The Spectator
founded 2004 by ron cruger
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 by Laramie Boyd
What's Your Opinion?
2017 Spectator Ron - The Spectator All Rights Reserved
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        Have you ever wondered why people choose a particular political persuasion to support? Why they claim to be a Republican or Democrat or any of the other established parties? Family members with relatively similar upbringing and experiences can vary in their political slants like night and day, although parents may at first glance seem to have a great influence on which political party a son or daughter ends up supporting. But too many exceptions to that rule occur to believe it is the overwhelming, contributing reason for choosing which party the offspring decide to claim. But people change their minds. Surely we can discount biological influence as a factor, I suppose, so where does that leave us? Is it the beliefs of the friends we choose as we grow up that determines our take on politics? A desire to belong, if even to any old group? Peer pressure is indeed a gnawing force. Is it the effects of the media that we watch or read or listen to? Maybe our teachers in school have some influence, for or against a certain position.
        Just why does one person favor Obama or Clinton, while another believes Bush or Trump is the way to go? And as we have seen lately, the differences in the way voters see political candidates and parties can be striking, as well as the almost vicious way opposite sides of the political spectrum support and campaign for their party members, simply because of their party affiliation. Belonging to either party can result in a mean spirited attitude towards the other party. I guess it's the old standby answer to "why", that it's a combination of all of these things that determines our political bent. I don't like that answer, but it seems to keep a lid on the importance of the answer.
        How is it possible that one person would like to allow anyone who can, by any means, to come into our country, while another would restrict the number and keep out the obvious law breakers? Isn't one of those options a no-brainer? Or one party affiliate would say let's broaden abortion rights so that any woman can get one, often free, while a member of a different party supports restricting such rights and withdrawing government financing for the procedure? Again, is that choice so difficult? And as so often happens, why do some staunch party supporters on one side of the aisle make up new words and/or redefine existing words, even stretch the truth, or plainly lie, to put a favorable view on an issue that only agrees with some personal agenda, all done in a hateful, bitter, vindictive, "I'm right and you're wrong" manner?
        I received a response from a reader of the liberal persuasion about an article I wrote expressing my opinion on an issue, the reader used every four-lettered word in the book to describe me personally for daring to have that point of view. He actually wanted to meet me somewhere and take it out on me physically. I quickly nixed that idea, as he seemed to be another real pinhead.
        I wonder why it isn't possible for people with disagreeing viewpoints to just agree to disagree, to recognize that opposing views are just opinions, neither one necessarily right, nor wrong. I think Paul Valery was right when he said, "The folly of mistaking a paradox for a discovery, a metaphor for a proof, a torrent of verbiage for a spring of capital truths, and oneself for an oracle" is surely a folly.
        And of course a conundrum is always with us, sticking its ugly head into our finely tuned, well thought out opinions, sometimes blotting out the best laid solutions to problems. As, if every point of view is merely an opinion, statement itself is only an opinion. In plain English, isn't it just an opinion that an opinion is neither right nor wrong? And remember, whenever you express a point of view, it is not a "capital truth". That's my opinion, and that, is the truth.