Public Discourse: A Letter To A Post Revolution Paper


A note on social discourse.

I once had an article I thought would have been great for a particular paper for which I had written many stories in the past. The editor told me that my piece was too political for an election year. I countered saying that it was not political, and that it was politically neutral, whereupon I was told that nothing is neutral during an election year!

Most of the folks I know on social media expect a certain amount of political flash during an election cycle, it just goes that way. Some don’t care for it, and may even rail against it. That is the nature of media that is social if there is to be variety in social media. There will be those matters that will be considered political, whether they are or not. There will be those who claim offense. That is the nature of the world at large as well.

The sad part of this is that in a “politically correct” world everything is also always political: Race is a political issue. Veterans issues are now considered political, homelessness is now considered political, perceived injustice of any type is now considered political. Even the music we listen to is now political. It is after all, an election year. Those who are opposed to “political correctness” don’t have room to complain when someone says they find your posts offensive either. I can just see now a future movement against “reverse political correctness”!

Media has always been the marketplace of ideas. A place where one could go not only for social interaction and fun, but also a place where we could be jolted from our complacency, see some of the wrongs of the world, and perhaps take action to stop such evils. We don’t have that without public discourse, and social media is where public discourse happens today!

If someone’s social media posts offend you, well, that is the nature of social media. The fact is that it is the modern soapbox for ideas, some we may find offensive, some we may not.

As for me, I am glad that Tom Paine and Ben Franklin, spoke out, and that Hamilton, Adams, Madison, and Jay put their political articles and arguments before the people in the social media of the day collectively as “Publius”. I am sure it irritated the hell out of many, but it went a long way to bring us the freedoms we have today!