According to William Buckley, the American people attempt to avoid excessive, irrational resentment over certain circumstances. Buckley’s essay ‘Why do not we complain?’ explains challenging situations in which he was involved, but no one tried to improve them. Buckley believes that there are several causes why people in the United States do not take action when protesting is essential. Hence, the first reason is that everyone expects someone else to complain. The author understands that such a public position is unlikely to help solve the difficulty. Most people suppose that a person will take responsibility and resolve the problem for themselves and others. Although, in reality, there are few such personalities, so no one recognizes the role of an activist.
The crucial point described by the author in his article was the expectation that the other person would react to the obstacle. For example, he adopted a moment from a railroad trip when the temperature was too high, and absolutely everyone did not desire it (Buckley 1). Nevertheless, they waited for the bravest to resolve this difficulty. Moreover, it should be remarked that the writer was weary of the train, but he also did not dare to declare the inconvenience. As a result, because all passengers chose the waiting strategy, they continued the journey in distressed conditions.
In his essay, Buckley argues that people are losing the ability to express genuine feelings and emotions; many examples and reasons for these issues are given. The most critical thing about this is that hiding true beliefs can lead to distorted values, addictive behavior, in the course of which people often succumb to manipulations and social pressure. Moreover, they become slaves to public opinion and break down their lives. If somebody allows being silenced by human weaknesses, it can lead to vulnerability, driving to the increasing destruction of individual rights. Everyone often ceases to the crowd’s pressure and is afraid to complain because of being worried about the outcomes.
No one wants to seem pushy and stand up for their rights. Instead, everyone worries about what other people will think of when they begin to express feelings. After all, often, excessive frankness upsets many or even most people. As a result, complaining can lead to opposition or even fierce resistance. That is why American culture has become passive and malleable. One can see the author’s frustration with the unwillingness of many Americans, their reluctance to muster the courage to object to important issues, especially given the enormous social unrest and protests of the period (Buckley 3). At the same time, the importance of change is noted, and the author wants people to speak up and be heard.
It is also worth discussing the third significant reason, according to Buckley. He explains that the government has the capability to restrict humans’ rights. The author argues that citizens have shifted responsibility for meaningful events to the state leadership. Thus, the authority is liable for the deaths of Americans in Korea and distributes the nation’s budget, which consists of taxes. Buckley believes that only a few Americans can demonstrate their own vision of important issues in the country (Buckley 5). However, it is crucial to understand whether the government limits the ability of people to express their position, which may contradict the general opinion. It is possible that all three ideas described by the author affect the silence of citizens.
Buckley, William. Why Don’t We Complain? The Power to Persuade, 1989.