It was either Abraham Lincoln or Mark Twain who once said that, “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak, and remove all doubt.” I used to a have shirt that said it, but the wisdom of Lincoln or Twain cannot be contained on the green print of a white shirt. This piece of wisdom could not be any timely than it is today.
The dawn of technology has given us many advantages, and today, information is available at our fingertips – just like the website that told me that either Lincoln or Twain quoted the adage. The world has become louder and louder with every decade that passed, and although I was not born or grew up in the 1950s, I have always admired the quietude of that time when people still had the decency to keep their affairs out of the public view, as it was never polite to let everyone know what happens in one’s bedroom. Back then, people were content with what they had, and while others tried to keep up with the Joneses, some folks just wanted to live comfortably and do what they can for their communities.
The 1960s changed it all. The call for the supposedly oppressive and repressive previous decade gave birth to free love, free speech, free everything. People took to the streets so that they could be heard, and whether it was to rally against an unnecessary war, or the right to not wear a bra, people felt that in order to be heard, you needed to be loud, and the louder one was, the more attention one gets. The more attention one gets, the more publicity one receives, and politicians, advertisers, marketing people, and social movers take notice. This continued in the 1970s, 1980s and the 1990s.
When the new millennium came, the noise became so loud, that reason could no longer be heard. Reason is silent, as it is reflective and is never explosive. What was once thought to be a necessary path to arriving at a sound solution was seen as oppressive and counter-cultural. The loud minority became louder, and although small in numbers, politicians, advertisers, marketing people and social movers took notice and gave them the stage. The silent majority, practicing its reticence to make sense of the noise, was thought to be weak and no longer necessary to be listened to or to be given a chance to say anything, as anything they would say would be against a certain group or a certain ideology. The minority was loud enough to drown the reason of silent majority.
There is a current uprising of its own with the silent majority, however. The recent elections in Burnaby has proven this, with People’s Party Laura-Lynn Tyler Thompson getting as much as 12% of the votes for her party and platform, one that society says is “exclusive” and discriminatory. The People’s Party is outspoken about its opposition to issues such as the SOGI 123 curriculum, and its hard-line Christian values, and is not afraid to take it to the polls. The result was an overwhelming support for what used to be a topic no politician would touch with a 10-foot pole. Through the votes the party garnered in the election, people now know there is a silent, reflective and formidable group that is ready to reason out and be heard, above all the noise and confusion that the world is currently experiencing. And that is difficult to ignore, no matter how silent it may be. Another person that was silent for a while was Jody Wilson-Raybould, but her silence could not be contained, and what thunders throughout Canada after she spoke could be the end of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government. After all, the truth shall set one free, and this time, PM Trudeau may just have a chance to face the truth and would not be able to dodge it with his smiles and charms.