04 March 2008

Passion versus Restraint

Note to readers: I am having a hell of a time getting this post how I want it. I'm just going to give up and post it as is. Good luck...

Per my "William F. Buckley, Jr." Post, I am putting fingers to keyboard to discuss ideas sparked by the death of Bill Buckley.

The first ideas that I would like to discuss are the lack of passion in political discussions and the dwindling percentage of people involved in political discussions. I am often conflicted by my desire to argue passionately about a topic. However, to be taken seriously, often one must debate an issue without emotion and with sophistication. This has resulted in the exclusion of the average person from political discussions. This exclusion is a travesty; everyone has a right to express their opinions - regardless of education level and speaking ability.

In this era of apathy, I worry that many people lack strong feelings on important issues. It is my opinion that society has contributed to this. More and more, it is becoming unacceptable for people to express their opinions. Many people argue that an expression of strong opinions will result in the hurting of someone else's feelings. Perhaps that is the case, but does it matter? As the old addage goes, "sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me." Apparently, an ever-increasing number of Westerners* disagrees.

This is a frightening development, for our freedom of speech is the freedom on which all others rest. I often applaud those who speak their mind - regardless of whether I agree or disagree with them. Personally, I believe than an unsophisticated but passionate argument may be just as legitimate as a calculated but emotionless one. It is imperative that we stop robbing our children of passion and drive. Inspired individuals created the world that we live in. If we are to continue to improve society, our children must know that everyone has a right to express their opinion - even if they aren't a member of the debate team.

Freedom of thought, speech, and expression is necessary in a healthy society. Promote these, and (it is hoped that) the result will be increased dialogue and improved society.

*Westerners used in the context of Western Civilization

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