Last updated 3/7/2023 at 4:49pm
The Good Book says that without vision one cannot become a great leader. Recent acts by some of our state politicians seriously questions their reasoning on whether they have the amount of vision required to become good leaders. Telling us what we can read or teachers what they can teach limits what might be in our future as well as limiting our individual freedoms.
Reading can also lead us to things we have never imagined. Reading can be helpful in everyday life. Recently I was reminded of this when I ran across an article discussing how to not handle arguments. By telling an adversary in an argument they are stupid, you have already lost the argument. It means that you have already foreclosed the possibility of consideration of points that could be made by the adversary in such an argument. It indicates you have closed your mind to whether or not your adversary might have some points that would never occur to you.
Some of our political leaders also have undertaken telling us and others what we can read, or what we can say: reading and thinking go hand-in-hand. Usually reading stimulates new ideas. If we think about it for only a second or two, we must realize that most things that have made our lives better began as an idea. Putting a man on the moon is a great example. Surely years ago, someone imagined our capability of traveling off the earth’s surface to the moon. As a result of those thoughts, thousands and thousands of things have developed which in many ways improve our daily lives.
Our governor and lieutenant governor would presume to tell us what books can be on the shelves of our libraries, what we can read. They even would prescribe words that can be used. These are basics in how to control thought.
Another idea currently being promoted by our lieutenant governor is to eliminate the process of tenure for our college teachers and professors. Teachers were given tenure as recently as the 50s in Texas because of a large effort of our state politicians at that time to tell teachers what they could and could not teach in our college classrooms. Doing away with tenure not only represses the freedom of thought, it will make it more difficult for our colleges in Texas to attract the very best among those who teach at that level.
We must not forget that telling us what we can read, keep on our bookshelves or freely discuss is a real threat to self-government. We need only to look at the history of WWII to learn that lesson. Let’s do all we can to avoid such restrictions to be placed on Texans. The possibility that the other person would examine their own line of thinking as to whether they have considered the pros and cons of their position.