I may have addressed this in the column before, and if I have, please indulge me for a bit. I try not to repeat myself and with one or two exceptions, I don’t believe I have intentionally. There are a couple of times I have repeated a certain thought in the column and I admit I may have repeated a punchline here and there. If you happen to catch a repeated thought in the column, it’s okay. I’ll try not to use the same line again.
That said, I am asked frequently about my thoughts on hot-button current events. The easy answer would be to tell readers that I simply don’t have thoughts on hot-button current events or issues. That, of course, would be a lie because everyone has an opinion on issues and you know what they say about opinions. The argument can be made that I do put my opinions out there because sometimes this column is on the Opinion page of the paper. Well, yes, that is factual, but pay attention to some of the opinions I have posted. Absolutely none of them have dealt with anything remotely to do with current events. Well, unless you count that column about my fight with a yogurt cup. Okay, that one was not about current events either, and not even about the nutritional value of yogurt. I was angry and frustrated and thought for a moment I could intimidate the Yoplait people with the awesome power of the press. Their opinion on the matter was I was an idiot and if I couldn’t open a yogurt cup, perhaps I should have eaten something else. For the record, the Chips Ahoy folks were perfectly delightful.
I would like to use this column to answer once and for all your questions about my opinions on some hot-button issues. Regarding the last presidential election, I have been asked as to which political party I am affiliated. I am registered as either a Republican or Democrat. Or a Demuplican or Republicrat. I can’t remember. I voted in both of the elections, primary and general, for a candidate that may have won or lost. I support my choice, and will continue to do so regardless of which direction their ambitions take them. In regard to the rights of women, I feel strongly about the rights of women. My mother is a southpaw, so I imagine I support the lefts of women as well. The question of gun control comes up frequently as I am a gun owner. I have had full control of each and every one of my guns since I bought them and they have, I am certain, not gotten out of the house on their own and caused any kind of harm, mayhem or violence. On the subject of religion, I pray to God that no one asks me.
The point I am trying to make, folks, is this: Your opinions are your own and yours only. I respect the right of everyone to have and voice their opinions. Mine are mine and mine only. I don’t wish to influence anyone with my opinions any more than I want someone forcing theirs on me. We have a right to free speech in this nation that is afforded to us by our Constitution. We also have other rights afforded us by the same document that, as written, shall not be infringed. We should look at all rights we are given and treasure each and every one of them, even if they might not be our cups of respective tea. The words of a guy who writes goofy stuff in the paper should not hold more weight than those of the guy who bags your groceries. The guy who bags your groceries works hard for a living and the guy who writes goofy things in the paper, well, writes goofy things in the paper. His choice of political candidate or his stance on political or social issues does not matter one hill of beans in this crazy world.
For the record, I cribbed that last line from “Casablanca.” If there is one guy whose opinion I can stand behind, it’s Rick Blaine.
Baltimore native Joe Weaver is a husband, father, pawnbroker and gun collector. From his home in New Bern, he writes on the lighter side of family life.