Our recent cultural shifts seem to be attempting to remove basic principles of justice in favor of mob rule, which unfortunately is all too often based on raw feelings demanding immediate resolution. Modern art and media are driving a narrative that states as long as your intent is good, then the end justifies the means. The problem with this train of thought is this, “How does one objectively define good intent and a just end?”. With what authoritative voice of morality is your decision to demonize others based. Shouting louder than someone you disagree with does not win the victory. It only silences the opportunity for peaceful resolution through sincere searches for the truth.
Our country has long endured passionate dissenting positions and contrary points of view. It’s constitution was designed to ensure a balance of power that minimizes collateral damage from emotional extremism. When it has failed, yes, there has been injustice. But in the long run truth finds its way and ultimately prevails.
Common sense morality protected by the rule of law is our saving grace. If we throw out the safeguards of due process and yield to the temptation to let public opinion become judge, jury and executioner, we must all beware of the potential mob that might be coming for us one day, on the occasion when our view doesn’t line up with someone’s quick rush to demonize.
In order to be a truly great people, we must always yield to our better angels, and learn to listen to opposing points of view without condemnation. We can come to the discussion table with a respectful humility that admits we all have something to learn from one another. In this modern era of social media, the calmer voices of restraint and respect need to be modeled and defended.
That is the glue that holds civilized people together in times of extreme duress and change.