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Dan Bernardi

Now that America is on its merry way to becoming great again, it’s an appropriate time to help further unite the U.S. by tackling one of our most divisive issues: opinions.

Plato once said that opinions are like assholes—everybody’s got one. Sadly, our country’s assholes haven’t been this divided since the Civil War. Whether you rooted for Iron Man or Captain America, there was a conclusive outcome to that conflict. Opinions are, unlike facts, not conclusive—although it’s easy to see why truth and opinion may be confused. One perceives an opinion to be true and a truth actually is true.

With so much truth—perceived or otherwise—floating around the mediasphere, it would appear that good, old-fashioned, honest opinions are in short supply. Here’s an easy five-step guide on how to form an opinion, find out what it’s worth, and where you can stick it when you’re done.

STEP 1: THINK IT – The obvious starting point for any opinion is to simply exist as a human being. Start by using your basic senses directed toward a particular person, place, thing, or idea. Process that information. This should only take a few seconds. Naturally, your personal preferences will begin to arise. Be careful! During an opinion’s gestation period, avoid adopting any outside opinions as your own. That’s cheating. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, not each others.

STEP 2: STUDY IT – Now that you’ve input some fresh information into your brain, you’ve almost manifested a subjective viewpoint, but simply having an opinion isn’t enough. You want that opinion to be good. Great. Popular. And, if possible, informed. So it’s important to critically analyze the topic from all angles before mustering an opinion, whipping it out, and slapping it on the table. Research related facts. Consider opposing perspectives. Imagine the wildest hypothetical that scientifically proves your opinion sucks. If that stands up to the test, head to the next step.

STEP 3: WEIGH IT – Congratulations! You’ve got your own brand-new opinion in mind. Now what? Well, presuming you haven’t already blurted it out in front of a room full of strangers, you may want to first internally judge the opinion by asking yourself one simple question: is my opinion worthy of being shared with others? Either way you answer that question, congratulations on forming yet another opinion. If you answered no, thank you for your service and good day to you. But if you answered yes, you’re ready for an audience.

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STEP 4: SHARE IT – It’s time to show ’em what you got. Understandably, it may be tempting to drop your opinion directly onto the internet, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I recommend first trying it out in person with family and friends. Consider using supplementary anecdotes and experiences to reinforce your view. Spice it up with facts and data. Most importantly, be confident to enhance their perception of your opinion. If you happen to feel an overwhelming sense of opposition toward what you said, it may be time to flee back to the drawing board. But if you earned a golden seal of agreement, this opinion may be a keeper.

STEP 5: BOP IT – Going forward, be prepared to change your opinion as new information comes to light, and regularly remind yourself that this is not an objective truth. But for now, it’s time to take action if you want different people to experience similar feelings as you. Rallies. Protests. Letters to your state representatives. Online message board debates. Door to door evangelism. While you strive to change the court of public opinion for the better as you see it, it’s important to note that there are no good or bad opinions. There are, however, infinitely more opinions to be had. And in a world of infinite opinions, maybe it’s okay if your opinion isn’t all that special, polished, or globally revered. After all, everybody’s got one.

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