Today I declare my declaration of independence from the tyranny of the "politically correct." I am weary of tip-toeing around the paper-mache politics of communities that have perverted the free speech movement into the "free speech if you agree with us movement." Like any reasonably engaged person, I have strong feelings about certain issues. I also know that others may not share those feelings or thoughts. The genesis and nature of American political society is based on a respect for those differences, not a stratification of social interactions that our politically correct culture engenders.

One of the most troubling aspects of this covert, yet divisive, social methodology is that folks often think they can discern peoples’ political allegiances based on cursory and superficial information. When people become so ensconced, identifying with a specific point of view or agenda, they correspondingly become over-sensitized to any indication whatsoever that someone is not of "their ilk." The seeds are then sown, not for dialogue, but for contentious social fragmentation. Instead of mixing up spiritual or political dialogue and gleaning more valuable information in the process, we end up with an alienated succession of social "interest groups" that end up the lesser for it, with a skin-deep understanding of different viewpoints and less understanding of our own sacrosanct positions.

Regrettably, even "discussion" can become socially incorrect, as political positions within a particular affiliation are taken for granted, and given, for all intents and purposes, irrefutable status. We eventually end up preaching to the choir and become shadows of each other instead of the distinct individuals that we, in fact, are.

Ultimately, decisions have to be made and opinions have to stand or fall in the legislative arena. There is a place to register those conclusions, and do so definitively. It’s known as the ballot box. Perhaps, if more people took this seriously, respected and participated in the process, there would be less social-political intimidation. Conversely, if there was less social-political intimidation there would likely
be more participation. In the final analysis, if there was more informed involvement, this country wouldn’t be making a mockery of its founding principles, as we have allowed it to do today, both in our domestic ethics, and in our recent foreign policy disasters.

Think about it. And don’t forget to let others think differently. You never know when you might be convinced to change your mind, or perhaps, the mind of someone else. This is the ethos of real independence!

Marc Twang (July 4th 2003)

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