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Before I came to Washington, I wanted to help people. I never saw those with whom I disagreed as my enemies, I just had a different approach to helping others. I believed the best way to help others was teach them how to help themselves. In order to succeed, you must fail and make mistakes. What I learned in Washington was those that claimed to be champions of the poor were never about changing the causes that keep poor people trapped in poverty. Liberals want to maintain, manage and regulate people’s poverty.

Maybe growing up in New Jersey trained me to have a healthy skepticism of groupthink. I grew up in the hood, and I observed and steered clear of the bad eggs that resided where I lived. I played basketball and saw the best – Kenny Anderson, Chris Mullin, Alonzo Mourning and Allen Iverson. I learned early on if you want to play ball, you have to win; no one has time for excuses and sob stories. Life isn’t fair but sometimes you are placed in live or die situations. That’s why I have no sympathy for the Hillary zombats and Obamanites. Obstacles and challenges are part of life; blaming Republicans for obstruction is equivalent to the Falcons blaming the Patriots for not winning the Super Bowl.

I guess my break from groupthink began with my father. I lived in an ethnic neighborhood and one day I was invited out for ice cream. All the White kids’ parents would give them allowances. I asked my father to borrow money. He took me to the garage and showed me a lawnmower and told me to learn to cut grass. I started with three lawns, and until I had fifteen lawns, I mowed.

I believed in the racist narrative of poverty but learned quickly the limits of helping your people. I wanted to cater to my Black neighbors but many were stingy and cheap. They wanted you to do a lot of work but didn’t want to pay you; I didn’t have headaches with my wealthier White neighbors.

I had one customer who told me to read Benjamin Graham’s “Intelligent Investor.” I started learning finance by purchasing the Wall Street Journal; I learned there are two kinds of people, those that work for money and those that have money working for them. That’s why I can’t listen to people whine about racism and injustice; Jim Crow existed, but a Black man could have bought the S&P 500 stock during segregation, sold it during the civil rights movement and bought a thousand properties in White neighborhoods. If you bought Wal-Mart stock during the turmoil of the late sixties and sold during George W. Bush’s first term, you would be part of the millionaires and billionaires Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders rails about.

Liberals make terrible investors because they’re too emotional. In finance, you can’t let your emotions get in the way of events; it doesn’t matter how you feel, the market is telling you something. You can’t be rigid and ideological in finance. If you’re losing, cut your losses and get out.

There’s a double standard with the left regarding identity politics. They have gay, women and queer studies but if a man wants to celebrate their history and accomplishments they’re called misogynists. Identity politics is segregation in reverse. Why can’t men start a masculine studies course? If Blacks, Latinos and women can form their own caucuses, why can’t White men band together and form a congressional White caucus? You can’t say you’re for diversity, then have Black or women’s institutions. You can’t say you want to be acknowledged as a group or identity and expect Whites not want to acknowledge their history.

I say this with no malice or hostility because we all should take an interest in what’s happening to our republic. It’s not about Black or White; it’s about wrong and right. Dissent isn’t about whether I agree or disagree with you. It’s about the consequences of the choices we make. I don’t hate progressives, but I refuse to let them dictate what I can or cannot do. Liberals have monopolized the conversation on social justice, and their ideas have been destructive to the masses. If the Democratic Party can’t comprehend or entertain other perspectives, they need to die like the Whigs so a workers’ party can emerge and represent the masses better.

Jeffery McNeil is a vendor/artist for Street Sense.