The Tyranny of the Opposing View

– Clarence Holm

When the United States Constitution was being written, our founders were keenly aware of the dangers of mob rule. To that end, our governmental structure was conceived as a republic to ensure that the minority viewpoint could be represented with a strong voice. They understood that a large crowd could control the conversation by drowning the voice of a small minority in in a tidal wave of sound. To ensure that the dissident or weaker voice be heard over the din of the majority, representative government was made a bedrock principal of our union.

“Every utopia – let’s just stick with the literary ones – faces the same problem: What do you do with the people who don’t fit in?”

Margaret Atwood, Canadian Poet, Novelist, Activist

In our search for our ideal, the framers of our constitution did not envision the development of communication methods and devices that could replicate a massive presence by relatively small number of people. While balancing the voice of one in a din of 100, our society has fallen victim to a tyrannical minority intent on making their voice the will of the people.

News media originally established to represent the views of the subscribers, has been hijacked by proponents of “Fair and Balanced” in which equal time and credence is bestowed on the smallest voice in a group of people. In an effort to give voice to the minority, the majority was limited to “equal time”.

As a result fringe “thinking” was given equal credence to scientific fact. Crack pot rhetoric achieved the same voice as inspired genius. Maynard G Krebs rose in relevance as media amplified his voice and put it on the same level as Albert Einstein.

Maynard G. Krebs: Yeah! I flunked! The passing grade was 70, I got a 43, and the teacher wouldn’t give me the benefit of the doubt! 
Dobie Gillis: Maynard… 
Maynard G. Krebs: I mean, a measly nine-point difference and he flunks me! 

Scientific methods were equivocated with homespun folklore. Personal beliefs balance proven facts as the “fair and balanced” media seeks to make all equal. Charismatic charlatans have become media specialists, who are always available for an on camera interview. Buxom beauties spout platitudes and act as visual candy to the hungry consumers who seek like-minded viewpoints to bolster crooked arguments.

Education has been long held to be an answer for this affliction, but in today’s media circus, educators are cast as evil temptresses beckoning our children down paths of wretched enlightenment. “Don’t tell me I am wrong, for I know that I am right” could be the mantra of many self-taught zealous leaders, eager to enlist more admirers to their cause.

Buddha quote

While it is imperative that an open society be willing to question established ideas and beliefs, new ideas need to be rigorously tested and compared to known facts. Do not allow “I thunk, so it be kinda true!” to rule the airways. Listen to voices, but realize that some are not equal to others and one sound in a hundred, doesn’t rule the chorus.

2 thoughts on “The Tyranny of the Opposing View

  1. Thank you for this thoughtful article. I’m tutoring a student who is anxious about passing the constitution test. Some days I want to tell her she knows it better than our politicians do.

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