Thursday, December 11, 2014

Original Argument

Arthur Miller argues that there is a lack of balance between order and freedom in American society.  He believes that the needs of the community and the individual are not adequately fulfilled. Although some may argue that America is the best example (that exists today) of a balance between order and freedom, there is still a large difference between the current American societal structure and a society with perfect doses of restraint and liberty. Miller's thesis still rings true today and often, order dominates individual freedoms due to a fear of certain types of people.

There are many instances in America right now that display its lack of freedom and its overbearing restraints that are caused by fear of a different race. For example, in Ferguson, a black man selling loose cigarettes was strangled to death by multiple white police officers. Almost anyone you ask would tell you that that crime didn't deserve the punishment it was given. The police, like many others, took law and order too far by murdering someone who didn't deserve to die. It is a fact that they would be much less likely to do that if the man was white. In this instance, and in far too many like it, the excess amount of order angered many citizens and caused an uproar all throughout America. Another type of order driven too far by an obvious fear is the treatment of Muslims at airports. Although it can be argued that this technically isn't a situation where freedoms are taken away, racial profiling is an offense to individual rights because "random searches" aren't always that random. Muslims are being oppressed because an entirely different religion believes that terrorist attacks on America are just. Muslims are being subject to suspicion without cause more so than other religions and races.

There are also oppressive laws that target those who don't fit the popular ideals of what a true American is. One way in which personal freedoms are taken away is the existence of Obama care. The law requires all U.S. citizens to purchase health care or else they will be fined. Many say that the ACA is a good thing because it makes health care much more accessible to people especially with severe medical conditions or who are struggling economically. However, the mere fact that the government is forcing you to buy something makes it an affront to personal rights. This would be an example of the government adding to the list of things that many citizens cannot afford to pay for. Another way in which personal rights are squashed by extreme amounts of order and restraint, is the topic of same sex marriage. Gay marriage is still not legal in every state (fifteen states prohibit it) and many would argue that this is one of the biggest violations of individual freedoms ever to exist in America. Nationwide, people are questioning why the government has the right to tell you that you can't marry the person you love because you are the same gender. This is still an issue today because some are afraid of the fact that not everybody has to marry someone of the opposite gender. Being openly gay wasn't socially acceptable not too long ago in America. 

Many of these restrictions are built off of the idea that America should consist of the stereotypical families with a white picket fence. Those who fear change and differences must consider the fact that prejudice and stereotype-driven fears are doing more damage than good to the general population. If those ideas were at least instilled in the minds of most Americans, then society's structure, and even laws, would be more supportive of individual rights. This, in turn, would create a more pleasant environment to live in.

1 comment:

  1. I really thought that this was a thoughtful, insightful post. I enjoyed the part about the treatment of Muslims at airports, because it really ties in with what we are reading currently.