Being the opinions section editor comes with an incredibly heavy burden: being opinionated and passionate about stuff. Sure, I read a lot of news and have a lot of really interesting friends, so the influence and inspiration is always there. But after years of being an opinionated person, I’ve come to realize it's easier to sit back and go with the flow.
Because of this, the skill that I’ve developed the most is just saying what the majority wants to hear, so that I don’t ruffle too many feathers and everyone stays happy with me.
For instance, there’s all the politics stuff. Donald Trump is president and that's bad because he says some racist stuff and his hair is weird. That right there is enough to satisfy every political scientist in this school.
Do I actually believe what I just wrote? Sure, but that’s because it’s easy to believe it when nobody disagrees with me. If someone was on my case about it, I might be inclined to change or reverse what I just said.
Can you really blame me? Being headstrong is exhausting. I don’t envy those big time newspaper editors for the New York Times or Wall Street Journal who have to put up opinions on some really complicated and touchy subjects. If it goes against anything considered the norm, they get blasted on websites like reddit or 4chan. And those online communities can get really mean.
Also, political opinions are one thing, but what I really can’t handle is developing an opinion on any pop culture phenomenon that has a large fanbase. Let’s say I think “Harry Potter” is for children, and is really just another conventional epic where an underdog becomes the hero because he actually has some mystical powers bestowed from his heritage. I’m at risk of being attacked in public for posting that, or at least having some nerd try to cast a hex on me. Don’t even get me started on what “Star Wars” fans would do to me if I said something similar. I’d probably be frozen in carbonite.
There’s a few things out there that I would happily have opinions on, because no one ever really thinks about them or would attempt to argue against me. Like, I really love Fazoli’s. It’s cheap and filling Italian food. But, then people want me to compare it to other chains. Suddenly I’m bombarded with questions about if its better than Olive Garden, or told that I’m cheap and should stick to mom and pop Italian joints. The thought of this argument makes me just want to mindlessly type away at my keyboard about why unlimited breadsticks is literally the best thing ever just to keep the reader’s smiling.
So, next time you see someone who posts a popular opinion, think to yourself, “Is that person really passionate about the topic? Or are they just trying to keep their job easy?” Because most likely they are taking the easy way out, and you can’t say anything against it because they are playing into the system you endorse.