You can’t always be right.
Would you agree that those two statements are accurate? I should hope so. In that case, think about world events for a moment. In particular, I’m thinking of a certain armed conflict that seems inevitable and the worldwide disagreement over whether it should happen. I don’t even want to discuss wether we should or not. Instead, I want to discuss the disagreement. I find it troubling that certain countries are being vilified for their opposition. If it’s true that you can’t always be right, and someone else thinks you are wrong, isn’t it their duty to let you know? So we don’t agree. In a case like this, that does not make the other folks “bad”. It may be frustrating as hell, but it is not reason enough for the kinds of reactions I’ve been reading about lately. The propaganda machine is in high gear. People are renaming the popular foods they eat (“Freedom Fries”), dumping out their expensive wines, threatening to exhume their fallen veterans, and generally acting like spoiled children. I would expect as much from my five year old daughter (“fine, I’ll take my toys and go home”), but not of my country; not of my fellow countrymen. Consider Europe’s history. Over the last century, Europe has been the scene of two world wars – fought on their own soil. Many people are still old enough to remember first hand what that was like, wether they fought in the war or not. They didn’t have any choice, it was going on outside their front door (and in many cases coming right through). Is it any wonder they might be a little bit more hesitant to fight? Wether this fight is right or not, I can imagine I might be a little worried if I could remember a war being fought in my back yard.
So we’re going to war. That seems to be a foregone conclusion. Let’s just lay off the dissenters. They’re not necessarily bad folks, they’re just speaking their mind.