Since I am considered by many to be a “little guy,” you’d think I’d always be “looking out” for him–the proverbial little guy.
You could not be more wrong. The little guy bugs the crap out of me.
But let me define what I mean by “little guy,” while also expanding on what I believe is a new victim in the ever expanding sea of grievances.
I call this new perceived injustice “Giantism.” Note, this is not gigantism, which is a bona fide medical condition, characterized by unusually large growth. Giantism instead is a type of bullying characterized by targeting large people, places, and things.
I have a good friend who is very, very big. The size of a walk-in freezer. He’s also kinda famous–his fame and success both products of a keen intellect and hard work. But if you ask him what it was like growing up, he’ll tell you: it wasn’t always buttered figs. Because he was big.
The problem with being big: if a smaller person teases or bullies you, you cannot fight back. Because if you hurt the aggressor, you end up looking like the bad guy. It’s why many big people are labeled as “gentle giants” when, in fact, they have no choice.
I was blessed with being small and compact, so I never had a problem defending myself. Most aggressors were slightly to moderately bigger than me, so if I successfully defended myself, it would not be viewed as mean. Hardly, I would be the “little guy” who fought back. The problem with this: I wasn’t always the little guy fighting back. Sometimes I was the little guy starting the fight… with giants. A lot of bullies are wiry little punks out to prove something. I’m not saying I was one; I’m saying I looked like one.
Giantism affords no luxury of defense to the big. And it creates a false version of right and wrong. I reference this, a lot, as the “David and Goliath effect.” The story that millions of kids fell in love with during Sunday School has served to pattern every fight or challenge wrongly as “big is bad, small is good.” And that duopoly helps us ignore the one battle that really matters: good vs. evil.
This is an instinct in all of us to root for the little guy, even if that little guy is trying to destroy us–even if the little guy is out for himself.
As the leaker Ed Snowden remains hidden in a Moscow airport, maybe ending up in a place like Ecuador (although that now appears unlikely, probably due to financial pressure), it’s really easy to see him as the underdog, escaping the clutches of a big bad America. But as you applaud this latest David and his supreme humiliation of Goliath (i.e. us), witness all the Goliaths beside him taking great pleasure in the spectacle.
Russia, China, Venezuela, Cuba–none of these Goliaths value free speech or freedom the way we do, but there they are, ready to hoist this new David up on their shoulders.
And why? Is it because they really LOVE the underdog? Not quite. They just love seeing the USA taken down a peg. They are Goliaths cheering on a David for tripping up one of their own, more superior rivals. These lesser giants love seeing the big cheese suffer, for they can, for a moment, walk a little taller by comparison.
As for Ecuador, that ain’t no pocket of sunshine. It’s a socialist swamp. This is a country whose president has overseen the closure of more than a handful of radio and TV stations. My point: it’s easy to see these countries as Davids helping another David out. Far from it. It’s all part of the global celebration of a humiliated (gentle) giant called the United States. Because Snowden is an American, Putin calls him a dissident. But if Snowden were Russian, he’d be dessert.
This giant needs to wake up. We are the greatest country that ever was–a true gentle giant that kept the peace and helped prevent thugs and monsters from doing horrible things. If other countries had the power that we have now, do you think they would operate with such restraint?
This giant, called the United States, has created enormous wealth, which has often been used to help nations far worse off–many of whom are rarely grateful. We’ve invented devices that save lives, farming techniques that prevent starvation, medicines that eradicate horrible disease.
And THEY don’t like us.
Because we are big.
It’s time to understand that and get over it. Fact is, the moment we are no longer the big man on campus, everyone (perhaps even our friends) will turn on us. So it’s time to ditch the psychoanalysis and admit to ourselves that the world no longer gives a poop about us. We live in a world that mocks our desires for national security, our natural inclination for borders, our patriotism born from achievement. And it’s all out of envy.
It’s time for the giant to wake up, drink a pot of coffee, and get back in the gym. Let’s face it: Goliath has gotten pretty flabby, and it’s time to remind ourselves how (and why) we got so big in the first place.
Greg Gutfeld is a mainstay on Fox News as co-host of The Five and the host of Red Eye. He’s also the NY Times best-selling author of The Joy of Hate: How to Triumph over Whiners in the Age of Phony Outrage.