The series of debates between those contesting for the top leadership roles in the executive branch of our government have concluded. Unfortunately, we only got the Republican and Democratic nominees so it wasn’t truly a representative debate. If I were an undecided voter, awaiting the outcome of the debates to influence my choice, I’d still be undecided. The banality of the system, or is it the coverage, is probably best summed up in this picture:
Hey, kiddies, it’s election season!!!!!! For some, like lobbyists and Super-PACS, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. For some, like a friend of mine, it’s time to shut down the Facebook page or the email account to avoid the constant barrage of political messaging. Thanks to New Mexico early voting, I soar above all these attempts to influence me. I’ve already cast my ballot.
I have to admit it’s sure been a long season. The president has been running for a couple of years, Mitt Romney since 2008. They went toe-to-toe in the first presidential debate about a week ago and their surrogates, the Number Twos, went at it last Thursday night. It’s not my intent to pick winners or losers in this post. It is my intent to remind readers to make up your mind and go vote. With that as my motivation, please allow me to share a few ideas about performing this oh most patriotic of duties…..
Don’t shut off any information sources. There’s a lot of noise from the DNC and the RNC and Crossroads America and Priorities USA Action and ad nauseum….Check the Open Secrets site for a list of PACS and Super-PACS and for whom they spend. I always find it helpful to know what the agenda is for the person trying to force feed me information.
I have a friend on Facebook who always posts the most inane and least fact-checked information. For example, one that has a person click “like” to stop Joe Biden from smiling. The only way to acheive this is to elect Mr. Biden’s opponent. Of course, since that party has persistently failed to concisely elucidate what specific actions he would take to improve the lot of the country, the listener or decision maker, i.e., the voter, is faced with quite the conundrum. But fear not……
A couple of months ago we “cut the cable”—fired Comcast as our television content provider. Since we still have high-speed internet with them, there is a bleed-over of some broadcast channels. It is so refreshing to NOT have to listen to the self righteous blo-hards of either the left or right—yes, no MSNBC trying to make us feel guilty and no FoxNews trying to fill us with bile and venom. So now I get my news from my local PBS station. Both the national editions and the local news bend over backwards to present BOTH sides of any controversy. Commentators and “expert” guests are identified as to their proclivities as liberal or conservative. Best of all, I don’t need to adjust the volume to avoid the screaming and vehemance of the more partisan cable news outlets.
As for print media, well, I subscribe to the New York Times digital editions. This goes back to my roots growing up in CT and having had a history teacher my junior year who wore three-piece suits and assured us that the only way to improve our minds was to read the Sunday New York Times from first to last page. I also get print editions of both the Economist and Atlantic, neither of which is a bastion of socialist thought. In short, I attempt to get information from various and reliable sources. I utilize fact checking sites whenever I have a question about some statement that is made or some email I’ve received. None of this is very time consuming or difficult.
But making an informed voting decision has perhaps never been more crucial for baby boomers, genXers, and millenials. Please vote, and please use your head and make an informed choice. A candidate’s smile, laugh, or jokes aren’t important—what he will do is what counts.