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On Voting This Tuesday

This post (or any post in general) is overdue. I'm not going to make it long, either. Or I might, and if I start to spiral into an elongated, semi-angry, yet still hopefully articulate tirade about my views on the current state of the union, I apologize.

You need to vote on Tuesday. I'm not going to tell you who to vote for (anyone that has the letter "D" next to their name), but you absolutely, without-a-doubt, like your life depends on it (because your well-being at least does), NEED to vote.

We're living in a social media age. Don't get me wrong, I love that I can be my honest, true self on Twitter and somehow still get support for that self via likes and retweets, but in a world where people are canceling their cable plans by the thousands to switch to Netflix, HBO, or Hulu, and relying on social media and the occasional notification from their chosen news source, many people/voters are lacking the proper political-education to cast a well-informed vote.

We also lack the proper time to quickly and accurately compare news providers, so we rely on our "favorites" to send us notifications throughout the day. Thus, only getting the bare minimum stories, and that's if we even click on them to read beyond the headline (headlines are some of the largest misleaders). I'm not calling any major news sources "fake news." I am saying, though, that it is imperative to cross-check facts, actually read stories, and inform yourself via news sources beyond your go-tos. Low-key, I'm trying to tell you that Fox News should not be the sole beacon of information you rely on, but neither should the New York Times. News outlets can be biased, and I can't blame them for that in this current political climate. We sometimes forget that journalists and the media are citizens of the country they report on, and are therefore affected by the things they are informing the public about. So, it is important to search out multiple news sources in order to break away from a publication/network that may be geared more closely to your views only.

These actions are important always, not just during election season. If we put blinders on and look straight ahead at the same screen we remain stagnant.

Also, for the love of all things good in the world, please stop sharing "news" articles from a publication launched from some guy's basement that your great-uncle shared on Facebook. Largely, the images paired with those already loosely-based-on-f*cking-anything articles are not in any way connected to the content at hand. Sharing articles like this (which I understand can be hard to pick out by an untrained eye) is dangerous, especially in a time when we're rapidly scrolling through our newsfeeds and relying heavily on only headlines and photos. If someone shares an article from a low-quality source about the caravan traveling to the U.S. from Mexico, paired with a picture of ISIS members, many people who saw or interacted with that post now have a completely false view on the subject. And when voters have false information on subjects like the economy, terrorism, immigration, or anything else that has been at the forefront of this administration, they take that false information and base their voting patterns on it. If you have politicians who are perpetrating these falsehoods via instilling fear in the public (like saying that the caravan is filled with dangerous criminals, including Middle Easterners, which is based on zero evidence and contradicts multiple news providers/journalists who have interviewed members of the caravan), so that voters see no other route for immigration policies other than travel bans and a wall, you again, remain stagnant. Whereas, if certain voters believe in a stronger immigration system that promotes immigration, but still doesn't include open borders, and also had more concrete, accurate sources, they would be able to aptly gain information about the current state of affairs and then properly pick a candidate who has pledged to advocate for that kind of policy. What we currently have is a mostly ill-informed public that believes it's either an open-border free-for-all or a 20-foot wall, and especially with an administration that is painting that open-border as a portal for crime and terrorism, it is hard to make a well-informed decision as a voter. This argument is applicable for topics other than immigration as well.

Stemming from that, it is imperative for people to educate themselves on who is actually running. Do not just vote for who is being endorsed by politicians already in power. By doing so, you assume that that candidate is going to support policies that you want just because who you voted for previously is backing them, rather than researching all of your options to see if there may be a better choice. You also don't need to agree with the candidate running just because they represent the party you're registered as or primarily vote with. Research their policies, what they stand for, what they support, and what their mission is. A candidate running as a Republican or a Democrat does not automatically mean that they are aligned with your beliefs on all subjects. And, yes, there is likely not a candidate who is going to check all of your boxes, but hopefully there's one that checks most.

Here's a handy link for you to plug in your location to see who is going to be on your ballot. From there you can see the platform they're running on.


Please be diligent about properly informing yourself and then VOTING. It's literally your civic duty.