Anyone who knows me well, knows that I like to be independent. If I get sick, I try to take care of myself. If I get hurt, I try not to visit a doctor. But sometimes you just have to.
Recently I injured my ankle very badly. Doctor’s visit, crutches, splint, etc. In the few days immediately after the injury, I found that even though I didn’t want to accept help, I did because it made living with the bad ankle more acceptable. Having someone tend to me and things I normally to take care of gave me a surprising revelation.
Having someone take care of you is incredibly seductive.
You begin to enjoy the attention, the ability to ask and receive, the luxury of sitting on the couch while someone makes you lunch, mows your yard, hands you the remote. I realized that this is the environment that victimization cultivates. People conditioned to have things given to them upon demand.
It is incredibly difficult to resist the opportunity to be taken care of, and it’s even more difficult to return to your normal life after tasting the fruits of victimization. I mean, after all, I didn’t ask to be injured. It wasn’t my fault. Right?
I think social progressives know how seductive victimization is. They know how addictive it is to have a system, an army of people, dedicated to taking care of your needs. And they know how difficult it is to tell that system no, or to escape their addiction to it. This is why the culture of entitlements is such a monumental challenge. How do you reform entitlements when those using them will react to such an effort with the same vitriol as a drug addict would if you threatened to take away their stash, or a celebrity their spotlight, or a politician their power.
It’s the dark side of entitlements. Seductive indeed.