I’m a woman.
I’m a brown woman.
I’m a brown woman whose parents came from a different country.
Add it all up, and what does that make me?
If you listen to liberal leaders, my gender, skin color, and family make me a victim — and nothing more. The way they tell it, the deck is stacked against me, and I can’t help it. In fact, they say things are so bad that we need to flip over the table and deal a different hand to everyone, or maybe even start a new game entirely. According to them, nothing other than another American revolution is needed, because this country is supposedly rotten to the core.
But these liberals are wrong. They’re wrong when they define people by gender and skin color — that’s insulting — and they’re wrong about America.
America isn’t sexist, racist, or rotten. To the contrary, America is the first country in history to reject sexism and racism. The Declaration of Independence makes clear that discrimination of any kind has no place in America. Previous generations have fought and even died to move us closer to our founding promise of liberty and equality for all.
There’s still work to be done, no question. But today’s liberals are standing in the way of progress. They claim to be fighting for social justice, but they’re really making it impossible to achieve a more just society. They claim to be “progressive,” but they’re dragging America backward.
The worldview I’m describing is held by virtually all leading Democrats and their allies in the media and higher education, who are obsessed with the idea that America is totally unjust. Some call it “woke.” Some call it “identity politics.” To a point that’s an accurate description, but there’s something deeper and more dangerous at work.
That something is socialism.
Most people assume socialism is just about the economy. It’s not.
Socialism claims to be about achieving equality in every part of daily life. But it’s not equality of opportunity, where everyone has the freedom to soar. It’s equality of outcome, where everyone is destined to be the same.
The Left calls this “equity,” but there’s nothing equitable about it. Their whole vision depends on providing government with complete control over the American people. The goal isn’t to lift people up, it’s to level people out — which means tearing some down. Yet there’s no way to do that without tearing apart America in the process.
The proof is playing out before our eyes.
The Left’s constant focus on grievance, victimhood, and privilege fills people with anger and hatred toward one another. The result is censorship, as people shout down and silence those they disagree with, especially on the Right. There’s violence, because if America truly is unjust, then it deserves to be overthrown.
In the end, the liberal project will lead to tyranny, with a government that can decide what we say, what we think, and how we live.
That’s the inevitable result of socialism. And it’s the polar opposite of real social justice, which our country actually needs. The way to achieve a more just society isn’t by rejecting or replacing America. It’s to renew our trust in America’s guiding principles.
The biggest lie told by the Left is that America is built on a foundation of injustice. It’s true that our founders weren’t saints — far from it. It’s true that there are a lot of truly awful sins staining our country’s past. But these truths don’t change the fact that America was founded with the promise of liberty and equal rights for all. Those principles are the source of our national success, and they are still the standard we are striving to meet. Over nearly 250 years, those principles have helped us right the wrongs of the past, and delivered America’s promise to more people.
Those same principles are needed to achieve a better future, where everyone has the best shot at the best life. If we embrace them, we’ll break down the barriers that are holding people back — in our economy, our education system, our culture. We’ll move America closer to our ideals, like Frederick Douglass, Susan B. Anthony, and so many others have done throughout our history.
But if we reject America’s principles, we’re dooming ourselves to a darker future — a future of less equality and liberty, not more. It will be a future of censorship, violence, and socialist tyranny. Take it from me, a brown woman: America is better than that.
Ms. Haley served as governor of South Carolina (2011-17) and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations (2017-19).
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