OPINION: Pinning down the definition of 'fair'

Danny Yochum
For the Courier-Post
Posted: Jul. 11, 2019 1:37 pm

To The Hannibal Courier-Post:

"Fair" is one of the most abused words in the English language.

Virtually everyone says they are for it. There is far less agreement to what constitutes fairness. The Devil truly is in the details. The word is not the problem, it’s the dangling definitions that people try to attach to the word.

In a country of several hundred million people, everyone has their own personal, unspoken, gut-feeling definition of fairness. Unfortunately, when laws are crafted by the legislative community not everyone has their gut feelings definition of the word "fair" enacted. Legislation that is passed and signed into law lacks the ability to focus on large numbers of individual opinions. There are way too many shades of gray.

For some candidates for elected office and their supporters, losing will never ever be fair. It is beyond their ability to personally accept the situation. They believe the gears and levers of governmental power should belong to them. Their sense of political correctness is offended. They retreat into self-denial and dream of the worlds that might have been. If only they, or their candidate, had been elected.

"Free everything" with someone else footing the bill, is not a coherent thought. Nor is it sound government. It is the American version of the ancient Roman practice of "Bread and Circuses."

Many opinions carry more weight than others. Often these opinions can be formed into voting blocks of thought. Some people refer to these blocks as special interest groups. In the political sphere, "special interest groups" is an attack phrase. You are supposed to have a negative view of their existence.

Depending on your point of view, special interest groups may be bad or they may be good. What is your point of view?

Most people are their own most special interest group -- catering to me, myself and I. They just don’t view it that way.

Danny Yochum


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