Common Sense, Political Correctness, and “Literacy”.
Published to: 000115, 000116, 000117, A Small Town Lawyer's Perspective, Perspectives of a Small Town Lawyer, West Virginia Lawyer - Tips and Techniques
on October 21, 2010 6:47 pm
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Today Juan Williams was fired from N.P.R. because he went onto the Bill O’Reilly show and said that people in “Moslem dress” make him nervous in an airplane. Within context, he was making a point about stereotypes and extremism. He GOT CANNED by N.P.R.
Glen Beck calls persons of a liberal bent idiots, and the President a Communist. Rush calls the President the Devil and Demonic.
Sorry, I cannot find it right now, but I read an article in Smithsonian Magazine about the most powerful political figure in American during the Era of Prohibition. I am sure you can find him if you Google it, but he is pretty much forgotten now. What happened is he focused a powerfully motivated minority of the people, much like the NRA today, and now perhaps the Tea Party movement, on electing officials who supported Prohibition.
Truth was, a passive majority did not want to outlaw alcohol, but his movement caused politicians to shake in their boots. But he got it passed. When it was repealed, my Grandpa Hunter took my father, age 9, and uncle, 11 to a local bar where they had a beer, and arrived home in a condition which scandalized my Grandma, who probably was just fine with prohibition.
Please know that the radicals on the right and left do not deal in facts; they deal in dogma, insults, formulaic solutions, and fear.
These folks DO NOT believe in majority rule, which, by the way, can be a tyranny in itself. The Greeks and Romans spent time discussing such things. The “true believers” on the left and the right want to IMPOSE their views on you.
My perspective on such things was changed forever by an essay I read in law school, Natural Law, by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. He starts by pointing out that the drunk at the bar will fight you if you don’t agree his girl is the prettiest God ever made.
He proceeds to talk about those who have rigid beliefs, those who feel the world is controlled by “Natural Law” that they have figured out, usually based upon some religion’s tenets. He explains there is no “natural law”, but states there are a collection of “can’t helps” that govern his moral and ethical sense. He includes law against murder or rape as consistent with his “can’t helps”.
I cannot help but believe that a person who says, “I don’t believe in evolution. It’s only a theory.” is ignoring plain scientific fact. Many politicians know that but cannot say it, because you cannot be a “tea party-er” and believe otherwise.
I can’t help but believe that if you have not read Darwin, or one or more of the dozens of excellent science writers who have explained evolution, you have no right to say you don’t believe.
I believe that saying that all (liberals, conservatives, Steeler Fans, Methodists, Moslem’s, West Virginians, or LAWYERS) are idiots, or corrupt, or dangerous, tells us much more about the speakers than about those groups.
I believe that a Mother or Father that involves their children in the divorce, who tells the kids bad things about the other parent, or who allows others to do so, or starts following a destructive path for short term pleasure, are committing a terrible wrongdoing, and that the children may suffer from that behavior for a lifetime.
I believe we have a responsibility to be as literate as possible. How can we guide others, or ourselves, if we don’t understand science, keep up with the news, seek information on important issues of the day from many sources, read a worthwhile book or magazine once in a while, and think outside of our particular religion or political party.
The sad thing about today’s politics is that our country has no clue how to deal with the chaos being caused by the aging of the “baby boomers”, and by racial prejudice and fear, drugs, and sex.
When we try to discuss it, much like the ladies on The View, we throw insults and storm out of the room.
Our politicians cannot risk trying to have rational discussion or debate. Political ads are for idiots; believe any of them and you are crazy. Go to other sources, to someone intellectually honest, even if they are labelled something you disagree with.
I have found Bob Woodward to be fair, so I read each of his books. On the news, you only hear the provocative things Woodward says, usually out of context. The book is 400 pages, but most of us know 1% of what he said.
We are fragmenting. Our kids don’t watch the news. Why else would the news advertise laxatives, pain relievers, artificial knee joints, and Viagra!? They are in a world unto themselves, in an educational system controlled by stagnation and mediocrity.
I will get back to some topics on injury claims, family law, deeds, wills and contracts, and lawsuits, soon, but for today I just wanted to complain a bit about the direction our confused society is taking.
Thanks for taking the time to consider it.
This post was written by Burton Hunter