In the movie, The Princess Bride, as the hero, Wesley was trying to rescue the Princess, her kidnapper, Vizzini indignantly says to him, “You're trying to kidnap what I've rightfully stolen.” As if there is honor among thieves. That is the subtle joke of the line. There is no honor among thieves. It is not wrong to steal from a thief. In fact, their thievery justifies you stealing from them. In the story, Robin Hood, before Robin Hood can justly rob from the rich to give to the poor, the rich had to be portrayed as bad, evil people who were exploiting the poor. That was the only way to justify his stealing from them.
This is what politicians do when they want to raise taxes on the wealthy. They sneer at the wealthy, calling them “one-percenters”, or even “robber barons”. They claim that the wealthy “don’t pay their fair share of taxes”, even though the top 1 percent pay over 38% of income taxes, and the top 10 percent pay over 70%. Politicians must portray the wealthy as greedy, selfish individuals manipulating the system to skirt their civic responsibility to justify the government taking even more money from them. If the wealthy maintain their wealth fraudulently, then it’s justified for the government to seize a higher percentage of their wealth. No one would object to taking money from a tax cheat.
This was the mentality that Barack Obama was tapping into when he wanted to raise taxes on businesses, and he told business owners, “if you own a business, you didn’t build that. Someone else made that happen.” If the business owner didn’t build his business, if someone else built it, and he is profiting off the work of others, then it is justifies taking larger portions of his earnings from him. Obama’s statement nullified the risk, the investment, the hard work that every business owner puts in to build his business, and portrayed him as someone who is living off the work of others. No one would object to stealing from a leech.
When politicians use the term “white privilege”, they are creating an environment to justify reparations. In order to take from one group, they must vilify that group. The charge of “white privilege” dismisses and discredits the success of white people by claiming that merely by being born white in America, everything has been handed to them on a silver platter. White people did not earn their success. They didn’t work or sacrifice for what they have. They are not products of their good decisions. And that is the root justification for reparations. Vilify the white race so we can take from the white race. You are white, and everything has been handed to you, so therefore, we can take it from you, and give it to someone who is not white. No one would object to taking from people who have been given everything.
They do not want to consider that 42% of the people living in poverty in America are white. They can’t impugn the entire white race as privileged if 17 million white Americans live in poverty, so they ignore them. That is why the movie, Hillbilly Elegy, has been panned by the left-wing entertainment establishment. Showing how poor white America lives, their pain and struggles torpedoes the “white privilege” narrative. This is why certain cities, like Oakland, are excluding poor white people from receiving relief checks, and only giving relief to poor people of color. The white kid born into poverty doesn’t matter; the white single mother gets no relief because acknowledging the existence of 17 million poverty-stricken white Americans makes it harder to justify taking money from white people simply because they are white, and giving it to someone else.
In the past 12 months, certain groups have been rewriting our nation’s history. The 1619 Project claims that the original founding of United States was when the first slave was brought to the Americas, not when the Declaration of Independence was signed, or when the Constitution was ratified. It has to be 1619 to make the claim that America was founded on evil. This is why they have been tearing down historical statues, and vilifying our founders. If the founding of the country was fraudulent, then the country itself is fraudulent. This is why we continually hear about the evils of two and three hundred years ago; the land was stolen from the Native People, the founders were evil hypocrites, the country was built by slaves. If America is fraudulent, it justifies committing fraud against America.
The same people who constantly claim that our founding was fraudulent are the ones who unconstitutionally changed our election laws this past fall by removing voter ID, signature match and other verification measures. If the past is a fraud, then present fraud is justified. They know that these election integrity measures, such as voter ID are not racist. 70% of black people don’t believe voter ID is racist. Everyone knows that measures, like voter ID and signature match, only help to ensure the integrity of elections. That’s why these people fight these measures, and call them racist. They want to commit fraud, because in their mind, America is a fraud. If the land was stolen, the founders were evil, and the founding principles are invalid, why is it important to have election integrity? If the land and the power were originally stolen, then why is it wrong to steal it back? They are rightfully taking what had already been stolen. Their thievery of elections and power is justified because they believe the power was originally obtained fraudulently. When people claimed that by contesting the 2020 Presidential election results, Donald Trump was engaged in insurrection, it was as if they were paraphrasing Vizzini’s line, indignantly saying, Trump is trying to take what we have rightfully stolen.
All of this is very harmful to the United States of America. It is meant to sew division. That which makes our country great is the fact that we are united by our history; the founders and the fighters who forged our nation, and by our founding principles; the Declaration of Independence, and our Constitution. The people who are rewriting our history, such as the 1619 Project, and discrediting our founding principles are dividing us; dividing us by race, by class, by gender, by political persuasion. They are dividing us, and destroying us, so they can conquer us. But they will find, after all their division and destruction, what is left to conquer may not be worth having.
Judd Garrett is a former NFL player, coach, and executive. He is a frequent contributor to the website Real Clear Politics. He has recently published his first novel, No Wind.