Do not be afraid

Bad social changes happen because common sense people are afraid to upset their friends.

It is simple social psychology. Peer pressure and the desire for conflict avoidance move societies. Most of us want to be liked and to get along with everybody. If we take an assertive stance about an issue someone is likely to be angry with us, or to have his/her feelings hurt. They may reject us or stop inviting us out for drinks. At the more extreme, they might even abandon us. That is the way relationships work.

Most of us have at least one friend or family member that is a little bit outside the mainstream. In my case I have a family member that has been espousing hardcore socialist views for several years. He advocates 100% government-sponsored employment, a dramatic expansion of government spending and services, and an end to all inheritance via wealth taxation, which are deeply held Marxist views. For years I just nodded when he would say these things because I knew he could not handle the confrontation. That allowed these dangerous views to go unchallenged. Perhaps you also know people like this, and like me you typically just ignore or placate them. Stop doing that.

The same can be said about relationships and social issues. Each of us has friends that espouse values that may be contrary to our core beliefs or may be working in professions that are in need of reforms. Perhaps, like me, you have some friends that have lifestyles you oppose. We love them, thus we do not wish to say anything that could make them feel bad about what they are doing. So, we ignore conversation topics or we do not take public positions that could be controversial. Stop doing that.

Instead, take a straightforward, assertive approach in your personal and public life. Use respectful mini-confrontations to make your beliefs known. Some of your more fragile friends and family members will be upset with you, and you may lose some of them. But, you will gain new friends. You will also start to feel more authentic. Start being a local change agent.

If the Silent Majority becomes less silent we can gradually reclaim the American Community.


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