GOVERNING SENTIMENT: WHY LEGISLATING FEELINGS IS DANGEROUS FOR AMERICA

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“I feel therefore it should mean something.”


In the United States today, we are constantly in these debates on what you can and cannot say. No matter if it’s in a public space or in private; we tend to disagree with the language. But are we just attacking the language, or is it something more? I have come to the conclusion that it’s not the language per se, it’s more so the sentiment. And then we get into the debate in how one should feel in regards to dealing with other people in society. But you can’t have a country where there is a governing of sentiment. Because whose to say how you feel is the right way when feelings can be so ambiguous.

I posted a recent article pertaining to the differences and similarities between former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and political commentator/author Anne Coulter. How sentiment forced both of them to be locked out of career opportunities because of their stance. Only difference is that Colin was employed on a team and Anne is self-employed. But neither one of them broke any laws. And both were compliant with how they expressed themselves; staying in alliance with their first amendment rights. But the actions of people and how they felt is what effected Colin and Anne. Although people might argue against my point on why Anne said what she said, Colin did what he did, it doesn’t matter. The right to take an action that is within the law was infringed upon.

But what about people in our society. We are so dishonest on how we really feel, and we also are quite selective in what makes us upset. Someone on the left and the right will say their rights are under attack. Yet they are willing to stand in the way of each other’s rights because of how it makes the person/people feel. My real reasons why people are so willing to go against what they feel is wrong is because of how they look at their own lives. The less satisfied you are with your own life, the more willing you are to infringe upon someone else’s life. Anything so someone knows what it’s like to be you. Also, the changes in people’s lives creates a moment to moment sentiment. Which is a main reason why legislating feelings can cause so many problems. Laws are supposed to be resolute, and changed only under drastic measures. The following examples is why you can’t govern sentiment.

I am a Conservative Christian, who believes Gay marriage is wrong. Allowing Gays to marry goes against my Christian beliefs. So therefore we should legislate against Gays ability to get married. Gays state that this is wrong to legislate for this person/people because of the sentiment under a belief that is based around faith, not fact. But here is a flip side example. I am a Liberal Gay man, and the fact that you would say Gay marriage is wrong, you should lose your job. Now anti-gay sentiment is not illegal, but you should lose your job from the sentiment alone. Both examples at the top is why government can’t legislate feelings. Because in the end, whose to say how you feel is always right. As a matter of fact, it might be just as dangerous. Another main reason the government shouldn’t legislate feelings is because feelings shift so much. Law should be more resolute, and not constantly changing. So for now, as it pertains to discussion, everything is on the table.


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