Educating yourself during an election season

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Educating yourself during an election season

America is concerned. From blogs to talk shows to Facebook posts, people are speaking out about the current political climate of our nation and many are scared.

This election season is unique, because many see the candidates and think they have to choose between “the lesser of two evils.” Some speak out to say that there are third party options. Some say that this is the year to break the two party system. Others are adamant that the views of a third party candidate could never weather the demands of a presidential role.

Students at North Central are not immune from strong opinions on this topic, but it has been quite bothersome to see people isolate and demean others based on their preferred candidate. Conservatives often remain quiet, not wanting to share their views and often confused about how Donald Trump secured the GOP ticket. Liberal students despair — wondering how any Christian could support someone who seemingly spews hatred every time he opens his mouth.

These statements are frequently heard from North Central students:

  • “Donald Trump is a misogynist. I am concerned about statements he’s made about Muslims and women.”
  • “Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are both horrible options. I’m sitting this election out.”
  • “The next president will be appointing several Supreme Court justices. We need conservatives on the court. I don’t like Trump, but he’s the best option.”
  • “There is a news hole. All media is biased. Issues with candidates on both sides are blown out of proportion.”
  • “Trump is racist, but he often apologizes after he’s acted irrationally.”

While many feel they sit in a place of discontentment regarding candidates, others are looking at the values the individuals stand for. Look at the economy, immigration reform, healthcare, fiscal responsibility, human rights issues and the environment. Ask yourself questions. What are your most important values? Know where the candidates stand and be able to state the case for your preferred candidate. Also remember, the media isn’t a bad place to start, but be aware of the bias of the station or news organization you are consuming.

In addition to your quest for a presidential decision, also remember to research local candidates. In the upcoming weeks, the Northerner will be releasing interviews from Elliot Park candidates running for state positions. Often times, these are the people who create the legislation for new roads, school districts and other things that directly affect the lives of community members.

So please, in the next three weeks, take time to educate yourself. While you may only be one vote, treasure the fact that you live in a nation where your single voice counts.