Freedom to not speak

One of the things that irritated me as a "conservative" during the Bush presidency was his unwillingness to engage and debate the vicious attacks made against him as both a person and a president. It was honorable, and presidential for sure, but I felt slighted, often burying my anger as I followed his lead.  I wonder if perhaps many conservatives feel this way now, and that is part of what is fueling the fires of political attack rhetoric on all sides. (something else we can blame on Bush ;-)  Pent up frustration of so many years of "turning the other cheek".. Now with Blogging, and FB, and Twitter, we can speak up and fight back.. for ourselves. 

A bigger question: Is this wise?   A trusted mentor once told me that often it is better in the end to just remove the fuse from the metaphoric bomb, to give in, and let the wrong approach "run its course", even into the "ditch".  He passionately defended a position that the damage from the fight would be worse than the damage from the decisions.  I am inclined to agree these days. When a church job "blew up" for me in 2005, I used exactly that approach and I am better for it.. albeit forever wounded, and battle scarred from my surrender.  The wounds cut deep, but they are easier to bear in the view of so much success and hope for the future.

I've engaged and fought back too much of late. The consequences are wearing on me, and my relationships. The battle is not progressing to conclusion.  Perhaps, a simple solution to our civil discourse is that "we the people" should choose freely to NOT SPEAK more often...and allow the system to work, and our leaders to lead.... we don't need the gov't to "regulate" us.  If we vote based on results, and actions and less rhetoric, things will change, just as they did in Nov.  We must look to the future, not the past, for our hope, and our solutions.

Freedom of speech includes the right to "not speak" and not be diminished by that choice.

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