The purpose of this writing is not to shock or anger you, not get you to vote for a particular candidate, not to start heated debates, or to call for an overthrow of our government. The purpose of this article is to get you to think about our country. Think about the things that make it strong, and think about the issues that stand in the way of it. With our present lives, it has never been easier to point out all the problems in our country: an economic recession/depression, a quarreling congress, and candidates who argue rather than talk about the real issues. This is the way it has been for as long as I can remember. The problem isn’t Mitt Romney’s tax returns, or President Obama’s birth certificate; the problem is that these items have become the focus of the campaign rather than the issues themselves.
Think about it. How many times have you heard exactly what a controversial bill involves? In regards to the President’s idea for health care reform, words like “Socialism” and the derogatory “Obamacare” are always thrown about, but how many of these politicians know exactly what this bill includes? That is what we never hear on the news or read about in the papers: the truth. Instead truth is distorted to serve the agendas of political partisanship. With so many things going on, the focus isn’t on the issues but on which political alliance you choose, and why the other side is always wrong. Why should your political preference even matter? It doesn’t matter if you’re a Republican, a Democrat, an Independent, a liberal, moderate, or a conservative because in the end we all have something in common: we’re Americans.
So why can’t we focus on America and what the real problems surrounding her are? The reason is because we’re distracted. We’re distracted by the overwhelming power of technology and its ability to connect us to one another. This abundance of technology has made the world smaller, and has put every American within close reach of the media. When you see a political commercial, you are really watching one party try to influence you over another. Mitt Romney’s ads often attack Obama’s shortcomings without addressing Romney’s plans to fix them. Obama’s ads attack Romney but don’t outline the President’s plans to fix our country’s current problems. The real scary part behind the misguided ads is not that we are being given disinformation; the scary part is that it is working.
Fox News, in their assessment of Paul Ryan’s speech at the Republican National Convention, picked three words that they felt best described the event: “Dazzle, Deceive, and Distract” (FoxNews.com) . I feel that these words describe our current political climate. We are being told only what we are intended to hear. Context providing information is removed, leaving the American people with a skewed view on issues. So, to those of you reading this, I encourage you to do something in this upcoming election: vote. However, before you vote, make sure you take the time to educate yourself on each of the issues.
If you are confused about something, look it up. As stated before, technology is everywhere. Many students use smart phones that provide mobile internet access. So look up a bill on the internet. Find an interpretation that you can understand, free from partisan bias. Look up the mission statements of each candidate and research their position on critical issues. If we educate ourselves, we become empowered. This election, my challenge to you when you step up to the voting booth this November is to do so without bias and make a truly informed and educated decision.