This is a basic principle for anyone who seeks to live a rational and self-disciplined life.
We should take people at their word. When we hear someone tell us they are going to do something, we should never dismiss what they are telling us. Always assume they are telling you the truth and mean what they say.
Unfortunately, this principle functions contrary to human nature. When we hear someone telling us they believe or want to do something we find to be unreasonable, we have a tendency to overlook what they are saying. Because we do not believe that way, or we would not do the things that person is advocating, we dismiss their words as ‘hyperbole.’ We tell ourselves: “They don’t really mean it,” or “They are just trying to make a point of get attention.” This is a fatal flaw in human nature.
If we look to human nature, we will find that the majority of the people who we now hold out as being the most monstrous figures in human history actually told the world what they intended to do. Hitler is one of the clearest examples. He made no secret of his racism, or his intention to kill the Jews. In fact, he boasted about it, but the world ignored him. The same is true about Obama, but on a different level. He told the world he intended to “Fundamentally change” America, but no one bothered to listen. If they had taken him at his word and then compared those words to the things he had said in his past, it would have been very clear that Obama was going to try to orchestrate a sort of coup from within — and he has! Now we have two more people telling us they consider themselves to be above the law and that they intend to ignore the Constitution and — again — no one is taking them at their word.
So this should be a principle of a rational, self-disciplined life:
Until their actions contradict them, we should always take people at their word.
In other words, until they start to act in ways contrary to what they say, we should always assume that people mean what they say and say what they mean. If they things that strike you as dangerous, then you must — not should — must act accordingly. You cannot afford to take a wait-and-see position, not when the matter threatens the individual rights and liberties of another person, and especially an entire nation. This principle applies to our role as a citizen and our part in the life of our nation, all the way down to our role as an individual and our role in the lives of those around us. To do anything less is to ignore our personal responsibilities to the nation, each other and ourselves (not to mention God).