Creating my own opinion on political and environmental issues and then using that opinion to argue my point or defend a position has always been a lifelong goal of mine. And quite frankly, I thought I have achieved that goal many times throughout my life. But the older I get, the more I observe and take in what most people I have meet say about politics. The more I am convinced that I don’t have an opinion, and neither do most of the people I have meet.
You see, I read the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, many others watch CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, or we listen to NPR, conservative or liberal talk shows. And it is from these companies, agencies, that we form our so-called “opinion.” Or are we really forming an opinion? It is through these companies and agencies that we should stay informed, but to form an opinion? To do that, I believe we have to crush the pre-meditated, opinionated, article, talk show, and news presentation. In-depth books and essays on issues and the cross-examination of those sources is how we form our opinions.
So let’s be honest, one of us can say that we like free market capitalism, another can say he likes doses of Marxism, another can say that he likes all of Karl Marx’s ideas. One of us can say we like a constitutional republic, another could say he likes a full-fledged democracy, and then another could say that anarchy is the way to go. But, how many of us have read “The Wealth of Nations”, “The Communist Manifesto”, “Das Kapital”, “The U.S. Constitution” recently? Reading these sources, and modern critiques of these sources, and then reading more modernized ideas altogether. That is how an opinion of formed.
Reading the “canned” opinionated, shortened, easy reading article is not going to do it. Listening to one point of view on the radio is not going to do it. Opinions are made by continuing education in all viewpoints, whether one initially agrees with the view point or not doesn’t matter. Seeing the blind slide to your own perspective is how growth in your opinion occurs.
Perhaps if this approach to formulating opinions was done, there would be less division and more unity? But I am not for sure, I just hope we find out. Of course, the irony of this article is this. This article is just my opinion.