And now, critical thinking for the election…

October 10, 2008 at 3:35 pm (*)

My dear friend, Sara, wrote a great post detailing her decision not to vote for Obama.  You can (and should) read it here.

In reading the post and subsequent comments, I was reminded again about our critical thinking skills, or perhaps, lack thereof.  We tend to jump on the bandwagon for so many thoughts and ideas without putting the least bit of effort into thoroughly gathering information.

Case in point:  FactCheck.org.  If you are using that as your basis for truth in this election, start shopping for a new fact-checker.  While FC.O appears and claims to be bipartisan, a quick but thorough search reveals they are anything but neutral.  Consider these facts:

  • FactCheck.org is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center.
  • The Annenberg Public Policy Center gets its funding from an endowment established by the Annenberg Foundation.
  • The Annenberg Foundation launched the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (a public school reform project).

Do you know who co-authored the grant written for the Chicago Annenberg Challenge?

Bill Ayers.

Do you know who sat on the founding (and final) Board of Directors for the CAC at the same time?

Barack Obama.

(The Annenberg Foundation does claim that the CAC has no record of providing salary for Bill Ayers.  Whether they provided salary or not is irrelevant.)

Does this raise any questions for you?  It should.  It should raise questions when Obama deliberately points people to FC.O from his website as a source of “truth”.  It should raise questions when Obama plays down his association with Ayers.

Why aren’t voters giving this serious consideration?  It infuriates me to know that many Americans will head to the polls completely uninformed.  They will exercise their apparent right to vote without giving it any serious consideration.

Should you really vote for a candidate based solely on the color of their skin?

Should you really vote for a candidate just because he served his country in the military?

Should you really vote for a candidate based solely on your own sexual orientation (yes, people do that!)?

Should you really vote for a candidate because you think his VP running mate is hot?

Should you really vote for a candidate because he’s just such a good speaker?

If you honestly answered yes, I urge you to stay home on election night and bang your head on the wall instead.  Really.  You’ll be doing millions of Americans a favor.

If you are undecided in this election, please take the time to research and seriously consider your choices.  Don’t just sit and listen to the candidates throw out numbers and percentages.  Find a neutral source and do some research.

Do you really think Obama was the most liberal Senator in Congress?  Go find out.  Do you really think McCain echoed the Bush administration with his voting record?  Go find out.  Here’s one place to start: Senate.gov.  You can look up any bill that has passed through the Senate, and in many cases, find out exactly how each Senator voted.  I can guarantee to you (without doing any research) that both campaigns have deliberately misquoted or miscalculated statistics to either slam their opponent or further their own campaign.  They will do this with voting records, spending calculations, campaign contributions, etc.

Consider the motives of each candidate.  Consider the company they keep.  Consider the organizations they associate with.  Are there hidden agendas?  Do they have ties to people who might eventually influence the decisions they will make if they get into office?  Ahem…acorn, bill ayers, “big oil”, etc…  Do some research.  Find out where their inspiration comes from.  Find out what these organizations really stand for, what they really do (acorn.org probably isn’t the best place to go for information on ACORN!!!).

Have you stopped to seriously consider the state of the economy and how it got there?  If you just blamed Bush for it, try again.  Better yet, try to name even 5 specific things that his administration has done to get us to this point.  I’d bet that you can’t.  I’d bet you’re echoing the apparent sentiment of many Americans who don’t have a clue.

Why aren’t we taking responsibility for our own actions?  Our own spending habits?  Our own laziness?

Please ask questions.  Take a little time to consider what the next 4 years will hold…

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