Stereotypes and Double Standards

Now if I understand things correctly, stereotype means: "a standardized mental picture that is held in common by members of a group and that represents an oversimplified opinion, prejudiced attitude, or uncritical judgment" and it is unfair to stereotype groups of people.  In fact, politicians and other people in the public eye, can end up losing elections, jobs, and even have their careers destroyed, if they are caught unfairly stereotyping groups of people.

Not all conservatives are racists, so aren’t liberals guilty of unfair stereotyping people when they accuse a group of conservatives of being racists?   Shouldn’t any public figure that does such a thing, be forced to apologize, and/or lose their job?  They don’t though, do they?  What we have here is called a double standard.  A double standard is: a set of principles that applies differently and usually more rigorously to one group of people or circumstances than to another.

Now what’s the problems with having a double standard?  The first and most obvious is that it is not fair to the people being held to the higher standard, but there are other problems with double standards as well.  Ironically, the people being held to the higher standard often come out looking better than the people who are not.  

Having an unwritten rule that we should not perpetuate unfair stereotypes is not only reasonable, it’s a good idea.  Why?  Because it helps to prevent people from looking like idiots, in spite of themselves.  Does anyone think that Al Sharpton or Charles Rangel look intelligent when they start spouting off, accusing everyone who is in favor of government fiscal responsibility of being racists? These men, and people like them, are incapable of keeping their mouths shut, so a few rules governing people’s behavior would do them some good.

There is another type of double standard; racial quotas, often referred to as affirmative action.  This also does harm to the people it is meant to help.  It’s like spotting someone a few points in a game.  Even if they win, it doesn't prove that they are better. People can’t help but wonder if someone was the best candidate for the position they hold, if the possibility exists that they could have benefited from racial quotas.  There is nothing racist about that, people of all races have the same thoughts concerning this.

I’m not even saying that affirmative action wasn’t a good idea when it was enacted.  What difference does it make now anyway? What’s done is done.  What I am saying is that is not without any negative consequences, even for those who may have benefited from it, and that maybe there are other ways that we could more effectively help out various minorities and everyone else at the same time.

We don’t have to roll back affirmative action right now.  It’s not worth the fight.  What we should be doing is selling conservative pro-business and economic growth policies from the standpoint of helping out the disadvantaged.  Obviously a strong, growing economy will increase the demand for employees, but it also puts upward pressure on wages - the two things the disadvantaged people in our country need most.  

Turning a person from a welfare recipient, into a taxpayer is a double bonus for everybody.  If anyone tries to obstruct pro-economic growth strategies proposed to help the disadvantaged, we can accuse them of not caring about people who are in need of help.

We’ve all seen what throwing $800 billion away did for the economy.  Ironically, what would help the economy the most, wouldn’t cost the government anything - just get out of the way.  Our nation has a $17 trillion debt, and the only way out that I can see is to remove as many artificial obstacles to investment and hiring as we can, and to aggressively promote increasing our domestic energy production.

Now I’ve strayed a long way from my original point about stereotypes, and I never intended to when I started writing this, but I think it proves an important point.

Liberals so often are only concerned about fairness, and it seems like the only thing they can understand is taking from the people who appear to have more.  At best, this can only shift wealth and opportunity from one segment of society to another.  There is no net gain to all of society.  When one takes into account the inefficiencies and corruption in government, there is always a huge net loss for society.

Although liberals would never admit it, conservatives are just as concerned about the well-being of disadvantaged people as they are.  It’s just that conservatives approach it by trying to make everyone better off.  Decreasing unemployment by allowing businesses to thrive, saves the government and taxpayers money and increases government revenue - a huge net gain for society.



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