Now that the Presidential race tickets are set and the debates are on the horizon, the time for “speculative spin” is over and the heavy-duty spin machines are on full speed. Don’t get caught up in the spin vortex created by the campaigns, media or even writers like me. Only get caught up in the spin craze at your local gym, for a great workout!
If you love politics as much as many of us, you are watching news programs throughout the day or listening to the variety of radio talk radio shows available, but how do you know what is truth and what is spin? You have to search for it. We have to search for it.
Whether you punch a hole in a ballot or fill in a space, this election, more than ever, needs our diligence to dig. We need to know who, what and why we are voting. I remember early in my voting “career” usually just voting straight ticket, holding that party line. In most cases, that is still the way many citizens vote. However it is more satisfying to know, as best as possible, who you are voting for on November 6th–and not simply assuming that the person is a conservative.
The other night my parents were visiting and we saw an advertisement for a local candidate. My mom said, “Is he really a conservative?” How do we really know the candidates, with the massive spin machine we all have come to expect, whether the election is local or national? So how do we check out the candidates?
First, go directly to the source. Read the candidates website. I was in advertising for years, so I know that every site will make their candidate look good, but go ahead and read about them. That is where you can begin to get some answers, but maybe even more importantly, deeper questions.
Next, do your research. This time honored homework assignment all of us hated in high school and college will now pay off! Check the candidate’s voting record, if they have been in office at least one term. See how they voted on important issues. See if they didn’t just vote “present”, as some have done in their careers. If this is the candidate’s first run for office, review their business history. That gives great insight into their values and behaviors.
Then, find any additional groups or organizations they are currently or have been involved with in the past. Remember, people’s ideas and values do evolve and grow, so if you find someone who was once a liberal, now running as conservative, read as much as you can to learn about their transformation. Voting is like a puzzle. You have to look at all the pieces and see how everything fits together to create the big picture.
Whatever you do in the next few weeks, make sure you don’t get caught up in the “Spin Cycle”. No one likes to be surprised to find out the person they voted for in November wasn’t the person they thought they were during the campaign. But of course, that would never happen, right?