You Are Entitled to Your Own Opinion. Except When You’re Not

I posted something to my blog awhile back and was reminded of it when I spent too much time last night responding to a group of Bernie Bots. Usually I just ignore them, but sometimes I just can’t resist the opportunity to educate someone.

Feelings are running high, tempers short, and people are adamant that their position is right. We are, after all, entitled to our own opinion. Right?

Here’s the thing. Just because a bunch of people have an opinion, even if it’s a majority of the people, doesn’t make their opinion true, or okay. We wouldn’t need the Bill of Rights if that were the case. Remember, we are not a simple democracy (i.e. majority rules); we are a republic with representative government and a Constitution that protects the minority from shifting public opinion.

We’re all raised to respect others’ opinions, but you know what? Some opinions shouldn’t be respected. There’s this belief that a middle ground somewhere is a good thing, but it matters the middle of what? Some western GOP legislators want to give federal land back to who it really belongs to – in their opinion, ranchers, mining companies, etc. others want the land protected by the federal government for the benefit of all (who do you think benefited when John McCain worked a deal to sell tribal sacred lands to an international mining company?) If we really believe the land should be returned, lets all pack our bags and go back to wherever our ancestors came from. Oh, now it’s cool to have native blood?

Our country as embodied by our media suffers from both-siderism. Each “side” has an opinion so in fairness, each “side” gets to have their say. Notice, nobody actually fact checks and we get to decide, based on perceived political orientation (or whatever our opinion is based on) which”side” we’re on. Sometimes opinions are just wrong (all Muslims are not extremist jihadis just as all white Christian men are not members of the Klan).

It isn’t PC to call people people instead of adding qualifiers (black, white, gay, straight, male, female…) it’s just the correct thing to do. It isn’t anti PC to be a bigot, misogynist, sexist…it’s just wrong. Drawing a line somewhere in the middle between hate and love isn’t finding common ground. It’s allowing hate to flourish because remember, everyone is entitled to their opinions.

Have your opinion. Just don’t expect me to respect it or you.

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