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Get Over Yourselves

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
AP Photo/Claude Paris

If there’s one thing too many people have too much of, it’s an abundance of self-esteem. The last 20 years has been spent instilling in many children a sense of accomplishment for merely existing. And while existing is fine and a good thing, it’s hardly an achievement, it just is. People are free to live their lives any way they see fit, but this surge in empty self-esteem has created a class of people who do not extend the same “live and let live” philosophy to others, and therein lies the problem.


The Women’s World Cup just ended and the team from the United States won. I didn’t say they were representing the United States because it doesn’t seem like they wanted to, they were representing themselves.

Led by narcissist Megan Rapinoe, they beat up on teams with significantly less skill than they had and celebrated goals against them like they just cured cancer. It’s akin to me beating my 2-year-old in a game of Trivial Pursuit and screaming “In your face!” each time I won a piece of pie. When Alex Morgan scored against England in the semi-finals, she mocked her opponents by pretending to sip tea. Why? Arrogance. It was embarrassing and cheapened the victory.

But she felt entitled. She’d done her job, what she is paid to do (significantly overpaid as a percentage of the money they generate), and treated it like something more than it was.

It’s not just that team. Every tackle in the NFL is followed by a celebration like they’d just won the Super Bowl. It’s your job to tackle the guy with the ball, doing so 3 minutes into the first quarter is not a heroic act it’s what you’re paid a lot of money to do. Homeruns and slam dunks, which are so common now as to almost be boring, are met the same way.

It used to be serious accomplishments were the only things treated as such, now existing is.


This, in my opinion, comes from something I wrote about in my book – the obliterating of the line between “famous” and “infamous.” In the age of social media, people have become obsessed with getting attention. The means of getting that attention are irrelevant, it’s only the attention that counts.

There was a time when we’d celebrate accomplishment and shun or ignore people who did inappropriate things. We treat them all the same now. Getting followers and clicks on social media is all that matters, how they’re obtained is irrelevant. It’s the ends, not the means.

Leftists demand we “celebrate diversity,” but why? Who cares that people of different colors and backgrounds merely exist? Skin tone, ethnicity, or who someone sleeps with doesn’t make anyone special. Why celebrate something over which no one has any control and is meaningless? To make people feel special, to boost self-esteem. People who feel they’re special are more likely to feel entitled to special treatment.

A levelheaded person who knowingly signed a student loan agreement realizes that money has to be paid back. They’re more likely to choose a practical field of study that will enable them to do that, and they’re more likely to choose a school they can afford the debt burden to attend. A person marinated in unjustified self-esteem is more likely to attend a “prestigious” school that costs significantly more and major in something that is unmarketable because that’s what interests them, and they’re special.


I don’t care if you decide to borrow a quarter of a million dollars to get a degree in gender studies or interpretive dance, but I have no sympathy when you try to nail yourself to a cross over your inability to find gainful employment with a degree that only qualifies you to teach other people dumb enough to make the same mistakes you made. You aren’t the victim, you’re the perp. And you aren’t special, you’re actually the exact opposite – you’re all too common.

If you want to be celebrated, do something worthy of celebration. Existing is not that.

The women’s World Cup team won the tournament, that’s worth celebrating. The 13th goal in a blowout against a team with significantly less skill than you is not.

This isn’t hard. This entitlement mentality leads “teens” to swarm and rob stores because why shouldn’t they? They’re special. It leads newly elected members of Congress to claim victimhood status when they’re vastly outnumbered by their colleagues and lose a vote. And it will rot the country if we, as a society, don’t stop elevating people simply for existing.

To be treated as special you should have to accomplish something special. Everyone else is nothing but potential, and potential is something with which everyone is born, which makes it decidedly not special. There’s nothing wrong with being normal, which is a lesson people need to learn, but it’s not a cause for celebration. If you want to be cheered, earn it. But exhaling doesn’t qualify.


People need to get over themselves, and the public needs to help them do that.

Derek is the host of a free daily podcast (subscribe!) and author of the book, Outrage, INC., which exposes how liberals use fear and hatred to manipulate the masses.

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