The Nescient Electorate

Perhaps, I’ve been writing too much on the Electoral College lately, but I’m tired of all the unfounded Facebook posts on presidential candidates for next year’s election. I’m sorry, but whether you’re a Republican or Democrat, don’t bash a candidate until you’ve researched the facts, and that doesn’t mean quoting an anchor from CNN or Fox News.

Personally, I don’t have any attachment to either of the parties. I find myself in the middle (with a majority of the American public). There are arguments on both sides that I agree with, which probably enables me to keep an analytical view of the candidates.

For those of you who are staunchly Democratic or Republican, along with any voter next year, there are a couple of things you should do before (1) making rash statements and (2) aligning yourself fully to a party.

Naturally, we tend to find specific news sources and utilize them heavily in forming our opinions; however, it is important to get a well-rounded feel for a candidate, and this is not as taxing as it may seem. During lulls in your day or commercial breaks of your favorite TV program, here are some ways to get to know the candidates better:

  • Research what their platform means: Sure, improving the economy sounds like a great idea, but how do they plan to effectively do so? What is their plan of action? Has it been effective before or elsewhere?
  • Research what experiences do they have relevant to the
    Compliments of Seth Anderson, Flickr

    issues at hand: John Doe might be a congressman from such and such state, but what has he done while in office? Has he reached across the aisle to do what’s best for the country? What bills has he introduced or co-sponsored? (Check out Open Congress to search for  recent legislation sponsorship by senators and congressmen.)

  • Find clips on the candidates talking about the issues, like at debates or town halls: Sometimes, how they express their plan and the issues can be as important as their stance itself . (Mediaite and Youtube are good resources for clips.)
  • Email or call the candidates’ office:  Ask them how the candidate has dealt with the issue before or what experience do they have with it.

We are responsible for electing the leaders of our states and our country, who are responsible for uniting us as a nation and guiding our development. Our choice matters. It affects our future and cannot be erased. That’s why we need to familiarize ourselves with the candidates and support  candidates who have displayed and continue to display what is best for the country, not for personal gain.

So next time you head to the polls, be confident in who you’re trying to elect.

Joseph Elliott

Hello, my name is Joseph Elliott, and I am a student at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, obtaining a Minor in Writing.

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