Isn’t that the point we’re getting to? Worse, I actually think we’re to the point where we’re no longer a nation of people doing what they feel is best. We’re now at the point where people just plain feel entitled to do whatever the heck they want. And if someone stops them, they’ll figure out a way to get the government to allow them to do it.
Every day we’re inundated with every possible insane notion at every possible second, to the point where it’s enough to drive someone to give up. Just look at the Drudge Report at any given moment during the day. It reads like the front cover of the National Enquirer. And that’s because the national mainstream headlines are the things only the Enquirer used to cover. Sadder, I fear there’s little we can do about it.
And this is where things get dicey for me as a citizen business owner and dad.
I’m beginning to think voicing one’s opinion on something is a futile effort. Not because there will be other opinions. Because that’s why you express your thoughts: to prompt debate, find solutions and better things in life. It has more to do with the fact some things are no longer allowed to be discussed based on political correctness and diversity. Plus, there’s the fact no one is allowed to be wrong any more. And if there’s no recognition of right and wrong, pretty much most things will be wrong.
It’s not that I want to forbid people to say what they want. Without question they have that right. But you don’t have the right to be heard, same as you don’t have the right to not be offended. But I recall a time most of us agreed in the end to do what was best and what was right based on some set of ethics created over generations. At least we could agree on what things and words meant to a society.
Truth be told, most people still probably agree on most things, but the chasm over yelling the loudest or hanging on to a belief that has no factual or moral backing is now considered what’s best. It isn’t, it stifles what’s best. Worse, now the government tells us which citizens will be heard and whose ideas are best.
Don’t think this is happening? Then explain to me why this year our Legislature in Denver considered more than 600 new laws — Congress considers more than 10,000 per session — all based on someone or some group’s opinion on what can be said or in how things should be done. Then we have the worst scenario possible, legislators doing “what they think is best” creating laws for us to now live under at the point of a gun. Think of the irony of elected people creating laws because citizens aren’t smart enough to figure out things, but yet we were somehow smart enough to elect them to do it for us. Think of the arrogance. And yet it happens every day.
How about speaking out on something as a business owner? We used to live in a country where business owners had the same rights as any American. And as go the rights of the citizens, so they go even more as a business owner. This goes well beyond the pizzerias and bakeries. This goes to people being able to use their private property as they see fit. And look at the government overreach (yes, from both parties for the millionth time). You can’t smoke at a restaurant. You can’t deny service at your business. You can’t decide to only serve a certain segment of the market. You certainly can’t decide to go into businesses the government and their cronies control. And yes, you can’t express an opinion or preference on myriad topics because you will attract a boycott, Facebook viral post or people abandoning your business because they, too, are afraid of being on the “wrong side.”
I’ve experienced all of these just from writing this column. The fact is, every business owner knows that every decision they make will have an effect and that the effect could be negative even though the decision is what they think is best. The problem is, their detractors could just end up doing whatever they want to the business with no repercussions and the detractors will be backed by the government, which should be backing the business and the Constitution. It’s backwards, and there isn’t a politician with the courage to say otherwise.
And that’s what makes me afraid as a dad. My kids won’t enjoy the freedoms and experiences I did as a kid, knowing that most people were doing what was best for their families, businesses and others. Instead, my kids will grow up in a world where selfies and selfishness go hand in hand and bad behavior isn’t punished.
It’s happened before, we just handled it differently. There used to be discussions, faith and family values that got us through. My goal is to handle things the same way.
But I’m going to try to keep the private stuff private while trying to write what needs to be written. Which I am sure will offend someone.