Don’t Raise Your Voice, Improve Your Argument


Don’t raise your voice, improve your argument. Desmond Tutu shared these words of wisdom with us in November 2004. In this post-election debacle we call American politics it might be helpful to remember this profound quote—it implies that cooler heads most often prevail. Vitriol never changes minds, it only muddies the waters of clear thinking. I am not happy with the election results but they are what they are. If the democratic candidate had been victorious I would have been just as unhappy. That the American people had to choose between these two candidates says more about us than them.

Our country is divided. When Democrats whine that their candidate won the popular vote I find the claim ludicrous. The difference in the popular vote was so minute as to be a moot point statistically—it easily falls into the category of statistical error. When the Republicans boast that the people have spoken and that a new mandate for our country has been established I find it equally ludicrous. Shouts and arguments for eliminating the Electoral College, in favor of a one man/one vote process, is a typical knee-jerk (emotional) reaction and ignores the original intent of our form of democracy. Our Founding Fathers were not stupid men.

I think it’s high time time that the study of Civics be reintroduced into our classrooms—and that remedial night classes be made available to our uneducated masses. Opinion without education is meaningless and carries no weight (gravitas) whatsoever. If the people are dissatisfied with the way they are being governed there is a process in place to bring about change. But it takes getting involved beyond Facebook, it requires educating yourself and taking personal responsibility for reclaiming your government. Education and action will trump (pun intended) opinion every time. In my opinion President-elect Donald Trump will fail—but until we reclaim our government it is we who will fail.

2 responses to “Don’t Raise Your Voice, Improve Your Argument

  1. Great points. Just like when Gore lost to George W., the electoral college was called into question. Our forefathers knew what they were doing. If we were to eliminate it, candidates could campaign and make promises in four or five metropolitan areas and win the national election. The only change I would make is to award electoral votes in proportion to the popular vote in each state. Some states do this already, but, being a native Upstate New Yorker, I spent many years watching New York City decide elections for the rest of the state.

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