When the majority voice isn’t upheld

The men who built our country seemed to think the idea of the “majority” was fairly significant, and formed their fledgling democracy around the notion that the “majority rules.”

Since then, the idea of “the majority” has ruled almost every aspect of society, from governments to the water cooler.

We use the idea of majorities and minorities to judge whether our president or the government are performing to a certain standard, and whether they are working together to make policies that make our country better.

There is an ongoing argument in our country in regard to support of our troops and the war: Do people who don’t support the war mean they also don’t support the troops?

From my uber-patriotic perch, I might say yes. Looking at the situation from the other side, I can see that even though someone doesn’t support the war, there might still be a way of supporting the troops that are overseas.

But there is a difference between being against a war and still supporting the troops, and just being anti-military.

Case in point a family member experienced this incident: At an airport, the Transportation Security Administration created signs honoring our troops. A traveler, upon passing through, decided she was offended by the memorial to the fallen troops because she didn’t agree with what our troops are doing. Therefore, the traveler complained to the airport, and the airport ordered TSA to remove the memorial.

This is a story that appalls me on several levels. Since when does the opinion of one person have this kind of influence? Are we this afraid to stand up for what we believe in, even if it means someone might be “offended”?

What does it mean to be offended, anyway?

Maybe I think I am offended by people who wear blue jeans. Maybe I have the right to call every blue jeans manufacturer and tell them their product offends me; but should I expect them to discontinue their product?

Everything offends someone.

It is a safe bet that not everyone who passes through that security checkpoint approves of the war. But a majority of them probably support our troops. This and other similar incidents set a dangerous precedent for our country.

What ever happened to needing a majority to get something done? If you thought something was being done wrong, go get some petitions filled out! Get the testimonies of others who think like you! All this time so much work was being put into inciting change, when all we really had to do was be offended.

Good news! You don’t like something? It doesn’t take much work to get it fixed ” if you tell someone you’re offended, they’ll be so afraid of the repercussions (what are the repercussions, anyway?) that they’ll quickly give in.

This Christmas, my neighborhood association was asked if a wreath could be put at the entrance to my subdivision, in previous years the entrances had always been decorated with wreaths. This year, they were noticeably absent. A call to the management of the subdivision was placed to inquire about putting wreaths on the entrances.

The management responded by saying that it would be possible if the wreaths were bought and paid for privately by people living in the subdivision.

The condition being that if someone called the management of the subdivision who was offended by the wreaths, the wreaths would have to be removed immediately. Thousands of people live in this neighborhood, and one person can dictate to the rest of the people living there, just by objecting.

Why is it that now we’re starting to lie down and allow ourselves to be run over by the small percentage of people who become “offended” by the smallest of issues? In reality, “being offended” is being used as a weapon by the people in the minority who are upset because their opinion is not the one in the majority.

If you ever feel tempted to give in to someone who objects to your beliefs, remember, we didn’t get this far by conceding.

If you’re one of the people who is always “offended, “toughen up, and think of a better argument.

Send comments to Danielle at [email protected].