Wednesday, October 29, 2008

An off-topic political message: VOTE!

Dearest U.S. readers, consider all those who have struggled, fought, and suffered for your right to cast a private ballot in any election, from the Revolutionary War to the Suffragettes to the volunteers right now who oversee elections to make certain they are conducted fairly. Honor them by casting your vote on or before November 4. (For those in Virginia and other places were the dumb flyer went out telling people of a particular political party to vote on November 5th -- ignore it. It's a stupid, desperate attempt by some to negate the votes of others.)

But when you vote, vote informed!

Rumors are flying at the speed of electrons around the internet about both presidential candidates. Make abundant use of Snopes.com, obamafactcheck.org, and mccainfactcheck.org, and factcheck.org to check your facts. Here is just a sampling of the many false rumors about both candidates that need to be trashed:

Rumors about John McCain:

"McCain admitted to being a war criminal who intentionally bombed women and children." Fact: It was only when he was coerced by torture in a Vietnam prison that McCain wrote this "confession." In a 60 Minutes interview, McCain admitted that he cracked under the pressure.

"McCain fathered an illegitimate black child." Fact: John McCain and his wife, Cindy, have an adopted daughter named Bridget. Cindy McCain had found Bridget, who has dark skin, at Mother Theresa's orphanage in Bangladesh.

"McCain wasn’t born in the United States so he’s not a citizen." Fact: McCain was born on a U.S. military base in Panama to U.S. military personnel who are U.S. citizens.

Rumors about Barak Obama:

"Obama’s career started in Bill Ayres’ living room. Ayres is a known terrorist." Fact: Ayres was a radical in the 60s and did commit illegal acts – when Obama was 8 years old. Later as adults they were both hired by William Annenberg to serve on the Woods board. They do not “pal around” as rumors claim.

"Obama is a Muslim" Fact: Obama is a Christian. And even if he weren’t, the U.S. Constitution grants everyone freedom of religion. There is no religious requirement for the presidency.

"Obama wasn’t born in the United States so he’s not a citizen." Fact: Obama was born in Hawaii two years after Hawaii became a state. The birth certificate can be found in the public records in Hawaii, and a birth announcement appears in the archives of the local newspaper.

"Obama plans to raise taxes for 95% of U.S. citizens." Fact: Obama’s plan actually lowers taxes for people making $200,000 or less – the majority of U.S. citizens.

"Obama suspended his campaign and went to Hawaii to [fill in unfounded rumor of your choice]." Fact: Obama's grandmother is dying and he suspended his campaign to be with her, as any good grandchild ought.

Vote informed! Look up the facts, read your voter's pamphlet, think, question, reason -- and most importantly, VOTE!

ETA: Comments will be screened. Nutjobs from both ends of the political spectrum need not waste their time trying to post rants.

4 comments:

elkit said...

Thank you! I am going to steal your list of fact-checker sites, because I agree wholeheartedly: enough with the rumors and lies already!

Nana Jackie said...

Well said! Vote responsibly, and check your ballot carefully to be sure you voted as you intended. Educate yourself about propositions and constitutional amendments before you go to the polling place so the voters behind you can go about their day in a timely fashion. And be kind to the election judges and polling place volunteers, no matter whose campaign organization they represent. A lot of those people are giving up vacation time or pay to volunteer their services so you can have a good and lawful voting experience.

April said...

Thanks for sharing! Your list of fact-checker sites will come in handy.

Scott said...

Thank you for the PSA! This was my third presidential election and my wife's first. We both had a great time and the lines were short and voting was quick.

And I hope that more fact checking sites are available in the next election. The negative campaigning and mis-information just hurt the voting population.