THE SILENT MAJORITY
How does one know for sure that what is taking place in the mining town of Linden has the majority of support of the people there?
There has been no opinion poll taken in Linden to gauge the people’s reactions to the many issues that surround the present protests in Linden, so how does one know for sure that those who are believed to be representing the interests of the town are in fact expressing the real intentions of the residents of the community?
It is natural that there would have been almost unanimous condemnation of the shooting of the persons on the Wismar Bridge a few weeks ago. That is something that one can predict and even gauge from the large turnout at the funeral and sentiments expressed. Outside of Linden there was also national outrage at what happened.
But can one say with certainty that the majority of the people of Linden support the actions of blockading the roads? How can it be established that the action of placing huge logs across the roadways in the town is supported by the vast majority of the people and is not simply the actions of a small minority group seeking to impose their will on a community?
All the citizens of Linden obviously have an interest in the electricity issue. The price of electricity affects everyone and no one likes to have to pay if they do not have to pay more.
But people are reasonable and show understanding when things are explained to them. They do not always agree or follow their leaders on every issue. They may not take to openly disputing with their leaders but they can adopt some reasonable positions.
The logic of the leaders is not always shared by everyone. The people often see through the shenanigans. It would not be surprising if within Linden there is a fair deal of support for an end to what is taking place there. It would not also be surprising if within the mining town there are persons who accept that there is a need to integrate the grids and for electricity consumers in Linden to pay more. Just how much more is an issue on which there is likely to be wide differences?
The ordinary people can always be relied upon to be reasonable. They may not say anything publicly but talk to them privately and they will speak their mind. They will also listen to reason.
It is often their leaders who take the hardened positions because these leaders often have a different agenda.
The people’s issues are tied to bread and butter. They want food on their tables; they want good education for their children, they want a secure environment and they want good health care. The average man does not ask for political power.
It is the political leaders who are interested in power. The leaders are also interested in the needs of the people. They have to be because you cannot be a political leader and not be concerned about the people.
But the leaders also have that other interest which the people are not personally clamoring for. The politicians are political beings and they are also after political power and influence and so the two agendas often coincide and overlap. Where the problem arises is when they collide.
The ordinary people see beyond the politics of a situation. They may not be vocal. They may not stir trouble and oppose their leaders publicly, but privately they will concede that their leaders are taking inflexible positions.
There is a large silent majority out there who may not like what is going on. That silent majority is watching on. They may be powerless to do anything about what is taking place but they are watching. They may even be afraid to speak out for fear that they will be set upon.
It is therefore unwise for anyone to assume readily that the cutting off of interior transportation has the majority support of the people of Linden. It cannot even be said with certainty that the majority of the people of Linden support the continuing protest action.