I was once like most voters; highly opinionated with no clue what I as talking about, and unintentionally yet indisputably contributing to the undoing of the greatest nation on earth. When people’s votes aren’t driven by the truths of the real world and the consequences and ramifications of certain courses of action, but instead by manipulative emotional narratives, social media memes and Buzzfeed lists, the country’s fate is in great jeopardy. People don’t need to be urged to vote; they need to be urged to inform themselves – and go nowhere near a voting booth until they have a basic understanding of what it is they’re actually voting for. Look beyond campaign websites and twitter accounts. Look at accomplishments, look at scandals, look at voting records, and most importantly look at whether or not what they claim to stand for is evident in the choices they’ve made thus far.
Where am I getting my information from? The only people less trustworthy than the politicians participating in the upcoming election are the people covering them. (Except for Hillary Clinton- no reporter could out-lie her). Seeking sources that actually value objectivity and truth is essential to forming valid opinions about the candidates, and making a cognizant choice in the upcoming election.
How much do I genuinely know about this candidate’s platform? What are they actually claiming they’ll do, and do their voting records/political history support that? Where do they genuinely differ from other candidates?
Why am I voting/not voting for this candidate? Is it because of a facebook post gone viral? Is it because of their killer snap chat story? Is it because their husband is kind of a dilf? Or is it because they are the most qualified and best suited candidate to lead the free world?
Am I voting based solely on party affiliation? Do I legitimately and thoroughly understand the candidates of the other side beyond my own biases and preconceptions?
What, if any, impact will they have on the economy/job creation? Are they going to champion policies that ultimately make it harder for people to find jobs and for businesses to create jobs or enable them?
What issues are most important to me and why? What are you passionate about and why are you passionate about it? What in your life has influenced you to care so much about this particular issue?
Are these issues as important as I think they are? Realistically and with no regards for political correctness, in comparison to certain issues, other issues are merely trivialities, and frankly shouldn’t be used as determining factors in deciding who to vote for.
How will this candidate address those issues? What will they actually do once in the White House to improve these issues? Keep in mind the scope of their executive powers- and while we’re at it, whether or not they’ll respect checks and balances.
What legacy will this candidate leave for the country if elected? 8 years down the line, will we be better or worse off? Will we be 8 years deeper into a ditch or 8 years closer to getting out of it?
Is this candidate a divider or a unifier? Partisanship aside, after the initial “we won, you lost” sore winning and “you guys ruined the country” temper tantrum have subsided, is this a person that will bring Americans closer together or farther apart? Is this someone who will encourage us to focus on what we have in common or what separates us?
What, if anything, does this candidate actually stand for? Does the walk match the talk, and are either of those really worthy of admiration?