George Graham

A Lack of Common Sense

Remember Voltaire’s lament on the rarity of common sense? Don’t you think it’s even less common today than it was in his time?

There’s a two-dimensional quality to political discourse, for example.

Gun control is a case in point.

The Founding Fathers gave us the right to arm ourselves as a bulwark against tyranny. But surely that doesn’t mean the government has absolutely no power to limit arms possession and use?

The framers of the Constitution also gave us the right to speak our minds. But a past Supreme Court wisely decided we don’t have the right to shout “fire” falsely in a crowded theater.

What has happened to that kind of common sense?

Today, we are debating gun ownership. Soon we will likely be lamenting the revocation of abortion rights.

And you know the arguments for and against abortion will be as shrill as those concerning gun ownership. We aren’t likely to hear the still, small voice of reason in the shouting and the tumult that’s sure to erupt.

In today’s politics, there seems to be no “on-the-other-hand,” no second thought, no give-and-take.

Of course, when it comes to right and wrong, there can be no compromise. Some things are just plain wrong.¬† Rationalizing¬† blatant abuse is doing the Devil’s work.

And all it takes to know the difference between right and wrong is a conscience – and common sense.

But now, we have Supreme Court justices subject to political dogma instead of human wisdom. Justices are either “conservative” or “liberal.”

What happened to “wise”? What happened to “fair”?

There’s no personal integrity left. If Trump picks a “conservative” justice – as he most certainly will – the poor creature will never dare to dissent from party doctrine.

I bet the Founding Fathers did not foresee such a miscarriage of justice. Back in their day, society respected – and expected – independent thought and personal integrity in its leaders.

Back in their day, America had leaders who listened to their consciences and valued self respect above party loyalty.

Today dogma rules. And that is very sad.

The looming abortion battle

An example of today’s rhetoric

Another example

About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for