HE SAYS:

I have reached the point where our country is becoming less and less recognizable to me as the great country that once nurtured the entrepreneurial spirit to new heights of prosperity, that spawned a wave of technological advances and industries, that had a no nonsense approach to fighting crime, that had the will and fortitude to wage and win a world war on two continents, and that celebrated freedom, independence and self-reliance.

What are we today?   Have we become a country too fearful and timid to aggressively fight and protect ourselves from foreign enemies sworn to destroy us, a country where there are too many of us no longer willing or able to build our own futures and create our own prosperity, a country where we are afraid to take a stand and decisively protect our society from the enemy within, and a country where we have become so ultra sensitive that we are willing to give up our freedoms so as not to offend anyone?

When confronted with a fanatical enemy who will use any means necessary to wage a war of terrorism and destruction against our country, I would rather unleash our own whirlwind of destruction on the terrorists and terrorist countries as I stated in “Reign Of Terror” than  kneel in submission for fear of inciting others to become terrorists+ or be concerned about the opinion of other countries or be hesitant to deal harshly with captured terrorists or refrain from being aggressive in our efforts to find and punish our enemies wherever they may hide.  

When confronted with a severe downturn in our economy, I would rather work harder to restore my own prosperity and maintain my independent and self-reliant spirit as I stated in “Take Back The American Dream, Part 1” and “Take Back The American Dream, Part 2” than feed off of the wealth and prosperity of others or become sheltered and supported by the government or change the rules so that we destroy the incentive to take risks and create wealth.

When confronted with rampant violent crime, I would rather take swift and decisive action against those that would commit the ultimate harm to society as I stated in “Death Penalty, A Personal Statement” than worry about their troubled lives or indulge their self-serving psychological defenses or put up with endless procedural delays or worry about being cruel to the wanton purveyors of cruelty.

When confronted with censorship in the name of sensitivity, I would rather honor our freedoms and be less concerned about offending someone as I stated in “Political Correctness” than stifle anyone’s free speech just to maintain a sense of civility, harmony, or cordiality.

When confronted with ever more rigid and entrenched ideologies, I would rather strive for a healthy balance of ideas and ideals as I stated in “A World In Balance” than follow any one agenda or choose one set of extreme doctrines over another.

I want to live in an intelligent, strong, decisive, courageous, purposeful, free, and success oriented country.

What country do you want to live in?

+   Fighting a limited war without a lasting and decisive victory as we did in Iraq and Afghanistan only breeds contempt for us with our enemies.   A case in point, the recent attacks on our Embassies in various Middle Eastern countries and the murder of the American Ambassador in Libya even though, ostensibly, over a religious insult is, in reality, born out of that contempt and might not have happened if we had pursued the war on terrorism throughout the Middle East with greater intensity and resolve in the first place.

On Wednesday, Joe offers a whimsical look at the possible end of the world in “The End Is Near”.

WHAT DO YOU SAY?

HE SAYS:

I was reluctant to join the fray regarding the uproar that quickly developed when the CEO of Chick-fil-A stated his opinion that same sex marriages were contrary to his religious beliefs.  An argument can be made that a business owner should not interject his personal views on such a controversial topic into his business; but, then if that were a hard and fast rule, I would be out of the blogging game.  Obviously, I believe that a business owner has the same freedom of speech rights as anyone else and should be free to express himself without putting his business in jeopardy.

As a staunch supporter of free speech, I can no longer refrain from commenting on the over the top reaction to his stand on this social issue.   I disagree with his opinion and have publically supported same sex marriages in my post “Marriage Is More Than An Institution”; however, as a free speech advocate, I fully support his right to express his opinion even when I disagree.   That is the point of having the right to our freedom of speech.   If we were only free to say what is acceptable to others then free speech would cease to exist.

One of the problems, as I see it, is that people confuse words with actions.   The CEO was not trying to prevent same sex marriages or suggesting that he would not welcome same sex couples to his restaurant, he was simply expressing his personal opinion on the subject.   This is the same overreaction that perpetuates much of the political correctness abuse in this country.   When you fear the words of others because you find them to be offensive or threatening to your point of view, the reaction is to stifle the message by destroying the messenger.   Here, those that feel threatened by the views of this CEO feel the need to punish him and damage his business with protests, demonstrations and a general campaign of their own brand of intolerance in order to suppress his right to speak freely and as a warning to those that might also want to similarly express themselves.

I believe we need to encourage an open discourse where everyone can freely express diverse opinions without fear of reprisals or intimidation and also have a society that embraces its diversity.   Those who were protesting need to question if taking away someone else’s right to free speech is really the best way to protect their right to be treated equally?   For me, the answer is no since it comes down to a simple truth that everyone’s freedom is diminished if anyone’s rights are taken away.

On Monday, Joe offers some information about Social Security benefits in “Social Security And You, Part 1”.

WHAT DO YOU SAY?

HE SAYS:

It seems some people only believe in the freedom of speech when what is being said is what they want to hear.   Freedom of speech has become the victim of a selective process usually controlled by the liberal media and social liberals of all kinds.

Two examples, I believe make my point.   A famous liberal comedian and host of a controversial television show attacked a politician and called her vile and obscene names during his rant over her conservative values and political views.  His outrageous comments were held to be above reproach as he was afforded all of his rights to the freedom of speech.   A famous conservative radio talk show host and controversial commentator made a derogatory remark about a socially liberal woman advocating for more access to free contraceptives as part of his attack on her agenda.   An uproar ensued and he was vilified by the press and every liberal group that could be found.  There was no consideration given to his right to the freedom of speech.

You do not have to judge the merits of either example to understand that there is a fundamental hypocrisy in the way that we selectively apply the protection of the freedom of speech.   As I pointed out in “Political Correctness”, it is those self-righteous and, usually, liberal minded people who advocate for political correctness, supposedly, to prevent intolerance and who believe that they have the right to moderate our social dialogue that are the least tolerant and the most likely to trample on the freedom of speech of those they don’t like or don’t agree with.

These self-appointed censors pick and choose what speech and which speakers are to be protected and decide who is to be punished based on whether or not they like what they have heard or dislike the speaker.

Make no mistake that there is a vast divide in this country between the liberal and conservative points of view on many social and political issues and that it is the liberal agenda that has the loudest voice and is most likely to suppress opposing points of view.  There has always been a large disparity between the media exposure afforded the vocal and sometimes militant minority who try to force their point of view on everyone else and the usually ignored and less intrusive silent majority.

We have all heard of or seen liberal college and university students hounding conservative speakers off their campuses simply because they do not like or want anyone to hear what the speaker has to say.   Have you ever heard of a conservative group of students hounding even the most liberal of speakers off campus even if that speaker wants to advocate for violence or social upheaval?  No, of course not, since, historically, it is usually only those that like to think that they have a monopoly on the truth—but also fear that they don’t—who feel the need to stifle other people’s freedom of speech.

Ultimately, our freedom of speech should not be held hostage by either liberals or conservatives but should be universally available to everyone and every point of view.   It is only through the free and open exchange of ideas and opinions, even if unwanted or disliked, that we can truly be a free country and be able to call ourselves an enlightened society.

On Wednesday, Joe wonders if we will ever tear down the walls that we build in “When The Walls Come Tumbling Down”.

WHAT DO YOU SAY?