“That’s The Great Thing About America…”
How often has the old adage “Well, that’s the great thing about America…” been uttered in your presence or by you in reference to the fact that here in the United States, we all have the right to disagree, and that’s OK, because we have a right to our opinions? Probably a few right?
I’m guilty. I’ve said it myself. I think I may have even said it last weekend.
Now, though, I’ve sat down for a second and reflected on this observation, and my conclusion is thus:
If the ability to disagree is truly the great thing about the United States, or if we accept that it is even merely *a* good thing about the United States, then we are failing to recognize that if this is true, then it is also the façade masking the great tragedy of America as well.
Let me explain.
In the United States, it is true that we are all entitled to our own opinion. This is true anywhere, really. This is possible because your beliefs and opinions are in your brain, and the only person who can change them is you. You can’t be forced, legislated, taxed or otherwise into changing these core beliefs. You can only be convinced, no matter how hard you pretend under the duress of coercion.
The tragedy, however, is that no matter what your core beliefs are, if you are in the minority, the majority has the ability to force you to live outside of those beliefs. If 51% of the population disagrees with you, they can get legislation enacted that forces you and the rest of the other 49% to live according to the majority doctrine, even if it contradicts your own.
This is the America we live in.
This is the world we live in.
In a truly liberated society, the 51% would still be able to live according to their beliefs, but so too would the other 49%, even if the groups chose to live completely differently, contradictory to each other even, so long as nobody was violating the rights of others as based on the Non-Aggression Principle.
This is not the America we live in.
This is not the world we live in.
But it can be.