Response to Buckley Essay
According to William F. Buckley, American people everywhere have refrained from Trying to rectify irrational vexations (32). In Buckley essay, Why Dont We Complain? he explains some situations that he was involved in where no one would complain to repair an uncomfortable situation. Through out the essay, Buckley gives three reasons why he believes that the American people do not complain. I agree strongly with Buckley theories. I think that American people do not complain in situations where a complaint is needed.
The first theory that he stated is that everyone expects someone else to complain (33). One of the worst ways to solve a dilemma is to expect someone else to do it prior to you. Situations come up all the time where someone is needed to stand out above the rest of the people to get the problem solved. However, what if no one is willing to be the one who attempts to solve the situation? Does this mean the situation will not get fixed? I believe this type of situation happens more than people notice. Expecting someone else to solve the problem was one of the powerful points I felt that Buckley explained in his essay. An example that he used demonstrated this point very well. He was on a train where the temperature was very uncomfortable. It was 85 degrees in the train when the temperature was below freezing outside.
He knew that everyone was suffering from the heat, including himself, but no one asked to get the temperature altered (31-32). He then stated this is because people have given up trying to rectify irrational vexations (32). They expect someone else to complain about an unpleasant situation. One example that I recall where this had occurred to me was at work while I was putting in place underground cable. It was an extremely hot day and a very hard day of work. By 4:00 in the afternoon, the water cooler was empty and I was very thirsty. I thought that everyone else was dehydrated also, so I did not pronounce anything to foreman about the empty cooler. By the end of the long day, around 9:00 at night, it was time to go home. Over that entire period, the water cooler never was filled because everyone expected someone else to tell the foreman, who was not accepted by many of my co-workers.
The second theory that Buckley used is that people are afraid to state their mind (33). Are people apprehensive to complain? Buckley thinks that people can be afraid to complain. He stated 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 (33). I feel that people sometimes can be scared to fight for their cause. They are afraid what result may come from it. Sometimes I am worried to complain. I think that the cause is not worth the complaint or I may be terrified of what someone may think of me if I complain.
An example that I recall where I was afraid to complain happened to me just recently. I took my truck in to a repair shop to get some work done on it. I would call every day to see if it was done, but each time I spoke to the service guy, he would tell me that the mechanic could not find the problem. He placed many new parts in my truck and still did not solve the problem. After two weeks of work, I got my truck back. It was merely a simple problem the mechanic could not locate because of his inexperience. I wanted to complain about the time-consuming service and the lousy mechanic, but I thought that maybe it was unjust because they were busy. I agree with the theory that Buckley includes because I can think of many times where I have felt this way. Should people be afraid to complain or should they always be free minded about an unjust cause?
The third point that was made in the essay by Buckley states that the high-powered government is taking rights away from the people. He states, very 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 (36). He also says that we accept the government power to hold upon us (36). 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 other points support his case stronger.
After analyzing Buckley essay, I started to focus on situations like those that he used as examples in the essay. I found many of the same incidents that Buckley stated in the essay true. 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 increase in power all seem like strong-based theories to me.