I can say what I want –

by

. . . when I want. That’s a quote I heard one woman saying on TV. We Americans tend to think that this is so. Particularly 60’s generation and forward. That’s not really the way it works.

You cannot shout out fire in a public place, thereby endangering people. You cannot crash into a church and holler obscenity, or anything else that interrupts a service.

What it really comes to is that you can think anything you like, no matter how silly, stupid, contrary, ordinary, brilliant, or whatever. You may express that opinion in writing anywhere you can get it published and no one can stop you.

You can express your opinion anywhere you are not disrupting other’s lives. However, what so many people seem to miss is that if you are bloviating away others are also free to disagree with you and to also express same.

‘Taint stated in the Constitution or in law, but implied in the early thinking of the Founding Fathers is the notion that ordinary rules of human courtesy and civilized behavior would be the norm. If you watch most so-called debates on the boob-tube you see people interrupting each other, talking on top of each other, and refusing to let the opposing view have a say. Debate is not shouting down those who disagree with us. Proper debate means listening carefully and courteously to what the opposition has to say. Then speaking logically and rationally, answering the opposition’s points and raising points of your own view.

What you see mostly today is not debate, it is childish argument. People frequently do not discuss, they have an emotional investment in “being right” and “winning the argument”. If logic cannot persuade the opposition then they resort to rude behavior to try to win by browbeating. It might just be interesting to actually and politiely listen to each other. Too many times the shouting down is used so that opposing views cannot even be heard. This is usually a tactic often used by liberals, but it is not exclusive to them. Funny, I often hear libs go on about how they want “dialog” and are then the ones who will shout down anyone who disagrees with them.

Just as, within the proper place and time, you can express any view that you like, I can pay no attention to you or completely tune you out, or respond, or walk away. These are my free choices.

Also remember that the Founding Fathers tried their very best to form a government that would insure the maximum freedom with the maximum protection of us from ourselves. They almost succeeded, but not quite. Look at the current shenanigans of the anti-gun nuts. The Supreme (narrowly) actually ruled to support the Constitution and several city councils are still doing what they damn well please even though their laws are illegal. (New York, Chicago, DC and others). Remember Vox populi vox dei can best be translated as “My God! How did we get into this mess!” I think I stole that from Heinlein. If not, it is still muy true.

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One Response to “I can say what I want –”

  1. turtlemom3 Says:

    Herself Sez: Repeat: “Debate is not shouting down those who disagree with us. Proper debate means listening carefully and courteously to what the opposition has to say. Then speaking logically and rationally, answering the opposition’s points and raising points of your own view.” I can’t emphasize this enough. Fox News talks about debating this and debating that, but most of the “debates” are simply totally incomprehensible shouting matches. True debate more closely resembles the old “debating team” approach, in which each side presents their main proposetus, and then each side has a short time to analyze the other’s statements and refute them. This takes place a predetermined number of times. Judges determine the “winner” based on the arguments as well as the manner of presentation. In other words, if one side devolves into shouting, cursing, name-calling, ad hominem attacks, or other things that are against the rules, they lose points – and could lose the debate.

    Frankly, I’d like to see this kind of debate – which is more Lincolnesque, initiated for presidential campaigns. Each candidate’s claims should have to be explained and substantiated. Each plank in the candidate’s platform should have to be debated properly – face to face.

    And in Congress, for example, the Democrat denial of off-shore oil drilling would have to be explained and substantiated against Republican arguments, and Republican support for off-shore oil drilling would have to be explained and substantiated against Democrat arguments. These arguments would then be in the Federal Register and available for all to read and know about for generations.

    Rhetoric should be taught in schools once again, and should be a required course. Debate should be a required course in high schools. And debate teams should be encouraged once more. There is nothing that is much more helpful to organizing the mind than this kind of debate. The ancients knew it, and the Founding Fathers knew it.

    I believe it is all too frequently the case of laziness on the part of teachers that is responsible for the reprehensible condition of our country’s general educational status. That, and bureaucratic interference with education and family abdication of their responsibility for discipline in regard to their children.

    It is amazing that we had a successful country, successful education, and successful people for generations BEFORE the government began to interfere with education and family life.

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