Opinion / Politics

Political Alert: Do Not Be Afraid to Think for Yourself

yourselfDo not be afraid to think for yourself.  Modern America faces challenges – domestic and international, economic, political, and moral.  That fact is not new, even if issues are.  Thinking for yourself is one of the biggest privileges we enjoy in a free society.  It is also a duty, since only by using that freedom, do we preserve our free and good society.

The swirl and whir of politically charged media threatens to distract us every day.  Let us be honest.  The click-clack of constant joust-and-attack disrupts our power to think, erodes confidence in our own judgment, causes hesitation rather than willingness to act on independent thought.

That peril – loss of independent thought – is, believe it or not, a threat to our society’s long-term balance and survival.  It threatens the openness of society since oppression of independent thinking, by definition, closes a society.  Just ask citizens of the former Soviet Union, modern day Venezuela, Cuba, Laos, North Korea, Iran, pseudo-theocracies in the Middle East, or Communist China.

If we lose an appreciation for independent thinking, we lose the power of self-correction.  We lose an important reference point – like losing history itself – for setting our bearings.  We begin to forget, fall into a pattern of believing all we hear, doubting what works, what is right and not right.  We lose our perspective.  In losing perspective, we lose our courage and the ability to defend freedoms.

Let us go deeper.  The point is not just that we lose perspective on solving today’s problems, putting COVID-19 behind us, restarting the economy, resolving racial tensions, stopping the creep of socialism.

If we lose a determination to preserve free thought, the sort shared by those who passed that privilege to us, we lose the readjusting process on which the entire republic depends for survival.

Too often today, we are swept up in bombastic headlines, twisted by self-assured – yet often inexperienced – members of a “new media,” activist newsrooms with no interest in history or critical thinking, digital giants quick to censor, and the chop and bob, dodge and drift of social media.

All this adds up to a blinking, red light.  At risk is the very idea of independent thought.  On college campuses, we see “force them to resign,” “ban the club” and “cancel culture.”  The aim is to silence students and professors who offer historically, morally, economically, and politically diverse views.

In newsrooms, the same affliction is creating a semi-socialist herd mentality, deposing old editors, disavowing practices, disposing divergent opinions, closing the Supreme Court ‘s “marketplace of ideas.”

Among politicians, we see buffoonery and demagoguery – that is, stupidity, over-emotionalism, and self-worship – replacing rational discussion, patience, respect, and adult leadership.  Over time, Congress, governors, and mayors are tipping toward overriding constitutional rights for political gain.

Many of us watch in disbelief as traditional American principles, such as free speech, free markets, free assembly, freedom of worship, due process, rule of law, civic order for civil conversation on civil rights, respect for law enforcement, public safety, border and national security, have been eroded.

We are not happy, seeing a presidential election questioned, undermined and – if facts bear out criminal charges – for a former administration seeking to block a political rival from assuming office.

We are not happy seeing democratic institutions derided and misused, House committees dropping due process in a rush for impeachment – unsupported, as it turns out, by testimony they had at the time.

We are not happy with misuse of the foreign intelligence surveillance process or mass unmasking of phone calls with American citizens – including Trump campaign personnel.  We are not happy with coordinated, indefensible, often illegal press leaks promoting untruthful positions and politicians.

Most recently, as the nation struggles to reassess, reevaluate, and reprioritize “equal protection” under the law, improve race relations, and reconsider use of force policies, an over-zealous, over-emotional, and activist press corps – most not alive in the 1960s – has become a source of new division.

Headlines scream to “disband” and “defund” the police, those precious 900,000 citizens who keep peace for the 350 million. The lunacy of this idea, the notion that any civilized society can exist without enforcing laws, is beyond comprehension.  Yet here we are.

In the context of a society suffering fissures that began decades ago, made deeper by the unchecked rise of irresponsible political and media leaders, we are reduced to basics.   We must pause long enough to think about where our society is, how we got here, and how we get out.

In short, while the world screams at you to forget life experiences, what you have learned to value, including self-reliance, honesty and integrity, common sense and good judgment, rational evaluation and walking a circle around the bombastic and irrational, you have a choice.

The choice is about how you will conduct your own thinking.  More accurately, it is about whether you will conduct your own thinking.  Do not be afraid to think for yourself.  If ever we needed it, we do now.

When fear arises that you will be judged, could err and not be allowed to correct, may say something not well-received, or could be professionally threatened, trust yourself.  Provoking is unproductive, but so is standing silent in the face of wrongs, or abandoning life lessons learned.

American writer and independent thinker Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote: “Trust thyself – every heart vibrates to that iron string.”  True enough, and here is another secret.  Independent thinking by citizens is what keeps our republic strong.  Our greatness as a people depends on our goodness, which depends on moral compass and how much we trust ourselves.

The Frenchman, Alex de Tocqueville, observed of America:  The “secret of her genius and power” is that “America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”  The corollary is that our national goodness, depends on individual goodness, which depends – at the end of the day – on trusting our own judgment, and thinking for ourselves.

Independent thought – no matter what rages against it – is what preserves a free and good society.  So, do not be afraid to think for yourself.  Do not doubt your capacity for reasoning, reach-back, goodness and grounding, your reliance on history and hard-won life experience to think for yourself.  You have it, you need it, and our nation needs us to use it.  You might say, it is a patriotic duty.

