The Entitlement Mentality
By Phil Perkins
June 29, 2009
If our new president (who already somehow seems old) believes he is entitled to pass every aspect of his breathtakingly radical agenda, who can blame him? The entitlement mentality is so ingrained in our culture that the president's impatient arrogance with not getting his way is seen as unseemly or unusual only by a shrinking minority.
Nowhere has the entitlement mentality played out in a more obvious manner than in the city of Detroit. Shortly after the 1967 riots and the resulting "white exodus" from the city to the suburbs, the black majority took over the city in the person of strongman and long-time mayor Coleman Young and never looked back. Now, the very idea of a Caucasian ever again being the mayor, let alone a Republican one, is as foreign a concept as if an alien life form descended from the heavens to assume the office.
But Detroit's problems stem not so much from race; rather, a gross lack of accountability on the part of its elected officials and their "entourages" that the voting public, both black and white, have permitted by striving mightily to be nonjudgmental or avoid the racist tag. As a result, there is now a domino effect of fallen public figures as the chickens of blatant, unchallenged (until now) corruption are finally coming home to roost. When even the liberal Detroit Free Press castigates the recent conviction of former city council president Monica Conyers on bribery charges and calls on her to resign, you know things are reaching new depths even for Detroit.
And yes, the name Conyers should ring a bell because Ms. Conyers is none other than the wife of U.S. Representative John Conyers, a card-carrying socialist who is in lock-step with team Obama and claims, with the utter predictability of a liberal Democrat, that he knew nothing about his wife's actions. This is the same man who called most loudly for President George W. Bush's impeachment for all manner of imagined offenses, and defended the indefensible Bill Clinton with equal brazenness. Now that his wife has been convicted of an actual felony crime while supposedly serving the people of Detroit, he of course goes into minimizing mode. As a local blogger so aptly stated, Conyers does not deserve to hold public office either way-whether he's lying about his knowledge of and perhaps involvement in his wife's skullduggery, or that he could actually be as blissfully ignorant of her behavior as he claims.
It's not as if Ms. Conyers was a shrinking violet while holding the top spot on city council either-once referring to then-Mayor Ken Cockrel as "Shrek" to his face in a council meeting and, in the words of the Free Press editorial, "... bar brawling in northwest Detroit before she even took her seat, and foul-mouthing and disrupting council meetings within months." And yet-get this-she has not only carried on in such a manner for four years, but the current mayor, the respected former Detroit basketball star Dave Bing, in a gesture showing a perhaps unequal mix of naÃ¯vetÃ© and magnanimity, is not calling on Ms. Conyers to resign in the wake of her conviction. Let that sink in as you contrast it with Watergate and the Governor Sanford snafu last week. Bing, a supposed moderate and reasonably successful businessman, has managed to out-liberal the city's liberal-leaning newspaper in the name of "letting the process proceed." Sorry Mr. Mayor, but it seems that the only "process" that mattered has rendered its judgment.
A secularized culture naturally creates the atmosphere of entitlement. When one comes to faith in Christ and experiences the real meaning of the "fear of God," the knowledge of how little we truly deserve in light of what Christ has done for us hits home. Until then, it's easy to feel entitled, and, if the draconian healthcare takeover passes, it will be because Obama convinced enough people that they are entitled to it. Unfortunately, as the people of Detroit can attest, the fruits of entitlement are often bitter at the end of the day.