Up until now I was never quite sure if words really do have power because they have to be read to exude that power. Words ignored are words that don’t exist. That is, assuming that all people of a community ignore them- or it is discovered that the words are kept from them.
If the words are kept from them, communities begin to wonder what the words say, and that gives the unread words revised power. Hence a very important idea is floated and maintained within a democratic philosophy, the concept of free speech.
It is an eloquent solution to a thorny problem, not without it’s detractors, but I personally have never experienced a single tenable argument that the free speech concept should be immediately or subsequently squashed. The front line will argue fiercely that the words demean, or misinterpret the true meaning- but then an interpretive dialog ensues, becoming the fertile ground from which improvements are made.
History is rife with proof that any attempt to silence public opinion will inevitably lead to a stagnation of social growth. People must be allowed to say how they feel, out loud. Representatives should be expected to sift through the noise and settle on a timely middle ground, one that may represent an average popular thought. Political posturing only muddies the waters. As we forge deeper and wider pathways through a global future our word choices become more critical than ever. Leadership by design is based on an enigmatic and persuasive personage, yet in the 21st century it will always be a crowd that dictates how global perspectives will proceed. One step forward and three steps back is a model of 20th century thinking. In a time when communication is immediate and visceral, it seems to me that word choice just might be more important than ever. ~TH~