It appears to me that there is a dual and devastating conundrum occurring in America.
On the one hand we hear the hue and howl of hate mongering. Neither left nor right, liberal nor conservative, progressive nor regressive views are whole and sole owners of the angry outbursts. On too many occasions I have joined the ranks of jaundiced jabbering. For anyone, that we choose to be offended at, we have a stable full thoroughbred insults to send swirling round and round and round the track.
Yet, on the other hand we likewise have the pasty pandering of political pacifists. They will say anything to “sound” astute. Apologies for random flippancy fall from their lips like honey drunk from a trough.
To me, neither is a very bold stance. Hate mongering is akin to the theory that cussing is simply a weak mind attempting to express itself forcefully. I like to liken it to those Kennel Ration commercials of yesteryear. “My insult is better than your insult, my insult is better than your’s.” Loud and persistent is not essentially better, nor bolder. Bold encompasses articulation expressed with conviction. It is a conviction that comes out because it cannot help but come out.
However, the pansyism of avoidance and apology is not truly bold nor humble. At best it is simply the age old debunked feel-good displays of emotional acquiescence. It is a pretend form of interaction designed to bring out our inner contortionist, patting ourselves on our psychological backs. We get to walk away saying “I’m the bigger man for looking down on my opponent whilst pretending to be submissive. I shall live to defraud another day.” That is not bold acknowledgement of error. It is hypocrisy.
What then is Boldness?
Non-boastful and non-shameful standing for one believes…with a resolute commitment to withstand what outrageous misfortune may befall us.
I would like to hear from you regarding the following five questions of principle:
- Do you accept the idea that all people are equally entitled to the right to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness?
- Do you subscribe to the idea that every person should have the freedom to own, use, exchange, control, protect and freely dispose of property?
- Do you really believe the legitimate function of government is to secure those rights through the preservation of domestic tranquility, and maintenance of a strong National Defense and the promotion of equal justice for ALL.
- Do you believe that history has shown us that government, unchecked, has a propensity not secure but rather to more usually usurp the liberty of its citizens?
- Would you embrace the idea that governments must be bound by multiple means and practices that divide it’s strength to injure, and, to jealously limit the powers of government only to the will of the governed?
First blush answers to those questions result in a rush to a quick affirmative or negative response. Yet, thoughtful consideration of each of those principles will reveal the inevitable challenges that arise from either unilateral acceptance or unilateral rejection.
For example: Can you honestly subscribe to the idea that the super rich ought to have as much “freedom to own, use, exchange, control, protect and freely dispose of property” as do those of limited means? Does your will for economic liberty supersede your desire for economic equity?
If you answer “yes” to those two questions than you stand among those that I affirm to be BOLD. You have need for neither aggressive finger pointing nor pacifistic apology. In your boldness you are not an accidental victim to your emotions. Perhaps you may be “out-of-style”…but then that is what boldness is all about.