The ability to express our opinion is a valuable right. In this country, we are free to make our feelings known without government reprisal, according to the Constitution.

Almost every change throughout history occurred because someone had an opinion.

Opinions help define a person. It also displays a sense of interest in certain subjects. The good news is you do not need anyone’s permission to have one and we know it is impossible to please everyone.

Sometimes politicians forget they expressed a particular opinion and hope we did too. The ‘sounded like a good idea at the time’ guys all hope we have short memories.

Take, for example, comments made by California gubernatorial candidate, Larry Elder.

Elder once said employers should have the right to ask women whether they intend to have children, suggesting women who are mothers are not “dedicated” to their jobs.

Forget all that is illegal about that comment and focus on the sexism of it. If you are using that as a measuring tool for determining employment eligibility, then shouldn’t men be asked how many children they intend to father?

Now that he is a candidate for governor, he has suggested that government should not be involved in employee, employer matters and had no comment on his previous comments.

Then there is the group who thinks they deserve special treatment.

The ‘it is good for the goose but not the gander’ ones share the belief their opinion entitles them to be excluded from any criticism.

Senator Ted Cruz from Texas criticized a group of Democratic lawmakers who left the state to block Republicans from passing restrictive voting legislation.

Lawmakers were quick to remind Cruz that he flew to Mexico back in February to escape a winter storm that brought down power lines and created havoc across the state.

The “blame the victim” opinion is particularly offensive when a woman does it.

Big Bang Theory actress, Mayim Bialik, was recently tapped to become a part-time host on the game show Jeopardy.

Bialik’s past comments about the scandal involving slimeball producer Harvey Weinstein have come back to haunt her.

The actress stated she had made “wise” personal choices to protect herself, including dressing “modestly” and not acting “flirtatiously” with men.

You know, because all women who do not dress modestly are asking to be sexually harassed or assaulted. Such ridiculous comments.

She is now, of course, expressing regret for her past comments.

 One of the most entertaining is the ‘we said it was how we felt, but it actually was for ratings.’

The Fox News network, which allows hosts and guests to spew radical far-right views, has some egg on their faces. The network has been a consistent forum for anti-vax and anti-mask rhetoric.

A recently leaked memo showed the network requires unvaccinated workers to wear masks in its New York headquarters and will now require its employees to disclose their vaccination status.

The hypocrisy of the network is glaring. The same network that calls health and safety protocols un-American and unfair are implementing them in their offices.

The ‘see it my way or you will pay’ opinions are the most dangerous.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has decided to retaliate against any school who defies his state ban on mask mandates.

Ducey created a $163 million school grant program using federal virus relief funds he controls. He announced last week that schools who chose to implement mask mandates or must close because of virus outbreaks will not be eligible for the $1800 per student allotment.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to withhold the salaries of school board officials who chose to go against his executive order and require face masks in schools.

Keep in mind that in neither of these states did citizens vote for these punishments. The men in charge decided to issue executive orders based on their views of what is right.

‘We won’t protect you until you get sick’ is the radical opinion approach to safety.

Governors in Florida, Missouri and Texas are reportedly promising millions of dollars in antibody treatments for COVID infected patients.

Never mind that the costs of these treatments are thousands of dollars more than the preventative vaccine and that they only work in the early stages of an infection.

These governors refuse to promote the best public health guidance that we have, which are vaccines and masks, but instead are promoting a $2100 per dose treatment when you get sick. If you get there in time for it to benefit you.

Unfortunately, some opinions are based on strong bias or lack of knowledge.

 Science says you are unlikely to change anyone’s opinion once their mind is made up.

I agree. Opinions are like armpits. Most have them, but some smell worse than others.

Anita McGill is a former publisher of The Sentinel. She can be reached by email at anitamcgill99@gmail.com.

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