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The Politics of Semantics

Post # 283, Bob McKnight's Florida Commentary

How Can Good People See the Same Thing Differently?

America is divided--almost equally between liberal and conservative viewpoints. Many assume that liberals are primarily the most educated. That is not necessarily true. It is also assumed that liberals are mostly young, while conservatives are mostly old. Again, there are exceptions.

That divide is reflected in raging political issues in America today:

Teaching the History of Civil Rights.

Liberals would argue that it is critically important to understand the history of race and Civil Rights in America because of Public Law 88-352, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, among others. There are ample examples of racial discrimination in our history.

Conservatives would argue that it is also important to understand the same history of race and Civil Rights in America because there were benefits and protections given to slaves. They were fed and given housing at no cost, unlike from where they came from in Africa. People making this argument admittedly are ignoring the brutal treatment of most of the slaves, especially before Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation in 1863.

Both arguments could be accurate, depending on the viewpoint of the individual. But, I believe that the scars from our racial and civil rights history are so egregious, that our study should be primarily directed to the lessons learned to avoid. Discrimination is outlawed for all citizens and if a study of how discrimination happened can help us avoid it in the future, that should be the priority.

Prohibit Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) laws.

For that same reason, Liberals believe Governor DeSantis and the Republican Legislature were wrong to eliminate Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) from Florida laws. That action only makes the peaceful integration of people of all races more difficult.

Conservatives would argue that DEI laws should not be necessary to jump-start balancing race. If discrimination is outlawed, people should comply with the law and never discriminate against anyone. These people would also argue that racial goals and targets are equally unnecessary.

Former President Trump Indictments

Here proponents of the Indictments cite numerous instances of alleged crimes committed by Trump. They range from conspiracy against our country by attempting to overturn a legal election, defrauding the United States, and Witness Tampering, among many others. Obviously, all those alleged crimes must be proven in Court, but if a Jury agrees, Trump could spend the rest of his life in jail.

Opponents to any charges against Trump apparently don't believe the charges and will wait to see what the Jury concludes. We would hope all Americans would support the Jury verdict, but that is unlikely among the fervent Trump supporters. In the meantime, Trump proponents point to the long delay in the Justice Department bringing the charges--over three years. They further point out that the charges were brought against Trump at the time of President Biden's son's legal problems, which were dropped. The explanation for the time delay was that Justice could not conduct their legal work until the Special Congressional Committee had completed it's work. Also, the complexity of the case required extensive time to bring the charges with the Grand Jury's support.

With our country so divided, it is important that we all try to understand controversial issues and how they can be interrupted so differently by Americans. That is not easy for many of us.


Announcing an enhancement to my Commentary.

Starting with the first post in September and

every month thereafter, I will release a bonus of Quorum Call

featuring a legislator or personality from the Golden Years of the Florida Legislature. Be at liberty to send nominations to


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