READER: “Tim, why do people ‘privatize’ their political thoughts?” (C.P. of Tarpon Springs, FL)
Back in 1969, President Richard Nixon coined the expression “Silent Majority” when referring to normal citizens who were patriotic and God-fearing, yet silent in their political beliefs. Keep in mind, this was the end of the 1960’s, a turbulent decade which bore witness to civil rights demonstrations, Viet Nam War protests, urban riots, political assassinations, hippies, yippies, and political activism. It was a time denoted by the rise of the Baby Boomers; a time when our culture was changing (e.g., music, movies, fashion, vernacular, etc.), a drug culture emerged, and our morality began to change. The “Silent Majority” could not relate to such changes, and preferred a more stable way of life. It was this group who elected Richard Nixon over former VP Hubert Humphrey in 1968, and over Sen. George McGovern in 1972. It will also be this group who will carry President Trump over the winner’s line in November.
Ultimately, the Silent Majority represents the status quo, something young people naturally resist and try to overcome. We saw this in the 1960’s, and we are seeing it again in the present decade. In both instances, the press covered the changes to our culture and even cultivated it.
Getting back to the reader’s question though, why is the majority silent? Have they been intimidated and now afraid to speak up? Frankly, No. As evidence, consider the massive Trump rallies. No matter where President Trump goes, it is always a Standing Room Only (SRO) affair, and the silent majority voices their support. Such events represent more of a pep rally as opposed to a traditional political speech. By doing so, President Trump energizes his political base.
Aside from the rallies, most Americans just want to get on with their lives, which is why they are reluctant to wave flags, march in protests, or write editorials or simple letters to the editor.
So, why do people “privatize” their political thoughts? Simple:
- Many people were not born with the gift of gab or know how to articulate their thoughts in print. It is not something they were gifted with in their school years, and explains why they are reluctant to do so today.
- Some people are more timid than others. They are either too bashful or too courteous to say something derogatory about anyone or anything. They have either been trained to avoid the limelight or it is simply not in their DNA to complain.
- The biggest reason though is people are consumed by their work and family. Both require considerable time and effort to master. This affords them little time to voice their political displeasure. They simply want time to relax and rest. To such people, they would rather be fishing, playing golf, or some other entertainment vehicle as opposed to butting heads with others over politics. Nevertheless, these are the people who quietly pay their taxes, come to the defense of the country, and vote.
If we had a responsible news media who would fairly represent both sides of the political drama, it wouldn’t be necessary for people to voice their opinion as they could formulate it on their own. However, because of the irresponsibility of the news media, it is important for the silent majority to voice their concern if, for no other reason, than to seek the truth.
My children have grown into adulthood and are finding their place in society. I have told them the day will come when they will have to take a stand on politics. Currently, they are more concerned with work and their jobs, as I was at their age. However, I noticed as I got older, some members from my school years began to voice liberal dogma and, as such, I felt obliged to take them to task. At some point, my children, as members of the Silent Majority, will have to do likewise.
Keep the Faith!
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