The depth of our opinions (or lack thereof)

Eric Hong , Opinion Editor

A year ago I would have said a pregnant woman has every right to decide what to do with the collection of embryonic cells residing within her. Today I say anyone who touches that being threatens a mother’s child. A year ago I would have applauded the Supreme Court of the United States for granting homosexuals their right of marriage. Today I say same-sex marriage is a crime and this country has forgotten it. A year ago I would have said guns are a plague on the people. Today I say firearms in the home is a family’s means of protection.

At some point in the past, the Internet had told me that the liberal agenda had it all right. “Freedom” demanded that a mother could deny her unborn child and “equality” manifested itself as allowing transgender men  to walk into women’s restrooms. Anyone who dared to argue against these principles denied reality itself and received a big red “wacko” stamp on the forehead.

In the same breath, the Internet also warned me not to give heed to those filthy conservatives and their spiteful ideals. Compromise with religious right, with which I have come to share many values, was unthinkable. Anyone who trod their moral grounds would surely fall captive to their nonsensical reasoning.

It was simply in the blood of those beer-bellied, gun-toting folk to hate all sorts of people but the white ones (though admittedly, in more situations than is acceptable this definitely seems to be the case—but that’s not the point).

Many younger members of the millennial generation are part of what seems to be a surge in political interest, oftentimes quick to condemn so adamantly the ideas and practices they deem wrong. The problem is that there are some convictions to which one does not come by evidence or by “being informed” (whatever that means anymore). Especially for the youngest of us, it is worth acknowledging that most of us believe what we believe because we were told to—and we usually stick with it to the death.

For all the hours one spends on Facebook, being fed partisan material from organizations like NowThis and AJ+, would even half be spent on Sean Hannity? Would laughter at Colbert’s “Late Night Show” be followed by groaning at Bill O’Reilly? What worth do a person’s opinions have, then, if they are spoonfed from a singular source by way of entertainment? It is one thing to be avidly opinionated. It is another to be responsibly so.

I must confess that my newly claimed platform of beliefs is not founded on information from journal after journal, and neither was my former (forgive me—I am but a naive high school student), but that is the essence of this message: that there is really no higher determining factor in a person’s political disposition than his or her willful resolution to maintain it.

This has very little to do with politicians and their less-than-honest affairs on Capitol Hill, but much to do with the things for which they claim to stand. It’s the issues that divide those in Congress that ultimately have come to divide and classify the American people. Unfortunately, though, it seems it has become so easy to hold opinions nowadays that these things are so easily taken at no more than face value.