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November Senate Reading Group: Individual responsibility vs. victimhood

Dirksen G-02

Please join us for the Faith & Law Senate Reading Group on Friday, Nov 22 from noon to 1:00 p.m. in Dirksen G-02 to discuss the theme of individual responsibility vs. victimhood.

Lunch is provided, but please bring your own drink. Feel free to invite a friend or your colleagues! Please do not feel like you must read all of the articles to come to the discussion.

To tee up our conversation, we will discuss the aforementioned theme in the context of the recent Joker movie, specifically Kevin D. Williamson's commentary in National Review. One need not have watched the movie to participate; this conversation will be more general. Then, we will turn to Tucker Carlson's January monologue on Fox News, and discuss two National Review articles-one in support and one in opposition of his argument.

Here's an excerpt from Williamson's commentary:
"Some people have happy childhoods and grow up to be saints. Some people have happy childhoods and grow up to be monsters. Suffering is a variable in the human equation, but isolating the variable in this case leads us astray. The richer and more terrifying problem upon which to meditate is the fact that the world is full of Arthur Flecks [the Joker] whose evil is not the result of psychological conditioning but is - or at least seems to be - ex nihilo."

Here's an excerpt from Tucker's monologue:
"The answer used to be obvious: the overriding goal for America is more prosperity, meaning cheaper consumer goods. But is that still true? Does anyone still believe that cheaper iPhones, or more Amazon deliveries of plastic garbage from China are going to make us happy? They haven't so far. A lot of Americans are drowning in stuff. Yet drug addiction and suicide are depopulating large parts of the country. Anyone who thinks the health of a nation can be summed up in GDP is an idiot.

The goal for America is both simpler and more elusive than mere prosperity. It's happiness. There are a lot of ingredients in being happy: Dignity. Purpose. Self-control. Independence. Above all, deep relationships with other people. Those are the things that you want for your children. They're what our leaders should want for us, and would if they cared. But our leaders don't care. We are ruled by mercenaries who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule. They're day traders. Substitute teachers. They're just passing through. They have no skin in this game, and it shows. They can't solve our problems. They don't even bother to understand our problems."