America has the seventh highest literacy rate in the world, but you wouldn’t think so if you logged onto Facebook. With what most people are posting on social media about this election you would think, or at least hope, they aren’t reading any of the articles they are copying and pasting to their timelines. My 12-week-old puppy could stomp on my keyboard for 10 minutes and produce a more articulate argument about why someone’s favorite candidate deserves the presidency.
But what is the root cause of this partisan garble? Voters are uninformed. Fair, balanced and world news networks are leaning increasingly partisan. As the presidential campaign buses make their last stops, the candidates scramble to pick up any points they can. Spreading lies and conspiracy theories, basing their platforms on defaming one another, and the media takes these lies and spreads them to their mass viewership.
The race is getting closer by the hour. Each vote is going to count, which is why an informed vote is of the utmost importance in this presidential election. Both candidates have their fair share of controversy and shortcomings. But, as a voter it is time for you to step up and realize the importance of discerning truth from conspiracy. Discern what is posed rhetoric fed to the public, carefully worded to appeal to the masses, and what is a candidate’s true stance on an issue.
As a voter it is your job to vet these candidates. Who is more qualified to lead this nation? Not just domestically, but in a manner that protects us from foreign enemies. Who is protecting this nation’s values more accurately? Protecting the “great American melting pot” and the freedoms each American enjoys within her borders. Whose economic policy is based on helping the majority of Americans? Helping the nation’s economy, not adding to our national debt.
Voting on party lines cannot be the way of this election. Partisanship must be left at home, not brought into your local polling place. Research must be done, and news must be read en masse. You can’t believe every piece of liberally swayed news reports on MSNBC, or the fear-mongering rhetoric propagated by Tomi Lahren. You aren’t doing your civic duty as an American if you believe what a reporter says just because they claim to have fact checked themselves. Instead find reputable, non-partisan affiliated fact checking sources. Politifact.com rates the truth of statements made from politicians, news sources and government agencies from around the country. National Public Radio, NPR, fact checked virtually every statement made in the presidential debates (NPR even provides links to reputable, non-partisan sources).
You might be surprised to find that Hillary Clinton does not want to open borders with Mexico, or allow the U.S. to be inundated with immigrants. You may further be surprised to find that the 650,000 emails recently found on Huma Abedin’s laptop, in relation to the Anthony Weiner investigation, have mostly nothing to do with Clinton, and that in all likelihood any emails affiliated with Clinton have already been read by the FBI in their previous investigation into Clinton’s email server.
You might be surprised to find that Donald Trump’s hair is real. And that greatness is subjective. That of the 297 statements Politico rated from Trump, 45 of them were rated true or mostly true.
It’s time for American voters to use the internet to research these presidential candidates instead of propagating the lies and half-truths a partisan news source would like us to believe.