OBSERVATION: In a democracy, every citizen is a public official.

Former Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who was used to partisan politics and intense debates, pointed out that, “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.” When we instinctively choose to believe what we want to believe or construe all evidence in favor of our predispositions, we effectively disable our ability to participate in rational discourse. Ifevery citizen in a democracy is a public official, then everyone who votes or states a public opinions about policy has a moral imperative to strive to be both informed and objective. Be careful that the intensity of your beliefs does not blind you to the possibility that your opinion is unworthy because it is based on erroneous, incomplete, or distorted facts. It takes moral courage to be objective, especially if it means concluding that someone on your side is wrong and someone on the other side is right.

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