From our youngest years we are taught to be polite in our interactions with others. For many, the dictate means that certain conversation topics should be avoided. Hence the saying, “Never discuss religion, politics and money in polite company.” Even Linus from the Peanuts adopted the adage, albeit with his own twist, letting viewers know each Halloween that, “There are three things I have learned never to discuss with people…religion, politics and the Great Pumpkin.”
Looking around the world today, I sometimes wonder if this admonition is instead a psychological operation (PSYOP) designed to keep us regular folks quiet. Recent events, including the release of the Twitter Files, has revealed just how far those in power are willing to go to ensure that dissent is suppressed. When they weren’t ensuring that critiques of the COVID pandemic response were labeled “misinformation” they were busy telling the Attorney General to investigate parents for “domestic terrorism” for protesting at school board meetings.
In the face of such actions, it is becoming clear that regular citizens must overcome their natural hesitance to question the judgment of their leaders. We must discuss politics, and all of the unpleasant topics that come along with that discussion, if we want to preserve our nation. After all, the government “derives its just power from the consent of the governed”, and how can we consent if we remain silent?
I am a mother of three who avoided these sensitive topics most of my life. Not only did I not discuss politics, I wasn’t much interested in political happenings. I was awoken from this slumber by the extent to which our leaders seemed unwilling to listen to those being governed as they closed businesses and closed down schools and school board meetings in the spring and summer of 2020.
Now for the first time in my life I know I do not consent, and I am still figuring out what to do about it. Here is what I’ve figured out so far. We need to learn how to talk about what is happening in our political institutions. In fact, I’d say the adage is turned on its head and we must instead insist on speaking about taboo issues in public, with family and with our children.
If you are truly worried about polite society, consider recent trends. Glance for a moment at the Twitter threads and Facebook posts where words that used to be saved for horrendous acts are now lobbed regularly like hand grenades meant to blow up the public discourse. Witness the claims of university administrators that they are protecting students by providing safe spaces. Commentators as diverse as Van Jones and Ben Shapiro have denounced the idea. By treating competing ideas as equivalent to violence these safe spaces instead ensure students are unable to articulate coherent arguments on important questions. These same administrators denounce anyone who dares push back against COVID protocols that treat residential students like prisoners. They insist on viewing people as little more than representatives of a particular racial category and would like to suggest that you believe them and not your lying eyes when you watch a male swimmer who identifies as female win the NCAA 500 yard freestyle women’s swimming event. There is nothing polite about lying to ourselves and others about biological realities.
Once upon a time a ragtag group of soon to be former citizens of England told the King “we do not consent”. The time has to come to deliver our leaders a similar message. Those parents fighting for their children in Board of Education meetings do not consent. Those people in the streets protesting COVID lockdowns and vaccine mandates do not consent. Governments need to understand they must have their citizenry’s consent and while our government is responding slowly it is responding.
Now is the time to find your voice and send the troops some reinforcements. There is safety in numbers and ours are growing.
At the risk of being rude; let's talk about it.