Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Revisited
After reading and listening to liberal friends and pundits bemoaning the election loss, convinced that women, blacks, gays, transsexuals, Muslims, the poor, sick, or other special groups will be hung out to dry under a Trump administration, I came to a startling conclusion.
I appreciate liberal/progressive/democrats’ desire to be perceived as the party who cares about everyone versus a party who caters to primarily white, male capitalists. However, I can’t help but thinking about Maslow’s pyramid describing mankind’s hierarchy of needs. Two bases of this pyramid are “Physiological,” (food, water and shelter) and “Safety.” Only at top levels (Love and Belonging, Esteem and Self Actualization) are lesser concerns than those relating to sheer human survival.
I did not read any special concern from the Democrat party in their 2017 Party Platform or campaign speeches for helping people become self-sufficient or safer, important considerations on bottom rungs of the ladder. In fact much of what I read tended to erode rather than reinforce bottom tiers for human survival.
A robust economy offers jobs and thus income for purchasing food and shelter, satisfying basic physiological needs. One has only to look to our southern neighbor, Venezuela, to see welfare and socialism have reduced a once prosperous and free nation to failed state status. The Democrat platform is weak on job creation and strong on plundering from the rich to regulate or redistribute to the poor. True equality is achieved when everyone has nothing, but that has never been what America was about.
A strong military and secure borders provide for national defense. Local police forces and the right to own arms for personal protection have the second level, “Safety,” covered. Open borders and hoards of refugees have decimated our welfare and medical support systems. A weakened military has put us in a position no longer able to defend the country. Black Lives Matter and other anti-police movements are counterproductive for safety of the general population. Democrat platforms tend to undermine rather than reinforce Maslow’s safety level. The drive to repeal the Second Amendment has lessened individuals’ ability to protect themselves.
The third level is “Love and Belonging.” A century old definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman was a pillar in a former definition of family. I observe many Democrat programs may have been started with good intentions but multiple generations of welfare have decimated families, particularly black families. This is exemplified by the joke about the welfare single mother of fifteen children all named Leroy. When she wanted their collective attention, she called, “Leroy.” When she wanted to attract individual attention, she called children by their last name. Gangs have replaced crumbling family structures in inner cities. With poor education, little hope of finding a job and no value left for the family, crime, drug use and gang warfare have replaced bedtime stories, a balanced diet, and soccer moms for many vulnerable youth. A successful society is a moral society and it seems everything once deemed moral is now out of fashion, not just marriage, but also gender identification and private charity. Additionally, how can a disabled military veteran, wounded in defense of his country feel he belongs to that same country when he gets no help from the VA and reads of free medical care being provided for illegal aliens and refugees. Christianity used to be an institution teaching morality, love and belonging. Now Christians are persecuted for not selling wedding cakes or flower arrangements to gays. Christianity is rampantly disparaged by the media, regulated by local governments, and even selectively prosecuted by the IRS. The Ten Commandments are removed from public spaces and crosses are treated like they all were installed by the Ku Klux Klan. Even more discouraging is that all things Muslim are tolerated, condoned and applauded. Just yesterday, I saw a photograph of a hijab shrouded Muslim TSA agent virtually strip searching a garbed nun in an airport security line. How much more backward can we as a nation get? Yet as I read the Koran, Islam is a political movement, not a religion and it teaches violence, murder, intolerance for homosexuals and disregard for women. This is seemingly the opposite of “Love and Belonging,” yet is welcomed by the left. How can a nation founded under Greek and Roman law survive under Sharia law?
Finally, we reach upper levels of the hierarchy with “Esteem.” This is the level on which Democrats seem to focus most of their rhetoric and party platform. Republican’s “War on Women,” hurts esteem. Homophobia, Xenophobia, Racism, are all deemed unacceptable because some special snowflake will lose his/her, pardon me, Xe, Xem and Xyr esteem. Half of all Americans were called a “Basket of Deplorables” by one party candidate. Does it help the esteem of all when some are called acceptable and the rest unredeemably deplorable? Participation trophies for everyone are the order of the day these days! Grades don’t matter; pass/fail is the new norm. Physical ability no longer factors in military, police, or fire fighter professions. Spelling does not matter. One university just decided to teach at least one black studies course in every major, including mathematics, technology and even astronomy. Paying faculty to teach about esteem in a college or university already too costly for the average student without loans, seems counterproductive in developing a truly educated population.
A question I would like to leave with any reader who gets this far: Is it possible to be self-actualized, the top level) under the guidance of a party that ignores and even undermines supporting basic needs and focuses solely on top levels? What good is a Black Studies class to a student who is hungry, homeless, daily attacked physically, who has no family and can only look to faceless government agencies who may or may not help because of some one-size-fits all set of regulations. It seems to me both political parties should focus on basics of eliminating homelessness, hunger, illiteracy and provide safety before arguing about and building a political platform based on the finer points of self actualization.