Before closing your mind to anything that follows in this article, I think it’s important that you understand a little bit about me and where I come from:
I am not wealthy; I did not grow up with a silver spoon in my mouth; I have lived without electricity in the heat of a southern summer because I could not afford to pay the electric bill; I have been poor and didn’t like it, and as much as I would like for someone to hand me a million dollars, I have never expected them to do it.
No one owes me anything above and beyond what I have agreed to accept in exchange for my talents; I also believe that if someone takes a risk and is willing to accept the consequences for the failures of said risk, then that person should also reap the majority share of the rewards should that risk pay off. I believe that I should not be protected from my own stupidity, irresponsibility, or poor decisions, but I should also reap the full benefits of smart and responsible ones.
I hate authority and being told what I can and cannot do. I hate restrictions, being beholden to others, and I despise rules. That is why I am self employed, and that is why I have a small group of friends.
I still believe that upward mobility (bettering my financial and social standing in life) is possible, and I still strive, on most days, to do just that. I believe in the American dream, and I believe that anyone, with the right combination of initiative, talent and sweat, can live it. I believe that I am resourceful enough and responsible enough to fail or succeed on my own, and… I believe that you are as well.
I write all of this to let you know where I come from…not because I have an over inflated ego, but because every bit of political information I present to you, in any form, is always biased, and I am trying to influence your political opinions.
At this point, I would urge you to search your own opinions and try to understand how you got to where you stand politically. Try to recognize that you are also are biased. Try to understand that bias and question it. Is it legit? Is it selfish? Is it fair to others? Is it logical? Is it hypocritical? Are you right? Or, are your political stances based solely on feelings and not facts? Rather than defending why you are right, ask yourself, why you might be wrong.
Sometimes our feels and what is actually right for this country can be in conflict. Whether we want to admit it or not, sometimes, we can be and are wrong.
In other words, to make informed decisions, we need real information from multiple sources. We need to understand our own bias, and we need to question the bias of the sources we trust. What candidates, news outlets, and bloggers write/say/report is often tainted with opinion….because as I mentioned above, we all have political bias….we all present data in a way that is consistent with our own biased arguments…and we all want others to think as we do.
Very few people actually gather real facts. They repeat what they’ve heard, what their friends share on Facebook, or what their favorite candidate said in a recent speech. In other words, their world view is just a conglomeration of someone else’s opinions because they were too lazy to create their own.
If that wasn’t bad enough, they also reject the opinions of those that do not think like they do…actually dismissing opposing opinions solely because they do not align with their own. Rather than looking at the argument, they just shut it down. Which is akin to discrimination, bullying, racism, misogyny, …it’s wrong, and it’s ignorant.
Why am I on this soap box? Glad you asked. I believe that the biggest problem in this country is not misaligned economic policy, the degradation of the family unit or even terrorism, it’s the politically ignorant who succumb to misinformation. Low information voters are ruining the political process…and those in power have set it up that way on purpose. Sound bytes and speculation have become trusted political facts…and no one takes the time to verify their truthfulness.
There’s a conspiracy afoot and those perpetrating it are counting on your continued apathy.
I’ve also noticed that many of the people commenting on our articles seem to not truly understand their own political stances. When someone challenges their political opinions, they immediately jump to personal insults or a campaign slogan. They don’t dispute an argument with a rebuttal or an intelligent counterargument, and most of the time, there is no logic behind their responses. If I could change one thing in this entire world, I would ask everyone to critically think about their moral, social and political stances. Researching a topic is not that difficult or time consuming, but it does require you to dig deeper than a 3- minute newscast.
Question your own beliefs, and try to understand the beliefs of those who disagree with you. If you do this, I assure you it will make you a more informed voter and a more valuable member of society. Plus, I think we’d all get a long a whole lot better.