Some of you who have heard me speak know that I always draw a very clear distinction, not just between Democrats and Republicans, but, rather two very different philosophies of governance. I always address the difference between the equality of opportunity, and the equality of outcomes.
Now, at first glance, some of you may say, what? But, if you think about it, the distinction is quite evident. Constitutional conservatives believe that no matter where you come from, or where you are born, here in the United States of America we all have an equality of opportunity.
Yes, there are some who may have certain disadvantages, but those do not define your ability to rise to whatever level of achievements you desire. Consider that I was born in 1961. In that same year, people who looked like me could not go to Ft. Lauderdale Beach, or to Palm Beach Island. Fifty years later, I was sworn in as the Congressional Representative for Ft. Lauderdale beach, and Palm Beach Island.
It is the equality of opportunity that makes America unique. It is that very special quality that says you can, as the US Army once said, “be all you can be.” And, here in America, our Declaration of Independence articulated that individuals have an unalienable right from the Judeo-Christian Creator, to the pursuit of happiness. All because we have an equality of opportunity.
However, that is not what the progressive, socialist, left believes. They embrace the notion and failed concept of equality of outcomes. We as individuals to not have the right to pursue our own defined happiness . . . it is they who guarantee happiness, outcomes. It is they, the leftists, who do not recognize the individual, and his, or her, accomplishments. After all, “if you own a business, you didn’t build that.” When it comes to the equality of outcomes, the individual becomes subservient to the greater pursuits of the state. The individual is not recognized, rather it is all about the collective.
Once again, that bastion of failed progressive socialist policies in America, California, provides another example of this distinction. As reported by Fox Business News:
“California has become the first state to require publicly traded companies to include women on their boards of directors, one of several laws boosting or protecting women that Gov. Jerry Brown signed Sunday.
The measure requires at least one female director on the board of each California-based public corporation by the end of next year. Companies would need up to three female directors by the end of 2021, depending on the number of board seats.
The Democratic governor referenced the objections and legal concerns that the law has raised. The California Chamber of Commerce has said the policy will be difficult for companies to implement and violates constitutional prohibitions against discrimination.
“I don’t minimize the potential flaws that indeed may prove fatal to its ultimate implementation,” Brown wrote in a signing statement. “Nevertheless, recent events in Washington, D.C. — and beyond — make it crystal clear that many are not getting the message.”
It is one of several measures affecting women that Brown signed Sunday, his last opportunity to approve or veto laws before the term-limited governor leaves office. He also approved legislation requiring smaller employers to provide sexual harassment training and banning secret settlements related to sexual assault and harassment.
Having more women on the boards also will make companies more successful, state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson said. Women tend to be more collaborative and are better at multitasking, the Santa Barbara Democrat said.
A fourth [25%] of publicly held corporations with headquarters in California don’t have any women on their boards of directors. These companies have not done enough to increase the number of women on their boards despite the Legislature’s urging, making government intervention necessary, Jackson said.
“This is one of the last bastions of total male domination,” she said. “We know that the public and business are not being well-served by this level of discrimination.”
If there is any real evidence of the left’s quest for equality of outcomes, here it is. It is not about qualified individuals, it is about a collective group — women. Why make a law because 25 percent of publicly held corporations are headquartered in California? Hmm, this is just another example of why corporations are leaving the so-called “Golden State.”
Since when did it become the business of government to tell private sector corporations who should sit on their boards? This is how the progressive socialist left operates, it mandates its ideological agenda.
What is even more disconcerting is that Governor Brown, and these California legislators, like State Sen. Jackson, seem to believe that women are too weak, or incapable, of meeting, achieving, or excelling standards, and becoming board members of corporations on their own merits. Kinda like the “soft bigotry of low expectations” that was affirmative action. Instead of advancing the ideals of equality of opportunity, and promoting the policies that level the playing field, like quality education, the left just lowers standards in order to provide equality of outcomes. This is what progressive socialism is all about. When Barack Obama had people chanting “Yes We Can” he was not speaking of you, the individual American. Obama, and his ilk, meant yes, government can, and will, determine your outcomes, while restricting your opportunities.
The bottom line is that equality of opportunity creates victors. The equality of outcomes makes victims. As a matter of fact, it needs victims in order to validate its policies. What Governor Brown, and this new policy in California indicates and promotes, is the dangerous notion that women are victims, poor, helpless, hapless, souls that cannot advance on their own merits. That can only happen by way of government mandate: equality of outcomes. This is proof that the left believes that they are the ones who issue us all participation trophies.
Funny, are there any sports teams that mandate how many blacks, whites, males, females are to be on the team? Nah. When we cheer for our respective teams, it is about having the best on that field. We train ourselves to be the best, to make the cut. That is not the mantra of the progressive socialist left. They need victims, people who feel oppressed, so that they can be deemed a savior, with a small “s.”
We have a clear choice right here in America. Do we believe that we, as individual Americans, are capable of, and able to, pursue our own happiness? Do we believe that we have an equality of opportunity? Do we want to be victors? If not, then there is an ideology happy to make you a victim. They are the ones who will tell you they can guarantee your happiness with policies of “free,” and that they grant your rights, based upon their ideological agenda. They are the ones who will determine your outcomes, rendering you enslaved, not free.
When it comes to understanding the difference between equality of opportunity, and the equality of outcomes, one man got it:
“The world has never had a good definition of the word liberty, and the American people, just now, are much in want of one. We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men’s labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name—liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatible names—liberty and tyranny.”
That man was President Abraham Lincoln. He, who embarked upon a Civil War, in order to ensure that a little black kid born in 1961, and raised in the inner city of Atlanta, Georgia had the equality of opportunity, the liberty, to become a combat Battalion Commander, and a member of the US House of Representatives.
The same folks that opposed him, and the 13th Amendment, are the same folks still trying to do what they please with others, and the product of another’s labor. Governor Brown, your policy mandating women on corporate boards is just masked tyranny.
During his 22 year career in the United States Army, Lieutenant Colonel West served in several combat zones and received many honors including a Bronze Star, three Meritorious Service Medals, three Army Commendation Medals, one with Valor device, and a Valorous Unit Award.
In November of 2010, Allen was elected to the United States Congress, representing Florida’s 22nd District.
West is a commissioned officer in the Texas State Guard. He’s Fox News Contributor, former Director of the Booker T. Washington Initiative at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Senior Fellow at the Media Research Center, contributing columnist for Townhall.com, and author of Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Family, Faith and Freedom, and, Hold Texas, Hold the Nation: Victory or Death, and the forthcoming We Can Overcome.