In defense of informed opinion

I got into a debate with my Dad about opinions. I argued that everybody isn’t entitled to his or her opinion. I say they are entitled to their informed opinion. Otherwise, it’s just flotsam and jetsam; sound and fury signifying nothing as Bill Shakes would say.

These uninformed masses are ignorant. These people bother me, because they don’t bother to read a book other than the Da Vinci Code, a newspaper other than the National Enquirer or a magazine other than People. And then they have the audacity to tell me I’m wrong on a subject that I’m much more informed about.

My father’s argument was basically everybody’s got an opinion and it is of no less value than the informed one. It is up to the listener to decide what is worthy and what is hot air and bluster. It’s a good point, except that people are stupid and ignorant and can’t tell the difference because they haven’t read anything and can’t think for themselves and wouldn’t have the first clue what to say unless someone told them beforehand.

This is my biggest problem with our current President. He doesn’t think for himself. It bothers me that he chooses not to read, but to get daily briefings of the news. He decided that having news and information spoon-fed to him is better than taking a good old look-see for himself.

I honestly believe that his administration thinks, for example, that the war in Iraq is going just fine. He’s in a cocoon; insulated from the outside world and when he ventures forth he comes across like an unfeeling, dumbfounded buffoon. See Cindy Sheehan, FEMA and the latest cronyism on the Supreme Court for examples.

I used to think that the President knew his deficiencies and surrounded himself with smart, intelligent people. People like Colin Powell. But lately these people have left the administration or when they criticized the current thinking were quietly or not so quietly showed the door.

The winds they are a-changing. The President’s approval rating is in the toilet. He will be remembered strictly as the guy who was in office when 9/11 happened and when New Orleans got hit with the worst hurricane ever. He will be remembered for his failures to act, his lies about WMD and his ability to speak like a trained monkey.

But what do I know… it’s just my opinion.