THE FOLLOWING IS AN EDITORIAL.
To those who this applies:
Being a resident of the United States of America, this fall maybe one of the most important elections within your living history .
The 2010 midterm elections, so named because they fall within the middle of a President's current term in office, are being closely observed and analyzed from every conceivable angle as pundits wonder if the Democrats will still have the majority in Congress come 2011, since it is generally believed that these election results reflect the current position of the country.
Similar situations are taking place within a lot of the individual state governments as well, especially those with Congressional positions on their ballots.
Therefore, The Free Choice E-zine is proud to present the latest in a series of advice posts to (hopefully) create a more informed voter going to the polls November 2, 2010.
04. JUST WHO ARE ALL THESE ADVERTISERS?
Every candidate advertises through the various media outlets available, and the respective parties also run additional supportive ads via such groups as the Democratic Congressional Committee, the Republican Congressional Committee, the Democratic Governors Association, and the Republican Governors Association.
But there are also a lot of ads from other groups such as "The Concerned Citizens Committee", "The Congressional Business Committee", "The Associated Action Network", etc.
So who are these people?
While it varies between the individual states and issues, unfortunately most of these Third Party Advertisers (not to be confused with the legitimate Third Parties such as the Libertarians and the Tea Party groups) are nothing more than lobbyists and special interests groups running advertising in hopes of clouding an issue to get the candidate they actually support elected.
Whether or not an ad is telling the truth is something that you the voter must figure out, but you don't have to go it alone.
There are places on the Internet such as http://www.snopes.com/ , http://www.time.com/ , and other reputable websites and news sources that specialize in confirming the truth over the rhetoric/mudslinging, and lies.
If you have doubts, look up the answer for yourself!
REMEMBER: The people running the ads are trying to get you interested in a specific position or opinion. It might not be the wrong position/opinion, but YOU are the only one who can decide if it's the right one for you!
AND NOW, FOR THOSE WHO MIGHT HAVE MISSED THE PREVIOUS INSTALLMENTS IN THIS SERIES...
01. WHICH SIDE IS CORRECT?
The Republicans are saying all kinds of things in regards to current events and the alleged (in)actions of certain people and their party. Of course the Democrats are taking a similar approach in some races, but the GOP is definitely the more vocal of the two.
Now The Free Choice E-zine unfortunately does not have the time nor the resources to examine every individual situation. But we can offer some free advice.
If you think nothing seems to be getting done by the incumbents and are considering the "oust the bums" approach, ask yourself this:
Is there genuinely no progress on a specific issue because there is true disagreement about how your (local, state, or national) government should proceed on the matter? OR
Is there no progress because one side/party is intentionally stonewalling/stalling/filibustering/delaying things to make the other side look bad and themselves appear to be good?
02. DEMOCRATS VERSUS REPUBLICANS
Without getting into a long, dragged out history lesson, basically there are two different political parties with opposing views on almost everything, supporting their respective slate of candidates across the United States within the upcoming elections November 2, 2010.
The Democrats are hoping to maintain the majority within the House of Representatives and regain it within the Senate. The official breakdown there at the moment is 48 Democrats, 49 Republicans, and one Independent.
The Republicans are hoping to regain the majority within both divisions of Congress, something they have not held since the days of the George W. Bush administration.
The final decision, of course, will be the voters.
There are also various fledgling third parties, such as the Libertarians, the Green Party, and the newborn Tea Party; but those have yet to establish themselves as well as the main two.
Some people prefer to vote by party instead of selecting individual candidates, yet some candidates are trying to avoid the "stigma" of being affiliated with one specific party and are not listing their party affiliation in their campaign ads.
Whether you decide to vote by party or will choose who you think is the best candidate for each position, when trying to decide who to vote for, The Free Choice E-zine humbly suggests asking yourself this:
Ignoring all the rhetoric, mud slinging, and campaigning, WHICH side has actually done WHAT in hopes to benefit you more and not themselves?
Granted, the above only works with incumbents or past office holders. But you can usually foresee a candidate's future in office by their past actions.
03. SHOULD A CANDIDATE HAVE MILITARY EXPERIENCE?
Regardless of what office they were running for, it was unheard of for most candidates not to have some military experience until the 1970s, when Selective Service replaced the draft in the United States.
Even now, there are some candidates who have volunteered to serve their country and are now considering that service as an asset towards their qualifications to hold whatever elected post they are seeking.
While such service can be considered beneficial under the right circumstances, by the same token, those running for office who have not served should not have that lack of service held against them.
In the end, regardless of the candidate and the position, ask yourself this:
Setting aside the military question, just what ARE a potential candidate's qualifications and are they the best one to receive your vote come Election Day?
The above is the latest in a series that will run between now and Election Day 2010 under the belief that a more informed voter is a wiser voter.