I have a hunch that no sooner will I finish posting this column, then someone will post a comment about socialistic leanings that I supposedly hold, or that of the media that carries this column. But, that’s what democracy is all about.
Over the course of time leading up to the recent presidential election and for the four months since, a lot of opinions have been shared by some individuals. It seems that the comments made by the president’s tweets have emboldened a number of people to come front and center with their feelings.
Since this is a democracy, everyone has the right to an opinion, whether anyone else agrees with it or not. And I wholeheartedly agree with that premise. Having said that, I also believe the system works both ways. You have your opinion and I have mine.
So first off, to those who think some of us are socialists, if we truly were socialists, does anyone believe that if we really were, we’d give everyone the opportunity to vent their emotions in response to anything anyone might say? One person stood up to a tank in Tianamen Square in China. That’s a pretty restrictive society, some might call it a socialist government. Has anyone heard from the guy since? Did he get the chance to go to the webpage of a radio station and vent his frustrations? Did he carry a sign in opposition to the government in front of a government building? Did he have the opportunity to express his opinion to local businesses about the Chinese media and try to dissuade them from supporting that same media? He disappeared a few short days later along with the newspaper that covered his brave act. Some people think that the Massachusetts state government is a socialist hotbed, but the people who said it and continue to say it, didn’t disappear the minute the spotlight went out on their expression of their beliefs, their criticism, or sometimes name calling, and I doubt that they will.
There’s a lot of anger around the country right now. A lot of it is local and shows up on the pages of this radio station’s website, and in the posts on any number of Facebook pages. And the sources of these opinions have the luxury of doing so anonymously. If I were a socialist, I’d advocate for it to be silenced. But I don’t think it should be.
But what I do think is that it’s easy to criticize almost anything.
What isn’t so easy is to come up with and advocate for a position you believe in, to go before a room, a hall or an entire city, a city of diverse opinions, cultures, and beliefs. It isn’t easy to get up in front of a city council meeting, a school committee meeting or a legislative hearing, advocate for your position and take the criticism that comes with the territory.
And it’s even harder to compromise and find a middle ground than it is to shout, “my way or the highway.”
There have been times when every one of us have heard the words, “Oh yeah. Have you got a better idea?” Maybe it’s time some in this democracy step off the sidelines, stick their neck out there for a change and propose some reasonable solutions.
You’ll soon find out that it’s a lot harder to take the criticism than it is shell it out. Criticizing, advocating, and negotiating are all part of a democracy. And no one in this community or this radio station is preventing you from doing that.