Perhaps this is simply due to my experience, but it seems to me that, in modern times, the greatest voices of descent are silenced by the time the Revolution comes.
For me, it has been a sense of disillusion that has caused me to tone down my rhetoric, as it pertains to the World and the way things should be in it. While, time has slowed or mellowed me, it was the pushback of others that has silenced me more than anything.
As I watched the decline in the standard of living in America decline, most of the feedback I received implied that I was simply a negative person who only view the World in a negative way. While I would provide statistics, data, and other forms of proof for my arguments, none of those refuting my views, opinions and observations ever did. And, worst still, most of the time they didn't even want to view the evidence I presented. I wrote a book in which I explained that my goal was not to convince others of my stances, but to help the reader analyze the words, and actions of those they choose to follow and compare and contrast those deed to what they see in their own lives and the lives of their loved ones.
"Does the economy seem as strong for you and your family as the president claims it to be?"
"Is America's latest military adventure really about helping another country overthrow a ruthless dictator or is it about extracting that country's wealth for the benefit of a small minority of elites?"
"When national leaders say Government turns slowly like a cruise ship on the ocean, why does it seem to turn more like a speed boat when a policy benefits the rich?"
When I would ask anyone to point out any positive trends in American Society, the U..S. economy or the ways in which America interacts with the rest of the world, they never had a single example. When I followed that request up with the idea that perhaps someone like me should point out the red flags which seem so apparent to me, they never acknowledged that idea but chose instead to double down on their believe that I am simply a negative person. When I explained that I identified as an Optimistic pessimist because I believed mankind had the ability to correct its course but not the will, they... well actually, they never respond to this take.
Getting back to the original claim made in the first paragraph of this post, those who have paid attention to whatever the problem or issue may be should probably be the people who direct us away from the peril we face. Though this would be ideal, the problem is that those who have been aware and have pointed out the problem, must oftentimes feel defeated after years of being contradicted without evidence or worse, ignored all together. For me, it has been and continues to be frustrating to hear my complaints of more than a decade parroted back at me. If, not for the fact that my ideas and beliefs are recorded in my book "Solutions: Enough complaining. Let's fix America", I would question whether I even thought of these things years ago. It is my own experience that makes me wonder how many others who have viable solutions to the problems we face have been silenced, not by criticism, not by threat, but by sheer frustration at how many people choose ignorance over knowledge as a means to cope.