Martin Luther King had the courage to stand up for what he believed in- the idea that regardless of a man’s skin color, he should be treated equally. He should be judged on his character not his skin tone. It is appalling that in 1963 he should have to make such a statement. Just as it is appalling that in 2012 it is justifiable to call a conservative a terrorist merely because they are conservative.
I have a dream that I and those who believe as I do will not be called names, that our beliefs will not be the subject of fear mongering and vicious slander merely because of their position on the political spectrum. I have a dream that one day, I will be judged on the content of my character, the courage of my convictions and the merits of my beliefs, not a party affiliation.
I have a dream that one day reason will overcome prejudice. That some day a person will look at me and say, “I disagree with your opinion, but I respect your right to express it because I have the same right. And I will debate the merits of your ideas, not attack your character.”
That debate will be arbitrated by the pursuit of truth through ideas, not by the double-speak and half-truths of dishonest politicians seeking support.
That one day the desire to do the right thing, purely because it is the right thing, will be the motivator of public policy, not the desire for power. That men whose ideologies are different can overcome their differences when they agree and work together because it is the right thing to do.
That people idolize the merits of men- a desire to serve truth, a commitment to honesty, a dedication to equal justice for all, that they have integrity in all their actions. That they can look at someone they disagree with and say “At least he is living by the principles he believes in” and respect that.
That one day those whose actions are driven by a lust for power, and who believe the ends justified the means will be universally despised, because these actions show no respect for the rights of others.
That change for the sake of change becomes suspicious because there is personal motive behind it. That change be based on objective, rational analysis and a genuine desire to improve.
I dream that we can meet on the battlefield of ideas, where the primary objective is to seek out and serve truth. Where the desire to avoid uncomfortable thought does not trump the pursuit of the truth. Where the fallacies of a man’s argument are willingly surrendered to right.
I dream that one day the motto of all men will be to question with boldness because the truth has no agenda.
Most of all, I have a dream that one day the following statement will be the governing principle in the minds of men when their ideas conflict-
When I disagree with a rational man, I let reality be our final arbiter; if I am right, he will learn; if I am wrong, I will. One of us will win but both of us will profit.-Ayn Rand
This is Martin Luther King’s dream in the 21st century. It is now universally appalling to judge a man because of his skin color. Let’s hope that someday very soon, the same thing can be said for ideologies- that men will be judged on the content and character of their ideas, not becaues they can apply an ideological label to themselves.