Now is the time in our lives that we are supposed to be “solidifying our opinions” and “taking stances”. The older we get, the more rigid our beliefs become (which is why so many college towns are liberal, and so many old people are conservative). A friend of mine sparked a conversation about groupthink today and I began thinking about my own role in forming my own opinions, which motivated me to think about some hot topics. So here are my conclusions. I am risking some friendships by posting this, but I felt like I should get my political beliefs all out in the open in one fail swoop and then we can move on.
Topics that are always on the political agenda include abortion and same-sex marriage. Personally, I don’t believe anything politicians say, because I think they are all in it just for the money; they support certain platforms because they know they will get votes, not because they actually believe in the crap that is spewing out of their mouths. Take Colorado Congressman Cory Gardner for example. At first, he supported the personhood bills, but then decided that, although he does not support abortion, he fears passing the bills will also outlaw certain forms of birth control, of which he does support (or, aka, he was losing voters by his extremely crass opinions and decided to ‘change his beliefs’ to attract more voters). Especially someone who is in the spotlight, job is on the line, AND has many people working for him, don’t you think this politician should do a thorough research analysis before publicizing his opinion? This happens all the time.
There are a plethora of opinions regarding abortion. The book Freakonomics studies causation and correlation and suggests that in countries that support abortion, such as Romania, crime rates are lower. Why? Because the abortion prone kids do not grow up as unwanted specimens. In Roe vs. Wade, the Supreme Court determined it is unconstitutional for states to pass laws that prohibit abortion. The other camp believes that abortions should be illegal, because it is basically murder of a person and is morally wrong. Much research has been put into the development of the fetus to determine when it becomes a person. I remember walking around on my college campus and seeing the abortion museum exhibit set up. It has horrible, graphic pictures of aborted fetuses–some that were no larger than a dime, and some that were almost full term.
Another hot topic in politics is same-sex marriage. Some people believe that the definition of marriage is written for a male and a female, so a marriage between two males or two females does not fit that definition and is therefore unconstitutional. Others believe that the Constitution offers freedom and equality to all and not allowing same-sex marriages is a form of discrimination. Some people say, “I don’t want to see men kissing each other all over the place” and others say, “I don’t want to see anyone kissing”.
So, where do I fall on some of these topics? I believe that I am not informed enough to make a decision. When making an opinion, I always like to look at all of my options–the pro’s, the con’s, the opposing viewpoints. And, I like to connect these back to my own experiences. Fortunately, I have never been in a position where I had to make a decision regarding an abortion. And, I have never been in a position where I had to make a choice about same-sex marriage (or opposite-sex marriage for that matter). I do not know the emotions involved, the life impact. I can research, acquire all the facts and statistics that I want, but I will never know the life experience unless I or someone very close to me is involved in these issues. And for that, I cannot take a stance. Why should I dictate how someone else should live their life when I can’t even sympathize with what they are going through?