Dissent In Daniel J. Boorstin's The Decline Of Radicalism

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Dissent in America is an extremely pressing problem that we, as a country, should address. In the excerpt from Daniel J. Boorstin’s The Decline of Radicalism, Boorstin stresses this issue in our country today- stating that dissension is the cause of all problems in the United States of America. Defined simply, disagreement means the state of being at a variance or a quarrel. When two parties agree to disagree, this can be called a disagreement. Dissent, means to withhold opinions contrary to what is acceptable and right. When two parties dissent with one another, they do not express any opinions on the issue. These two words are extremely similar interpretation wise from many different perspectives. The author, however, only looks at dissension…show more content…
An example of this would be abolitionism and the opposition to slavery. In the 1800’s, slavery was widespread, but there were certain people who began to realize and vocalize that slavery was immoral and downright horrifying. These people were definitely a minority, who were thought of as crazy and bizarre. As the movement became stronger, the South portion of the United States of America formed the Confederate States of America, which started the civil war. In 1865, the civil war ended, adding the South back to the U.S., and abolishing slavery in America. Today, slavery is considered, by most people, a horrible thing that should never happen again- although certain things can never be stopped. Using this example, it is understandable why the author makes the point that “dissension is [democracy’s] cancer.” A minority going against the government is never a good thing for the country as a whole, regardless of the reasons or the validity of the subject. Despite this, I don’t think dissension is bad, at least in the way Boorstin describes it. Dissension and disagreement are both necessary for improvement and change and are crucial to the evolution of the
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