All Cultures Are Not Created Equal

The multiculturalists have it wrong.

According to them, it does not matter if a culture is based on equality of justice, the impulse of a malevolent dictator or the oppression of religious fundamentalists; all societies are equal. That is as intellectually dishonest as saying that a society that condones slavery is as good as a free society. I personally like the fact that the United States is built on the premise that all people are created equal and, as such, are endowed “with certain unalienable Rights.” You know the rest: the right of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Just to be clear on the pursuit of happiness thing, you have the right to buy a color television; you don’t have the right to make me pay for it. A right is something that exists among all people and does not require an obligation from anyone else. In other words, I have a right to free speech, you cannot stop or interfere with that right – but you are not obligated to listen to me. More succinctly, you cannot stop me from speaking and I cannot force you to listen. The beauty of these rights is that we are born with them and no one can give them or take them away from us.

Not only are we ready made with these rights (they come pre-loaded from the manufacturer), but we give the government its privileges, including its privilege to exist. This ‘Consent of the Governed’ unequivocally states that the US government derives its power from what we the people choose to give it. According to the Declaration of Independence, the only purpose a government should serve is to secure our rights.

“If that government becomes destructive of these ends,” the people have the right to “institute a new government.” Not many other world governments have this written into their founding papers.

I love our culture; it values freedom above all else and stands for rational self-reliant individualism and rewards personal achievement. Do you realize that any person in this country can achieve whatever they’ve defined as their personal goal for greatness?

We are not jingoistic nationalists who turn our back on other countries or pass laws to prevent foreign languages from mingling with our own, and we certainly are not primitive fundamentalists who use brute force and intimidation to get our way. We don’t stone women to death for adultery. We don’t shoot people for burning the flag or questioning the leadership skills of our presidents. Heck, if you want to worship living livestock dipped in vodka, have at it. You can rest easy knowing a burning stake does not await you.

And yet.

People out there think it’s egocentric when we celebrate our Western culture above others. Sorry multiculturalists, you can’t tell me that a tyrannical tribe of cannibals is equal to a civilized nation where human life is held at a premium. I don’t believe it is evil when we claim our superiority over cultures that routinely mutilate the sex organs of young girls. Judging another culture by our prejudices is evil, according to the multiculturalists. The problem with “who am I to judge” becomes “I can’t judge anything” which leads to pacifying the likes of Hitler and bin Laden.

Celebrate our culture and nation as the superpower and world leader that it is. The United States is a tribute to men and women at their best. Name another country whose core beliefs of freedom and the pursuit of happiness cut across gender, race and religion. We are the most open society in the world; we welcome anyone to come here and live the American dream. Let the rest of the world sit in non-judgmental flaccidness; as for us, be proud and unapologetic about being America.

This article was originally published in 2002 and has be revised slightly for this publication.

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