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Entitlement is about assuming certain privileges that are connected with a title. From movies and literature, we are all familiar with the English aristocracy and the privileges they assumed went with their noble titles. They saw themselves, and were treated, as though they were above the law and beyond question. This is how the upper class (the 1 percent) think their wealth and power should give them certain entitlements too.

But we live in a democracy and the operative title is “citizen.” There are certain privileges that do go with that title…fair and equal treatment, an equal voice in your life and the direction of the society, the right to vote and all of the rights of the Constitution and all of the amendments. These are not assumed rights, these are enumerated rights that each and every citizen has.

There are also other assumed entitlements besides wealth and position. There are some who assume that the title of Christian carries certain entitlements with it, or white, or any number of other labels we give ourselves.

All of these may carry some privilege within our own groups but are not and cannot be a part of the social contract in a democracy without damaging the equality of citizenship upon which it is based.

We would all like to think that our label or special title gives us some degree of entitlement and makes us special and more important or deserving of special treatment.

The reality is that we are all special in our own ways, just like everyone else. That is the heart of democracy — the equal entitlements of citizenship.

Bob Passi


Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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