Throughout once in your life, you may have been confronted with a situation where you accept inconveniences instead of taking action. According to William F. Buckley, American people everywhere have refrained from “trying to rectify irrational vexations”. In Buckley’s essay, “Why Don’t We Complain? ” he explains some situations that he was involved in where no one would complain to repair an uncomfortable situation. Throughout the essay, Buckley uses his experiences and strong reasoning to show why he believes that the American people do not complain.
Buckley attempts to support that the apathy that Americans would accept inconveniences instead of taking action is the cause of many Americans’ apathy toward huge political and social issues, creating a vicious circle of indifference and sheer laziness. After reading Buckley’s essay, I support Buckley’s ideas about assertiveness and helplessness due to three reasons. The first reason why I agree with Buckley’s ideas about assertiveness and helplessness is because many people are shy and afraid to speak their mind; therefore, they often rely on others.
Buckley believes that many people are afraid to confront a inconvenience as he states that “we are all increasingly anxious in America to be unobtrusive, we are reluctant to make our voices heard, hesitant about claiming our rights; we are afraid that our cause is unjust, or that if it is not unjust, that it is ambiguous, or if not even that, that it is too trivial to justify the horrors of a confrontation with Authority…”. Many people may often be afraid of what the result is. An example that I recall where I was afraid to complain happened to me just recently, when one of my teachers did a problem wrong on the board.
I was scared that if I complained I may have been wrong or that people may have had a problem with it; therefore, I did not complain and I didn’t understand the concept of the problem; this can have a negative effect on me during tests. Therefore, after this experience I agree to Buckley’s idea that many people are afraid to speak their mind. Should people be afraid to complain or should they always be free minded about an unjust cause? The second reason why I agree with Buckley’s ideas about assertiveness and elplessness is because throughout time many inventions are that replace simple jobs that cause a sense of laziness. The people will often portray themselves as lazy in society as new technological inventions are created to do their tasks. Many people will then develop a habit due to them relying on other things to do their task for them. For example, back then when machines weren’t created, people did manual labor and relied on themselves, but now as we rely on newly made machines; we rely on the equipment to do our work.
This forms a habit for Americans as we begin to rely on other things than ourselves. The third reason why I agree with Buckley’s ideas about assertiveness and helplessness is shown through as Buckley states that the government is taking rights away from the people. He states, “Every year, whether the Republican or the Democratic Party is in office, more and more power drains away from the individual to feed vast reservoirs in far-off places; and we have less and less say about the shape of events which shape our future”.
He also says that we accept the government’s power to hold upon us”. The government is responsible for the great number of American deaths in Korea and is now responsible for billions of tax dollars spent every year. However, only a few Americans are willing to stand up against the government and strive for what they feel is right. Is this because of the high-powered government? I feel that this may result in decreasing complaints, but I do not agree completely. The government may have a lot of power over America but I think that Buckley’s other points support his case stronger.
After analyzing Buckley’s essay, I saw that Buckley’s ideas about assertiveness and helplessness is true. Through the use of his reasoning and own personal experiences he allows the reader to understand the true concept of why we don’t complain. I thought that the reasons that he uses had significance in the essay. People are expecting someone else to complain, people being afraid, and people not complaining because of the government’s increase in power all seem like strong-based theories to me.
After reading Buckley’s essay, I support Buckley’s ideas about assertiveness and helplessness due to people being afraid to state their mind; new developed technology causing sheer laziness, and the government’s increase of power causing many people to not complain. His purpose would be to convince Americans that it is time to start complaining. Rather than sitting passively when a movie is out of focus or a bus is too hot, Americans should say something to someone with the power to change the problem, so he or she and everyone around him or her can benefit from the needed change.