Paul Jacob

Doesn’t Tulane University pay poor Melissa for grading those papers? And don’t the students and their awful parents pay Tulane?

Claiming to “double down,” the professor actually admitted, “Of course, parents can and should raise their children with their own values.”

Of course.

The following weekend on her MSNBC show, Harris-Perry was back boasting that she stood by her promo spot, adding that it had touched on “the core philosophical issue of our entire history,” that is “the balance between individuals rights and collective responsibilities.”

“This is about whether we as a society, expressing our collective will through our public institutions, including our government,” she explained, “have a right to impinge on individual freedoms in order to advance a common good."

And just so we remember it’s all for the children, Melissa posited, “Because our kids, who will inherit the nation, belong to all of us and we have a collective responsibility to them.”

For the children or not — and I do like children, especially my own, but other people’s too — neither Harris-Perry’s “collective will” nor any government has a right to impinge on our constitutionally-protected freedoms.

Melissa Harris-Perry, however, doesn’t seem terribly sensitive to rights violations. She laughed off the scandal over the Internal Revenue Service targeting Obama-unapproved applicants for tax-exempt status, telling her national audience (both viewers) that “no one was fundamentally harmed.”

According to this progressive academic, being blocked from organizing, having your rights trampled on for years — across two election cycles — is no big deal, when it’s done to one’s political opponents. What sort of “balance” between government and “individual rights” can we expect from Melissa and her collective?

Now, Harris-Perry is back with another 30-second promo. Her point? That everyone has “the right” to lots of stuff provided by others, including “to health care and to education and to decent housing and to quality food at all times.”

Still, she informs us that “Americans will always want some level of inequality, because it’s a representation of a meritocracy,” adding reassuringly, “People who work hard and sacrifice and save their money and make major contributions: we think that they should earn a little more. And they should have more resources. And that’s fine.”

No problem. You want to invent amazing new technology, develop life-saving drugs, create inspiring art, produce incredible products and deliver friendly services, manufacture great wealth and abundance? Fine. Knock yourself out.

For your “work” and “sacrifice” and frugality and “contributions,” Melissa Harris-Perry and her great and powerful and progressive “we” are willing to permit little-old-you to achieve and possesses, well, “a little more.”

Emphasis on “little.”     [further reading]

Paul Jacob

Paul Jacob is President of Citizens in Charge Foundation and Citizens in Charge. His daily Common Sense commentary appears on the Web and via e-mail.