It must be said that words from our mouths, from the veiled recesses of our souls, unrestrained by external pressure or repudiation, from the concealed closets of our existence, these utterances are the closest we will ever come to expressing the truth as we, experientially, individually, will ever know it. And we censor them….. “words,” and all this because “truth” begets hatred.
To understand individuals, to experience their mind set, one must let, no encourage, that they speak to us in the “words” of their life experience. To fear words is to fear the truth.
Non-violent, vigorous debate is the issue, not toning down the rhetoric, an excuse for censorship from those without a worthy opposing viewpoint. Vigorous free wheeling debate leads to answers amongst men and women of moral character and emotional stability. This arena is often messy, unrecognizable and sadly, unfortunately, sometimes violent. This is no reason to “scrub” it, censor it, or forsake it, no less important than Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
We should, we must, encourage the free flow of speech, thoughtful speech, stupid speech, ugly speech, elitist speech so we can have an honest, meaningful and productive conversation, a dialogue often between adversaries. We are endowed with “reason” so “Fix reason firmly in her seat and question with boldness.”
During the days of the Founding Fathers, a history lesson easily ignored, if one was ‘offended” it, at times, resulted in a dual, an event in which Alexander Hamilton lost his life to Vice President Aaron Burr over a semantic admonition, the subject was Hamilton’s “words” of response, casually educating Burr on the many possible meanings of “despicable”, enraging and embarrassing Burr.
Thomas Jefferson was labeled a “mean spirited, low lived fellow”, “son of a half breed Indian Squaw.” And we have a conniption fit, a falsely righteous display of anger and temper, we scrub worthy essays, is it just because we disagree? Judgment of others, an important consideration, is serious stuff but we shoulder that responsibility, responsibly, every day in the juries of our legal system. And there is a difference between judgment and opinion.
It was reported that if Thomas Jefferson won the election, in the 1800s, civilization would disintegrate into “murder, robbery, rape, incest will be openly taught and practiced, the air will be rent with the cries of distress, the soil soaked with blood, and the nation black with crime.” And the railing against Thomas Jefferson continued in the media a precursor of today’s Internet, “are we prepared to see your dwelling in flames, hoary heads bathed in blood, female chastity violated or children writhing on a pike and the halberd.”
Was this not reminiscent of Senator Edward Kennedy’s strong denunciation of Judge Robert Burke’s nomination to the Supreme Court? Why is it that congress men and women can say anything when in the “well” of congress and not be arrested? The very essence of free speech is “honest”, “meaningful”, “passionate”, and yes, sometimes, “misguided” dialogue.
The issue is to “say what you mean and mean what you say” and for reasonable people, progress can be made. Lies and PC corrupt this process beyond functionality and utility. “Spending” and “Investment”, Freedom, Democracy, and what a Republic represents, are purposefully blurred for the sake of confusion and advancing an “Transformational” idea.
And the Founding Fathers understood this concept. The violence of “words” is infinitely more acceptable and preferable to the “violence” of physical actions. And the justified response to violent practices, policies and actions is “violent” self defense, without any condemnation of pacifists and those, the peaceful advocates of resistance to Darwinism, the survival of the fittest, as taught us by Gandhi, Christ and Martin Luther King. SO why would one not choose “words” as a first option?
The news media in those days, our country’s founding, was equally as rabid. John Adams was characterized as a “repulsive pedant”, “mentally deranged”, “blind, crippled and toothless.” Where is my glove that I may slap thee, a challenge to a dual? Alexander Hamilton was maligned by the media as “self created Monster”, an “adulterer”, and “haunted by whores.” How truly, remarkably uncivil this was. But America was born and rose up from this turbulence, without suppressing the free exchange of ideas, “words” were more important than life itself, interesting? The answer is for us to learn.
There was the “Industrial Age.” Let this be the age of reason, the age of the individual, both in responsibility and accountability. Territorial imperative, once the domain firmly, and selfishly in the hands of Kings and the Church, be the sole province of man, the individual. Can man rule himself, we say yes! Censorship does not advance this cause.
And today we twist and torture ourselves with words like “crosshairs”, not to mention a quandary about the intellectually elitist program “Crosshairs.” Oh, how decadent we are. The natural extension of “In Search of Excellence” is the admiration for those children who strive to “be all they can be”, to struggle for “A’s” and attend the very best academic institutions. Society would turn its back on type “A” personalities, which is the foundation of America exceptionalism. And the day will arrive when the word “competition” will be looked on with contempt.