Friday, June 25, 2010

Your Opinion Matters! Not!

The TeeVee tells us that our opinions an all the "issues" are of the greatest importance in our lives! Really? Why? Once you have cast your vote or contributed to a candidate, all the rest is just talk.

Your Opinion Matters! You've heard it before, and in America like nowhere else are opinions constantly being sampled and polled. Every night on the "news" we are told the results of the latest polls. Like citizens in ancient Rome at the Coliseum, we give the "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" to the latest actions by the President, celebrities, or whoever else is making news.

Reality shows thrive on "voting people off the island" or electing the next "America's Idol". On "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" the hapless contestant can always "ask the audience" for an instant poll.

And online, group-think has become the norm. A Wiki, they call it. You sample all the opinion in the world, and whoever wins, well, that's our new reality.

Unfortunately, as the experiences of Wikipedia have shown, majority opinion is often totally wrong or misinformed. People all too easily believe urban legends, myths, or just what they want to believe.

And throughout history, we have been shown time and time again that the great weight of "opinion" is not only sometimes wrong on major issues (and even minor ones) but usually is wrong about just about everything.

As I have noted time and time again in this blog, to succeed in the US, all you have to do is go against the overwhelming irrational behavior of most folks and act rationally in an irrational market. Let the others lease new luxury SUVs and over-mortgage their homes. Let others day-trade stocks or take payday loans. The vast majority of Americans make horrible financial decisions. All you have to do to succeed is make slightly less horrible ones.

Or in terms of weight loss, all you have to do is not eat the garbage everyone else eats these days and thinks is "normal". It is that simple.

"But wait!", you say, "This is a Democracy! Our opinions count!"

Yes and no. Your opinion in the voting booth counts. The dollars you give to your candidate count even more (as they help to really shape public opinion, as the masses are more influenced by TeeVee than anything else).

But your opinion on so many other things is really irrelevant, for the most part, and obsessing about politics or issues over which you have no control whatsoever, really is just a waste of time for you personally - and a form of being BAITED.

People like to "debate the issues", but rarely in a debate is anyone convinced of an opposing position. In our Government, debates are used as strategic measures - for sound bites and photo ops, and as a means of tactical delay. If you can talk something to death, it never gets passed. But eventually, someone calls an end to debate and then they vote. And guess what? The political leaders vote the way they intended to all along, as their positions were already solidified long before the public "debate" occurred.

Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one, but no one wants to see yours (or so the old saying goes). It is easy to squander your personal energy having an "opinion" on every issue that comes down the road - informed or not. But when you examine many of these issues more closely, you'll see that your opinion really doesn't matter very much.

Use your emotional energy wisely. Use your vote when you have it. If you have money to contribute or raise for a candidate, great. But becoming a political obsessive or having opinions on everything can end up harming more than helping your personal life.  And being obsessed about politics is just another example of emotional thinking.

Figure out what is really important and let the rest go....