You Owe It To Yourself

I had a conversation with a friend the other day who, like many people, have already become frustrated with this season’s political process.  This happens often, doesn’t it? We get so sick of the negativity and if I can just say it – childish snottiness from all directions that we just hand off our right to vote.

Who are we handing our rights off to? People who have patience of saints? People who are well informed, attuned to the issues, and educated on the candidates? Sadly, I don’t think so. I think the reason candidates use negative advertising and snarky remarks is simply because it works.  Most people don’t take their quest for the best candidate beyond commercials and media that already supports their position.

I just want to encourage all of you to ignore the advertising and canned interviews, and take it a step further.  I would argue that the best place to learn about a candidate’s positions is not from their opponent. Do your homework. You might be surprised at what you find.  Even if you don’t change your decision about who you vote for, at least you can know that you have done due diligence. 

Everyone is going to claim to do the following:

  • Throw the bums out
  • Somehow put more money in your pocket
  • End corruption
  • Give everyone a job
  • Buy every child a pony
  • Create world peace

Guess what? This is a generic list that is dug up for every election.  Toss it out.  Find out what a candidate’s actual life experience, governance experience and education is. What have they said about the issues that are important to you? How have they voted? Who is giving them money to run? Again the best source for this is not from their opposition.  You owe it to yourself to do this ON YOUR OWN.

Here are some resources, but please comment if you have others.

On The Issues – I like this one because it is kind of in ‘executive summary’ format and doesn’t require you to sit around reading Senate Appropriations bills.

Project Vote Smart – I like that this lists the voting record, but don’t like that they are so upset that no one will take their silly quiz so they can ‘evaluate’ the candidates’ courage. 

Open Secrets – Great resource for finding out who is putting money in the candidates’ pockets.

FactCheck.org – If you like Snopes, you’ll LOVE Fact Check.  Hear a particularly juicy statement about someone that delights or disturbs you? Check it out here.  They are equal opportunity lie-busters.

After that, know you have done your job and sit back and enjoy the show -because that’s all it is from here on out.

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