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Staying On Track

| September 6, 2012 | 0 Comments

There’s no avoiding it unless you stop reading or watching the news. The election is on its way and with the announcement of Paul Ryan there is now a new person to rip apart. From dogs riding on the roof of a car to fear of a Kenyan president with a “fake” American birth certificate, the issues are no longer political but instead quite personal. The partisanship of the elections has taken a wrong turn.

I understand there are important differences in the philosophies of our two main parties, and I value those differences, it’s what makes us a true democracy. But when the ads turn from informative to nasty, something is wrong, actually not only wrong, but inaccurate. I have been receiving emails lately, from friends and acquaintances that are just blatantly untrue.

I find myself incensed over the lack of research intelligent people do before passing judgment on these so called facts. I even find myself shooting off nasty responses to people I like and admire when I get these communications. I feel a little remorse after I hit send, but I can’t seem to help myself.

The thing is, I have always been a seeker of truth, and have looked for ways I can find that truth before I expound on my views. There are bi-partisan web sites that fact check without leaning toward one party or another. The quandary is, how do we separate rhetoric from fact, how do we trust pundits to be accurate and most importantly do we realize that politicians are often saying what they say to be elected. It does not hurt to visit these web sites and get a better sense of facts right before you even begin to believe. Some well known sites are FactCheck.org and PolitiFact.com for a start.

Now to be truthful myself, there are some who feel even these sites may have some bias, but at least they are somewhat more accurate than much of what we hear from ads on TV and interviews with candidates. In the next few months we will be inundated with “facts.” Paul Ryan is ending Medicare and taxing the poor. Barack Obama is turning us to a socialist state. Mitt Romney hides his money in tax shelters. And Joe Biden, well he’s Joe Biden.

I am not pointing fingers at any party; I am pointing my finger at where we have landed in our election process. It is not only national elections; it is state and local as well. A recent exchange between our candidates for mayor right here in America’s Finest City, left me speechless. Two men were debating like kids in a kindergarten playground staking out their turf for kickball. I want and expect more from my elected or running politicians. I want civility, truth and a mindful, respectable dialogue. I want to make up my mind based on the policies they believe in and will fight for.

I do not care if they smoked a joint in college or dated someone of another race. I just don’t care. I care about what my life will be like, what my fellow citizens can expect, and what direction my country will go in. The first time I got to vote was when JFK ran. I did not care if he was Catholic or a womanizer. In that, my first election, I only wanted to know what each candidate was going to do. I was 21 and I wanted the truth. I still do. Ilene can be reached at ileneh@cox.net

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Category: Local News

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