Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The standards thing

This is the beginning of a Pat Sajak column:

When a few members of the United States military are caught breaking the rules (Abu Ghraib) or even accused falsely (Koran flushing), we are subjected to lectures about how America needs to be held to a 'higher standard'. Baloney. A high standard? Absolutely. The highest standard? Okay. But higher? Higher than what? Higher than whom? The implication is, because we are a free and strong and wealthy and generally decent power, our misdeeds are somehow worse than the misdeeds of chronic louts. It's as if a serial killer should be treated more gently than a first-time embezzler who had tried to be honest most of his life.
Aside from being correct, Sajak is pointing out the flip side of something I've always said; namely, that we tend to infantilize certain groups of people by expecting less from them. That's long been the bone I've had to pick with Liberals (even before my conservative reincarnation) -- so many liberal policies ostensibly aimed at ending poverty treat poor people, women and minorities like children, denying them power and accountability. It would be nice if we would start expecting from people situationally-appropriate, responsible, adult behavior -- no more and no less -- regardless of race, color or creed.