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What is "Why Don't We Complain" by William F. Buckley, Jr.?

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Quick Answer

"Why Don't We Complain?" is a 1961 essay written by conservative journalist William F. Buckley, Jr. in which the author ponders at length on the average American's unwillingness to voice his opinions.

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Buckley uses three major points to make his argument. First, he believes Americans always expect other people to complain first, even in the face of unbearable conditions, because no one wants to be the lone voice of dissent. Second, much of the American people's reluctance to complain comes from simple fear. They are afraid to confront authority even when their rights are being violated. Third, the American desire to be unobtrusive means the government will grow bolder in restricting their rights.

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