Kanye West said something interesting on Twitter this past week:
I don’t agree with everything anyone does. That’s what makes us individuals. And we have the right to independent thought. … I don’t agree 100% with anyone but myself.
That is similar to something that I occasionally say to my wife and others: “I’ve never found anyone that I disagree with on everything. And I’ve never found anyone that I agree with on everything. Even myself.” The qualifier at the end is because I know I’m not completely consistent in my views (few people are), and because I wish to preserve the flexibility to occasionally change my mind, and probably also because I don’t have Kanye’s level of self-confidence.
Kanye’s comments are related to the question in the header on this blog: “What is a proper relationship between a free people and their government?” One requirement of a proper relationship is citizens who think for themselves. If you find yourself letting some other person or group always do your thinking for you, then I question if you are free.
Of course, it is natural to consider what others think – to learn from them, and sometimes to outsource our thinking because we ourselves cannot be fully informed on every issue. But it is essential to think for ourselves as much as possible. Don’t fall for groupthink.
If like me you don’t know a lot about Kanye West, see Wikipedia. Apparently he has 27.9 million followers on Twitter, and he follows exactly one person: his wife. Smart man. For the source of that information, and the above quote, see this post by blogger Ann Althouse, a professor of law emerita at the University of Wisconsin Law School.