The Importance of Controversial Opinions


Ian Brodie

Srinidhi Sankar, Staff Writer

Opinions and editorials in newspapers have always been criticised for their highly critical nature and disputable views. However, even before any systematic government existed, opinions have played a vast role in shaping the very infrastructure we live in. Through discourse, these views play a powerful role in our free society, and need to be encouraged both despite and because of their controversial nature.

That being said, polarized views are shunned in the status quo as hindersome and extreme. For example, a person who is Pro-Choice is labelled a rainbow-loving leftist, but those who are Pro-Life is assumed to be a contemptuous conservative. In the current political atmosphere, it has become imperative that everyone has a voice, stressing the importance of newspapers. Another clear example is The Guardian, which condemned President Trump’s lack of empathy, stating “a decade or two ago, the notion that 13 men… would delight in defunding… Planned Parenthood and impeding healthcare access for millions of American women, would have felt like the politics of a bygone era.” These articles presented powerful women, such as Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren, who publicly questioned the defunding of Planned Parenthood.Obviously, those in power prefer peaceful silence over obstruction, especially because opinions have been always been stigmatized as a blockade to progress.

Throughout history, mass oppression has always resulted in resentful citizens. For those who need the healthy reminder, our very nation was founded in retaliation to the coercion of the British government. Primarily, the allegiance to the throne caused a civil war among the colonies. This caused division and social unrest could have avoided if only the royalty considered active representation of its western counterpart. This colonial voice was necessary, as seen in a study conducted in the University of Illinois and Oklahoma State University, in which Democrats prepared for a discussion with Republicans. The Scientific American concluded that “Democrats who were told that a fellow Democrat disagreed with them prepared less well for the discussion than Democrats who were told that a Republican disagreed with them. Republicans showed the same pattern. When disagreement comes from a socially different person, we are prompted to work harder. Diversity jolts us into cognitive action in ways that homogeneity simply does not.” Chew on this: the entire Revolutionary War would have never happened if the British let the Americans rant and assemble.