A reminder to readers – opinions are essential to our society. There is no right or wrong opinion. Open and honest conversations and discussions about any subject are essential to a free society. Disagreements are a normal part of this. However…
Unless we agree with the prevailing propaganda from certain groups, any opinion or viewpoint is criticized or canceled. So much for the First Amendment and free speech. There is no respect for anything that disagrees with the current issues by these groups. Where is the unity, the equality, and the diversity that those groups speak out on virtually everything? Where is the tolerance for others?
If one has a viewpoint or opinion that isn’t consistent with the policies of these groups, then you are apparently not acceptable in society. Where did this idea come from? Why are we so divided on, it seems, everything?
The First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech. It states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press…”
So why are some people told to sit down and shut up?
Opinion, as defined in the dictionary is, ”a belief or conclusion held with confidence, but not substantiated by knowledge or proof.” In other words, one’s opinion can not be proven or dis-proven.
To say someone is wrong when they express their thoughts or opinion, is not the America I know.
Letters to the editor, editorials and columns are opinion. They may not be factual, but they are the way some people think and believe.
Expressing an opposing opinion or viewpoint is acceptable, maybe even expected. But to criticize, not so much. Where is the respect for others? The respect that is demanded by certain groups. Where is the unity that is often mentioned in their speeches? Or is it only one side that gets their way?
Sharing opinions can lead to serious discussions and hopefully solutions to the many problems we are facing today. Serious and mature discussions without the name calling and accusations of obstruction are valuable.
A truly free society welcomes differences of opinions, that way all sides of an issue can be considered. But some people only want their opinions and viewpoints expressed and considered.
Is there a message in this? Are they overly egotistic and arrogant? Do they really think everything is their way or the highway? They demand to be heard, but won’t allow others to be heard and express another side. Why? Is there a specific plan or agenda?
One reason could be they don’t want any discussion on their issues. Only their viewpoint is acceptable. That is not the American way.
Opinions matter, all opinions. To limit or disrupt any expression of an opposing viewpoint is unacceptable in a free society.
Herb Dettmer is a retired Bowling Green resident, U.S. Army veteran and writes this column representing the viewpoint of “Joe Average” citizen. He is freelance writer and author of “Others,” a devotional book. Call or text “Joe” with comments at 419-494-4641.