In the aftermath of the Brexit vote, I keep on reading that I should respect other peoples opinions as a matter of course because it’s the polite thing to do. This is mostly coming from Leave voters who seem unprepared for the criticism that they’ve received for the choice that they have made. It’s unfair, they say, you should treat both the result and my opinion with respect.
I completely disagree at a fundamental level with that train of thought. All opinions are not equal because they have not been equally arrived at.
Before I voted I read a lot of material from professional publications, academics, institutions like the London School of Economics, etc etc.
Are you telling me I should treat the opinion of someone like that bloke on the news the other night who voted out because he was fed up with Syrian and Iraqi refugees or that girl who voted leave because she assumed if she ever tried to get a job some immigrant would get it over her as equal to mine?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to put myself on a pedestal and say that my opinion is worth more, or that I’m clever, so I’m right. To a degree, the destination you arrive at is irrelevant, it’s the journey you made to get there.
All opinions are not the same. All opinions are also not worth the same. An opinion formed in ignorance with a lack of thought is a poor opinion. There are people I know who voted opposite to me who’s opinions I value and there are those who voted opposite to me that I do not value, in the same way that there are people who voted to remain that I am ideologically polar opposites with.
Voting comes with a responsibility and many seem to have not taken that responsibility seriously enough.