B: In a much less important situation than those presented before, why do people boo at sporting events? Have you noticed that some fans will boo against every call the referee makes in favor of the opposing team? Are such fans actually thinking about what they’re doing? Or are they simply doing what they think “that’s what one does” at a sporting event? Why should you feel obligated to boo the ref simply because he made a call that went against your team? What, are you supposing that your team never makes a mistake?
Then there’s the example of somebody saying something that some “civil rights activist” pronounces as being offensive to a certain group of people, thus presuming to speak for every member of that group. The activist may then proceed to demand a punishment to be levied against the alleged offender, whether it be the loss of his job or some other privilege, claiming to be backed by the supposedly-offended group, threatening riots or similar actions if the demands are not met. Usually the accused, or the entity he represents, cowers into a public corner to make an apology and the demand is met, theoretically appeasing the activist and the “injured” group of people, at least for the time being. What I would ask about this unfortunate event is, why did the group of people feel like they had to be offended and go along with what the activist was demanding? Why couldn’t they just forgive the guy for what typically tends to be a minor slip of the tongue? And if he was fired, why did the entity the offender represented feel like they had to give in to public pressure? Is it necessarily true that the entire mission of that entity would be undermined if they didn’t? Might it instead be possible that the public prefer them for persisting through the pressures of this new perception of propriety, instead of pettily pursuing peace at any price and perishing by the protocol of a plethora of poor prototypes preceding in this pattern?1
A: Was that another asinine attempt at alliteration, again?
B: Hey, you’re not so bad yourself, son! Where was I? Ah yes – the entity. Even if their mission was undermined, there may be benefit in having made a political statement backing the ideals of free speech and rule by law instead of by mob. I mean, what is the government doing in allowing an activist, regardless of his influence or the supposed accuracy of his or the offended group’s cause, to threaten riots and general unrest? If such a person exists, he has become a de facto government by himself – i.e., a dictator – until somebody else is somehow able to remove him from his power, or he has been satisfied and the incident has passed.
Speaking more generally now, why do we have to believe the press or politicians every time they say something is good, bad, or unimportant? Why do we eat up all their promises without considering how they might actually bring them about, including the expenses that would need to be entailed? Just about everybody has the ability to think for themselves, to reason logically, without having to depend on somebody else to think for them. No need for anybody to blindly follow the crowd, and become yet another puppet of the going trends of the day.
- Donald Trump may have shown this to be a very real possibility in winning the U.S. Presidential Election of 2016. ↩