The trouble with coercion

Most of us remember growing as teens and going through that “rebellious” phase. You were just beginning to see the world and develope your own views of it. Some of us had strict parents while others had more lenient parents. Some of us went to church and some of us didn’t. Regardless of your childhood you were always at some point told what to do, how to think, how to feel. Back then it was adults telling you those things. I’m sure many of us remember uttering the words “I can’t wait to be an adult” because we thought that meant we could do whatever we wanted.

Now that we are adults we realize rather quickly that that isn’t the case at all. Between college, work and families we don’t have time to even think about ourselves let alone do whatever we want. But even as adults not much has changed in the way of being told what to do, how to think, and what to feel. In fact I’d argue that it’s even worse as an adult. Now we have media and government officials doing those things.

Most people want to go about their business loving their lives, minding their own business in peace. However, there are those who feel they have all the answers and they know what’s best for everyone. I want you to ask yourself something, what makes governments effective? What keeps a government in control? I believe the answer to that question is easier than most might think. It’s called coercion. Without coercion a government would lose all its credibility. Today in America we have a congress with record low approval ratings. These are people we have selected to represent us and yet hardly do what they have been selected to do. This is a congress that will bicker like school children about anything that may benefit the American people but in the blink of an eye agree to send those same people to war. Now more than ever we need to wake up to the fact that coercion is front and center in our lives. We have a two party system and each one thinks they have all the answers to all our problems. Extremes on both sides trying to force their moral codes on the rest of the people. Instead of listening to one another they shout each other down with their ideas and grand standing.

I personally have bounced back and forth identifying as a democrat and a republican but after all the conversations I’ve had with people from all sides of the spectrum I’ve realized that this world isn’t as simple as red or blue. We want what is best for our country and its people and yes we disagree on how to get there but if we don’t ride together and find common ground with one another we will never get there. Now I am not naive enough to think that we will ever get along or agree 100% of the time but when the conversation itself breaks down at the slightest discourse it’s impossible to cover any ground at all.

Logan Riley


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