quality medical care, shortest healthcare waiting times, the largest economy, and the freest, most prosperous, and equal people of all time.
America was created not by executing “cosmic justice” as Thomas Sowell explains in his book, The Quest for Cosmic Justice, but through traditional justice of “impartial processes rather than either results or prospects.” In other words, our Founders understood that only equality of opportunity, not equality of possibility or outcome would spur the advancement and freedom of America as a whole.
The myths of overarching privilege based on immutable characteristics have undermined the one privilege we all share as Americans, the privilege of being born in the freest and most equal country in world history.
There will always be individual differences between us as Americans, and no amount of social justice will be able to rectify these disparities. However, the great equalizer is the equality of opportunity provided by the freest country on Earth. Instead of blaming alleged injustice and inequality on flimsy charges of innate privileges, we should all stop and recognize our shared American privilege first.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.