Years ago, when I decided that reporting news was an interest of mine, I began reading Opinion-Editorial pages in newspapers and magazines. Sometimes they made me angry, because I didn’t always agree with what I was reading. Eventually I began to realize that was the value of the Op-Ed page–to make us think and to arouse passions or feelings and maybe motivate people to do something instead of just complaining about our problems (as I sometimes do).
On occasion these columns or editorials have made me angry, but sometimes they have made me laugh. Almost always they have made me think. Think about what? Who should I vote for in a coming election is something I usually think about anyway, but it’s always good to hear from others on those subjects, and sometimes they have made me reassess my feelings.
As human beings, our actions are based on many things–preconceived ideas for one- -maybe even a few prejudices. (Prejudice has become something of a bad word, but we all have prejudices whether we admit them or not.) We can also be motivated by another person’s ideas.
As a contributor to the Pleasanton Express Op-Ed page I am honored to share the page with the publisher, the editor, the county judge and mayor (both of whom are longtime friends of mine), police chiefs and other contributors who are thinking people. What’s the point of thinking if we don’t share our ideas?
Readers of American History will remember the contributions of such Revolutionary writers as Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine and others who changed history with their ideas. I don’t expect to change history, but I hope maybe in a small way to influence a few people’s thoughts, especially on becoming involved in the things that matter in our lives.
If you are a regular reader of my column, thanks for your loyalty and indulgence. I hope I have made reading them worth your time. Read the entire page, though, and I assure you the page is worth every minute and every second you spend on it.
Thanks for being out there!
WARREN DOMKE is a columnist for the Pleasanton Express.