Power of One Voice

Columbia, MO  by David Rosman
May 1, 2011


Yes, a single voice has an impact.

On April 6, the Columbia Missourian published “Banning Sharia law is fear mongering and unconstitutional.” That commentary concerned Missouri’s House Joint Resolution 31, which would bring to the voters an amendment to the state constitution to ban the use of “international and Sharia law” by state courts.

I knew this was a topic that hit home when 1) I had over 1300 hits on the Missourian web site and 2) when I received my first viable threat because of a commentary. Now I have made the big time, sort to speak.

TheAtlantic.com used my column to generate yet another commentary concerning HJR 31 and other laws like it. Andrew Cohen’s “Sharia Hysteria, Show-Me State Edition” based his commentary from St. Louis’ Riverfront Times and Missourian columns. The blogger John H. Tucker and I were kindly quoted and our positions reconfirmed. HJR 31 has too many bad legal implications to make it viable as a law or state amendment. Only Cohen took the cause a step or two further.

OK, an updated version.

For years I have taught my students that a single voice can make a difference. I have seen the actions by a single activist, a single citizen, a single parent and a single commentator change the course of events. The Fourth Estate’s job is to be the independent eyes that are watching what government is doing or trying to do. A commentator has an advantage; we can get angry and say so in our columns and blogs, radio and television shows.

To paraphrase Alro Guthrie’s Alice’s Restaurant, if one person complains about a law, they think he is really sick. If two people complain, in harmony, they will be tagged as gay. If three people complain, they will think it’s an organization. If a national magazine agrees, it is the start of a movement. Especially when that magazine has been labeled “conservative.”

I am pleased that I could be part of this movement. I am honored to stand, sort to say, side-by-side with Tucker and Cohen on this subject.

David Rosman is an award winning editor, writer, professional speaker and college instructor in Communications, Ethics, Business and Politics. You can read more of David’s commentaries at ColumbiaMissourian.com and New York Journal of Books.com.


About David Rosman

David is the winner of the Missouri Press Foundation's "Best Columnist" in 2013 (First Place) and 2014 (Second Place), the 2016 Harold Riback Award for excellence in writing, and the winner of the 2007 Interactive Media Award for excellence in editing.
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