Here is a fact liberals refuse to acknowledge: Some people are just plain bad and others are just plain lazy.  That’s right.  There are people who are perverts, child molesters, murderers, thieves, rapists, con artists, drug pushers, pimps, child pornographers, and all manner of e-criminals for the simple reason that they choose to be.  There are also people who are leeches on society because they choose to be. Liberals like to make excuses for criminal and idle behavior, excuses such as poverty. But the truth is that most hoodlums are hoodlums because they made a conscious decision to adopt a destructive lifestyle. Most leeches are also leeches by choice. It’s not about economic circumstances it’s about who they are.  What they lack is not money—it’s character.

For validation of my contention one need only apply simple logic: If economic disadvantage were a legitimate excuse for criminal or idle behavior, every poor person in America would be a criminal or a leech. In fact, I would be one or the other myself.  Since the overwhelming majority of poor people are fine, decent, law-abiding, hard working citizens, there must be another explanation for criminal and idle behavior.   There is.  But it’s an explanation that makes naïve liberals who view themselves as social engineers cringe.

How people respond to life’s circumstances is a matter of character not their economic circumstances.  People of character—regardless of their race, gender, or national origin—react to poverty in socially responsible ways. I grew up among people who were sterling examples of this phenomenon. They spent their lives inching their way out of poverty by working hard, working smart, and working long.  They were serious about education and had a strong work ethic.  Together, these two things—education and hard work—were their tools for building a better life.

I also knew people from the same neighborhood who did just the opposite.  Some sat around indolently leeching off of society. Others turned to criminal activities.  What I learned from this experience is that most people who turn to crime do so because they are criminals and most people who idly leech off of society do so because they are leeches.   Give people who lack character all the advantages society can offer and chances are they will still become hoodlums or ne’er-do-wells.  Federal prisons are full of white-color criminals who despite wealth, power, and status, were nothing more than hoodlums in suits before their choices put them behind bars.

What most people who become criminals, hoodlums, and ne’er-do-wells lack is not economic advantage, it’s character—a condition that cannot be changed through social engineering or big-government programs dreamed up by misguided liberals.  Writing for The Washington Times of July 8th, conservative economist Thomas Sowell asks some pertinent questions about this issue: “Why has evil been such a hard concept for many on the left to accept? The basic agenda of the left is to change external conditions (through nanny government programs financed by tax payers).  But what if the real problem is the cussedness of human beings?  Rousseau denied this in the 18th century and the left has been denying it ever since.  Why? Self preservation.  If the things the left wants to control—institutions and government policy—are not the most important factors in the world’s problems, then what role is there for the left?”

As usual Dr. Sowell hits the nail on the head.  The left does not care about the criminals, hoodlums, and ne’er-do-wells it coddles.  To liberals they are simply a means to an end: control of the institutions that influence the culture such as the schools, colleges, and media as well as the one institution that has the power to coerce: the federal government.  By coddling the idle and the criminal, the left maintains a dependent and, hence, dependable constituency that will loyally vote to keep liberals—their benefactors—in office.  And, by the way, those who don’t work and don’t intend to have the same vote as those who do.  Further, liberals are working hard to make sure that criminals also get to vote.  What a country.