Is it important for people to willing to talk about there political views and not have to worry about being shot down buy others, in order for the government to work how we think it should?
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As a nation, America has had a rather lengthy history of dissent. Some of our greatest minds were voices of dissent. Political views should be able to be expressed freely and should be able to be spoken of from a position of passion and zeal. This is an embodiment of one's positive liberty, the right to create and express oneself in an active manner. Yet, this expression should not come at the cost of another. The right to free speech is not a license to obliterate another's point of view. One's positive liberty cannot trade off with one's negative liberty, the right to be left alone. Along these lines, political expression should not be pursued to ends that eliminate the other sides of the argument. While passion is present, there has to be a realm where, as Dr. King suggested, that individuals can disagree without being violently disagreeable. That being said, I do believe that there is a time and place to express these views and I would suggest that public areas like the workplace or realm of business might not be an appropriate setting where the unsolicited expression of individual political views might actually end up doing more harm than good.
My answer is a qualified "yes." There is something about talking, especially when the talking is done intelligently that leads to the betterment of all people. So, I would say that while all people have the right to talk about government, we do not need to listen to them. In fact, I would say that we should not give ear to people with no knowledge or little knowledge. Keep in mind that little knowledge can be dangerous. As long as this qualification is followed, we should talk about government. This dialogue will be an important step towards bring up the level of knowledge and this will in turn hopefully create a responsible citizenry.
There certainly is nothing wrong or undemocratic about discussing politics in the open with friends, loved ones and strangers, though it is sometimes considered impolite in social settings. The problem is that we seldom "discuss" anything anymore when it comes to political debate. We do a lot of yelling. We tell each other how wrong the other person is. Cable shows and talk radio convert it into theater and ratings to both entertain us and profit from our division.
It wasn't too long ago that America was better at that kind of dialogue. I'm hoping it is a skill we are able to find and develop again, because it is surely a democratic notion, and healthy for any republic.
By living in the United States we have freedom of speech so this gives us the opportunity and right to talk about or express what we wish. If someone wishes to discuss his or her political views or opinions of the government then that choice is up to them. If they choose to do so they should recognize that they are opening themselves up for criticism because everyone has their own opinion. Whether or not they choose to engage in a debate is up to them but they are certainly able to let their opinions be heard.
I would argue that the answer is absolutely yes. The problem is that we also tend to think in terms of one side vs. the other side in this country and so the idea of a debate or a discussion is somewhat hard to find. Most people appear to want to shout about their side and then shout down the other side, so a fear of being yelled at will lead many people to keep their opinions to themselves.
But ideally, a government by the people and for the people cannot work unless its people are thinking hard about how it ought to be done. This process can be helped a great deal by talking to people with different views, as it encourages a dialectic community, one in which both sides are represented. As you see now, the public debate generally centers around talking points and trying to take down the other side rather than on compromise, understanding and listening. But the ideal would consist of a great deal of open discussion.
Discussions and dialogues are very important to the success of any democracy, described as government of the people, for the people, by the people.
These discussions serve three useful purposes:
- Obtain information required by individuals to understand and decide on matters of importance to them.
- Clarify ideas and test them against claims of conflicting views.
- Obtain support for specific people and causes.
Without adequate discussions people will not be able to make correct decision about what is in their best interest and what political party or person is best choice for representing in the government. People will lack unity, and along with that the representatives elected by the people will also be divided in many different factions, lacking the power to run the government efficiently or effectively.
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