He said, she said, they said, I think…
WHERE IS OBJECTIVITY?
As the unofficial modern civil war continues in the United States, political professionals, pundits and arm-chair commentators imagine the future in a never-ending march of “if this – then that” discussions that continue 24/7 on television sets, break rooms and social media. It would seem that the days of objectively reporting facts has been replaced by an endless march of conjecture and almost giddy imaginings of personal destruction.
I am confident that most of my readers have an opinion about Judge Kavanaugh and his accusers. The truth is, those opinions are completely irrelative. It doesn’t matter what I think. And it doesn’t matter what you think either.
HOW WILL WE THINK?
Although I am fully aware that we seem to be heading in this direction in many areas of life, I am horrified at the consequences of a world where truth is judged by personal opinions rather than objective facts.
This is not the first time in our history that we have made decisions based on the way people think. Indeed, there is really not much different we can do. Politics, personal relationships, business, etc. will always be influenced by the ways we think. That is why it is so important that we “think” about how to meet the demands of justice, rather than how to react to individual situations.
LET’S NOT REPEAT HISTORY
In the early part of America, many people were convinced that enslaving people was okay. In the early 1900’s the US had done away with chains, but segregated people based on their skin color or cultural heritage. The Supreme Court itself once upheld the ideas of segregation and sanctioned them as the acceptable laws of the land. Thank God it was eventually corrected!
In America, the historical anchor that has continually pulled us back to the right spot has been the humble recognition that we are flawed human beings desperately in need of someone bigger than ourselves to provide guidance and direction. For centuries, that transcendent authority was the God described in the Jewish and Christian Scriptures – A God who demands Justice, Righteousness and Mercy.
Beginning with English common law and later encoded into the United States legal system, Levitical understandings, thousands of years old, were gifted to us. A quick review of the ancient writings clearly illustrates time-honored societal values of justice including property rights, rights of the accused, numbers of required witnesses, compensation for injuries and much more. I shudder to think that these proven values are now being sacrificed on the altars of political expediency, private interests and personal opinion. Be warned! If it can happen to one, it can happen to all. If it can happen to someone else, it can happen to you.
A FRIGHTENING FUTURE
If we consign morality, righteousness and justice to opinion polls, we will succumb to what John Stuart Mill warned about in his 1859 book, “On Liberty.” He called it the “Tyranny of the Majority.” It happens when a majority of voters, protestors, power brokers, or special interest groups force their own personal opinions, interests or desires onto the less powerful, minority, or less-vocal voices.
This is a frightening prospect for America or any nation. To devolve into a system where force, opinions, violence, and/or volume levels are weighed more heavily than the rule of law would relegate us to atrocities akin to KKK lynch mobs, the Salem “witch” executions and Nazi concentration camps. After all those murderers were absolutely convinced they were right, and a lot of other people let them get their way.
Think about it!