A Middle School Slogan

“What is right is not always popular and what is popular is not always right.”

~ Albert Einstein

I remember this slogan from my middle school. It hung above the vice principal’s office, and I would see it every day. Being in middle school, I didn’t think much of it at the time, but as I grew and life’s complexity increased, I found myself thinking more and more about this slogan.

Today’s climate of debate is rife with contention. Popular opinions among those in some of my current and former friend circles are liberal, progressive, and leftist ideals. I myself am a libertarian. I was raised a Republican, became a conservative in high school, and then a libertarian in college. Now at 32 (my age at the time of this post), I am a laissez-faire capitalist and still a libertarian. I keep tabs on the political events going on today, and my biggest observation is that people have lost the ability to engage in civil discourse, which is vital to the health of this Republic. Our ability to engage in free speech is being curtailed, not by our government, but by our peers. We have lost the idea that free speech is not popular speech, and that free speech is dependent on our ability to hear things we may not like.

Over the course of this blog, I will offer my opinion, cultivated from the observations that I find on the internet, newspapers, and other publications, to present my political opinion on current events, and how they fit into the larger, more nebulous world of philosophy and debate.

I am happy to field commentary, but I will not tolerate ad hominem attacks and the argument from authority. I admit now that I am not an expert in anything save my own experience, and that my opinion is still evolving. But by saying that makes it no less valid an opinion than anyone else’s. I do understand that I have free speech, and I am open to the consequences that arise from the use of my free speech. If it costs me friends and the good graces of one or more political parties, then so be it. I’m not a part of those parties anyway. And if, at the end of the day, I am just one person on a hill waving my personal Libertarian flag, so be it.

I will do my best to remember that middle school slogan, and aim to do what is right, popular or not.

By Patrick Woodland

I write about the things that have impact on me.

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