The Personal Website of Mark W. Dawson
Containing His Articles, Observations, Thoughts,
and some would say Wisdom (and some would say not).
Observations on American Government, Politics, and Society
following are the observations I have written:
observations are excerpts from a book I have written "Observations
on an Examined Life". As time allows I will be publishing
these observations on this web page. Until then the sections of
this book are outlined here.
Based on these observation I have also proposed an rewriting of
the U.S. Constitution to meets the demands of the 21st century.
This rewrite is not a major overhaul, but a streamlined
version that also adds particulars to the U.S. Constitution
based on our governmental experiences of the 20th century. This
"New U.S. Constitution" can be found here.
You may be
wondering about my qualifications to pontificate on these
subjects. I believe that I am qualified because I am a thinking
human being. I utilize my knowledge and experience in life, as
well as researching both the facts and opinions of others,
including those with whom I may disagree. I then apply my
reasoning and logical skills to reach an opinion. And it is just
my opinion which I readily admit. I am also willing to admit
that I may be wrong, and if I discover that I am wrong I am just
as readily willing to change my opinion. Therefore, check-back
every so often to determine if I have changed my opinion which
can be determine by the date of the article.
light bulb has often been described as a heat source that
provides some light, given that a light bulb generates more heat
than it does light. In today's public debates we often find the
proponents of an issue providing a lot of heat and only a little
light. These observations are meant to provide illumination
(light) and not argumentation (heat).
Opponents in today's society often utilize the dialog and debate
methodology of Demonize, Denigrate, and Disparage their opponent
when discussing issues, policies, and personages. To demonize,
denigrate, or disparage the messenger to avoid consideration of
the message is not acceptable if the message has supporting
The only acceptable method of public discourse is disagreement -
to be of different opinions. If you are in disagreement with
someone you should be cognizant that people of good character
can and often disagree with each other. The method of their
disagreement is very important to achieve civil discourse. There
are two ways you can disagree with someone; by criticizing their
opinions or beliefs or critiquing their opinions or beliefs.
• Criticism - Disapproval expressed by pointing out faults or
• Critique - A serious examination and judgment of something.
Most people, and most commentators have forgotten the difference
between Criticism and Critique. This has led to the
hyper-partisanship in today's society. In a civil society
critiquing a viewpoint or policy position should be encouraged.
This will often allow for a fuller consideration of the issues,
and perhaps a better viewpoint or policy position without
invoking hyper-partisanship. We can expect that partisanship
will often occur, as people of good character can and often
disagree with each other. Criticizing a viewpoint or policy
position will often lead to hostility, rancor, and enmity, which
results in the breakdown of civil discourse and
hyper-partisanship. It is fine to criticize someone for their
bad or destructive behavior, but it is best to critique them for
their opinions or words. We would all do better if we remember
to critique someone, rather than criticize someone.
I would ask anyone who disagrees with what I have written here
to please keep this disagreement civil. I am open to critique
and will sometimes take criticism. I will always ignore
demonization, denigration, and disparagement, or point out the
vacuous nature or the character flaws of those that wish to
silence the messenger rather than deal with the message.
Please remember that if you disagree with the messenger it is
not acceptable to kill the messenger. You may kill the
messenger, but the message will remain. If you have any
comments, concerns, critiques, or suggestions I can be reached
I will review reasoned and intellectual correspondence, and it
is possible that I can change my mind, or at least update the
contents of these articles. This is why these articles are
dated. Whenever I make a change to these articles they will be
re-dated. So check back and see if any articles have been
updated (or perhaps I shall add articles).