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3 months ago

Sadly, on many social media sites you have to be careful about thinking for yourself as there are “paid trolls” whose job it is to shout down any one that states a view other than extreme liberal left‼️😬

3 months ago

Excellent article. In order to preserve the union, we all must be independent thinkers and call out what is wrong as much as we call out what is good. We Americans are inherently good hearted and we must remain that way.

Paul W
3 months ago

This highlights one of the MANY problems with today’s education. It teaches…no, indoctrinates students to do just the opposite. Campuses have become “No Free Thought” zones. Over $100K to have your kid turned into a zombie.

Bob Bailey
3 months ago

Our education system has been controlled by socialists for far too long. Children are being indoctrinated from the day the first enter a public school classroom. By the time they graduate from high school, most believe that they have a right to live their dream lives without exerting the effort necessary to achieve the heights they aspire to.
They never learn that there’s no free lunch. are programmed and not capable of independent thought. We’re seeing more of this with every generation.

David Spade
3 months ago

Thinking about what is good for America, in general, drives most political thought. When pushing for liberal and socialist issues, the Democrats don’t think of independent concepts….only about getting re-elected for office. When they gravitate toward leftist ideas, they do not connect with center of the nation. They get the compliant media to support these ideas because those in the far left media have no independent thoughts. Those who rely on that line of thinking are likely to believe anything.

3 months ago

Excellent article. We Conservatives need strength to face the constant onslaught of violence against us and our President. He is strong. We must be strong with him. This article reminds us that we have a tool of strength – our ability to reason via independent thought and through trusting ourselves and what we know is right. Sometimes it feels like we are alone. This article & AMAC help us to know we are not. God Bless Us one & all, and God Bless America – land that we love.

3 months ago

Today’s youth are too indoctrinated to think for themselves. You just have to see their stupidity in defacing monuments. They are willing Marxists, following whatever they’ve been told without question. There’s a reason the Democratic Party has a “Jackass” for a mascot, because it takes a Jackass to elect a Jackass!

3 months ago

In America we have the right to think for ourselves. This is our god given right, however, the young people going to college are not taught subjects. They are taught by LIBERAL PROFESSORS who impose their thinking and beliefs upon these young people. The radical far left Democrats in Washington and the fake media do not want you to think for yourself. All of them want to control you and do not want you to have free speech and think for your self. You are supposed to listen to them because they think they are right and know what’s best… Read more »

Joyce Reed
3 months ago

When I was in High school, I read Orwell’s “1984”. The Left wants us to emulate that. It truly scares me.

Lynne C.
3 months ago

Every person in the USA should read this article.

Patty L
3 months ago

Is anyone else having trouble with this new comment forum? My iPhone isn’t allowing me to press the +. I was told it’s probably my phone but I am not having any other problems with my touch screen. Just wondering if anyone else is having trouble.

Patriot Will
3 months ago

During the Russian Revolution, the violent Bolsheviks killed off one of my great grandfathers and his 2 oldest sons.Their only sin was to stand up to the mob who just wanted to steal their farm, because the mob had decided that the individual was supposed to just go along with the revolution, no matter what the mob wanted to do. My great grandfather and his 2 oldest sons were dragged out of their home and shot like rabid animals, because they did not want give up what they had worked for their entire lives. My great grandfather was known throughout… Read more »

3 months ago

The idiots that use “social media” are using “herd mentality”. They follow because they are incapable of of thinking for themselves.

3 months ago

Agree and we need to get rid of the socialist, communist, atheists, muslim, out of our government we have let to many foreign people in this country that are here to tear down America are being payed to destroy it and we stupid people let this happen, lslamist are banned from America yet the democratics broke a long standing law bring back and get all Islamist out, if you come here leg only you better speak English have a job waiting and a place to stay, and no dressing like a Halloween creature, not aloud to get any help from… Read more »

3 months ago

Read enough to learn who the political and cultural enemies of present day America are and how that came to be.

John A. Fallon
3 months ago

The start for true change begins WITH VOTING, we need to change state and city officials, the dems have controlled without responsibility for to long, they ARE the problem, until we vote these morons out nothing will ever change, egotistical clown mayors like deblaz in New York is the posterboy for waste of space. MAGA VOTE!

3 months ago

I’ve decided that there could be a real probability that both the “left & right” political sides are not completely telling the truth. I am a dyed-in-the-wool, Conservative, Republican (who is disgusted w/the Republican party & hold not much respect for “them” when they get to bashing their President Trump), but I cannot be a leftist-socialist in any way!   So when someone writes an article, that sounds “positive” &/or “Pro-Trump” &/or whatever, I would like “factual proof” w/links in the article so I can look it up to see if the truth is being told. I “think” that would… Read more »

Stephen Russell
3 months ago

Im not buying media trash ( save FNC FBN) See & read more from other feeds. Now to dump wearing face masks, enough why since NOT enough leaders or elites wear masks in public, saw only Danny Trejo wear mask ( Trejos Tacos, CA Mex eatery) early on virus stage.
Make= or drop masks save HC & EMTs alone to wear

3 months ago

I need to print this article, put it on my refrigerator, to re-read daily.
Great reminder to celebrate individualism. Fake news is trying to
destroy – individualism, patriotism, family, and God!

3 months ago

Someone needs to tell that to the institutions of higher learning that are brainwashing our children.

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