Politics are a touchy subject. People are passionate about their political views, which is nothing short of reasonable. The obstacle with politics, however, is people who are uninformed of the goings-on in The White House, internationally and, right now, with the group of candidates running for the 2020 election.
In the current political hot zone we live in, it is imperative to be informed of what is happening with our leaders.
That seems trivial to say – obviously as Americans it is our duty to be politically and socially aware and more often than not, those two categories of awareness tend to merge.
Certain issues – federal and state budgets, race relations or gun policy – are of major concern as we enter this election cycle. It’s necessary to know how candidates view these issues and seeing how they align with one’s own personal beliefs.
Too often people vote for a party, not a candidate – meaning they don’t concern themselves with the issues and are more concerned about a presidential candidate being Democratic or Republican.
Regardless of what one’s political affiliation is, being aware of what each candidate has to offer as the potential successor of the presidency is something every voter should pay attention to.
It’s as easy as fact-checking. In the beautiful, tech-savvy age we live in there is no shortage of websites run by people watching the debates as they happen, fact-checking candidates to ensure what they claim to be true really is true.
The New York Times has a paid fact checking team that, in the most recent Democratic debate, made it clear that Beto O’Rourke’s claim that Purdue Pharma had suffered no consequences due to the opioid crisis was in fact an exaggeration – but to the uninformed, this claim likely came off as an absolute truth.
In the 2016 election, fact checking websites like Politifact and Factcheck.org were churning out corrections to misinformation from Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
According to the Pew Research Center, “61% [of Americans polled] say “significant changes” are needed in the fundamental “design and structure” of American government to make it work for current times.”
If this is the case and we, as citizens, wish to achieve these significant changes the easiest way to do so is to get informed and vote.
It is one thing to be a Democrat or a Republican; it is another to be an informed Democrat or an informed Republican. What is decided in Washington has ramifications throughout the country and whether or not it seems like it, these decisions have an impact on each and every American – it is cavalier to vote for a candidate simply because they identify as a Republican or a Democrat and voting for someone just because a singular ideal of theirs aligns with our own is short-sighted.
Voters need to look at the big picture.
It is our duty to be as informed as possible simply to ensure that we are making informed decisions. Just because a man in a suit with an American flag pinned to his lapel says something is true or that something can be done, doesn’t mean that it is or that it can be.