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In 1849, Henry David Thoreau released Resistance to Civil Government, more commonly known as ‘Civil Disobedience.’ It underscored the abolitionist’s disdain for slavery and war. There are several parts of this essay that rang loud and clear on Monday, including the following notions:
However, the line from Thoreau that has stayed with me most has never been more reflective of today’s society:
“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation.”
Thoreau believed that supporting an unjust government made citizens just as culpable in the government misdeeds. And yet, he understood how helpless regular folks felt with respect to their ability to dictate change. Their resignation or acceptance was a form of confirmed desperation.
It would be easier to count how many Americans these days aren’t living in quiet desperation. What is interesting this time around is that Thoreau is largely a hero to the left; he may be speaking for Republican and Independent voters in 2016 as well.
In a so-called change election, how far out of their character or wisdom will voters go to do desperate things?
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