My mind this morning has taken me back to my days in college. I had been retired for a couple of years, when I decided that I should attend college to fill my time. National American University was the college that I attended, not because of the quality of their program as much as their location in proximity of where I lived. I signed up to attend classes and soon I was in pursuit of my Criminal Justice degree. The courses were interesting enough to hold my attention. Soon, I was a full- time student. However, as much as I enjoyed college, I started to lose interest in going beyond my associate degree.
If I enjoyed the courses, why would I lose interest? At the time, I was a 40-year-old divorcee, and some of my instructors could not set aside their bias and allow me to explore my reasoning. They wanted to tell me how to think, what to think, and if I happened to disagree with them, I was (name an ist here). This clashed with my personality. While I can understand there are opinions ranging from left-center-right and the extreme left or right, I did not appreciate the intolerance that was exhibited in some of my classes.
Far be it from me to think that I am always right. I am aware that this is not always the case. An example of my struggles in college began with the passing of the Affordable Care Act. I received an assignment that asked ME if I thought it was an unconstitutional piece of legislature. Then I was to explain MY position and MY reasoning. I took the stance that it was unconstitutional and then I explained my reasoning for taking this stance. It went over like a fart at a funeral.
This is one example of the continual struggle that I ran into at college. I believe that college can be beneficial within certain confines. The goal of college is supposed to help us learn how to reason at a higher level. It is meant to expand our horizons via a more stringent coursework that is developed to challenge our reasoning. I get it. However, when the instructors interject their opinion and pass it off as absolute truth, or when individual reasoning is silenced because it does not follow the mob mentality or groupthink, that is a problem.
The right/right center does not have all the answers to the social ills that plague us today nor does the left/left center group. The fact that certain groups are silenced, or they refuse to engage on a certain level should concern us all. Here is an example: In 2016, during the race for the White House every poll showed Hillary Clinton winning by a large margin. However, when the ballots were tallied, Donald Trump was the new President of the United States. There could be any number of reasons for this, however, many people refused to elaborate on who they were voting for because they feared being mocked, or worse.
We all should be able to reason, and able to draw a conclusion on how we feel about an issue without fearing that we will be mocked, assaulted or called a racist, sexist, misogynistic piece of garbage. At one point in the history of America, we understood the value of compromise. It is high time that we rediscover this skill set. “If we all agree, then someone isn’t thinking.” I forget who made the statement, but it is true. Blindly following the masses is not a good recipe for success. It is time that we are able to think for ourselves and speak our thoughts without fear of expulsion or threats.
That is going to do it for me today.
P.S. I was told today by a young man that the world would be destroyed by 2050, AOC has given us 12 years. So, we have somewhere between 12-31 years before the annihilation of human life on this rock. Groupthink much?