Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My Campaign Ad

By Melanie Lynne Hauser

Well, here we are at the beginning of yet another uneventful week...I mean, it's not as if we're on the verge of economic collapse, the election itself is in doubt (if one candidate is to be believed)...Oh, wait. Yes, it is.

I am usually loathe to talk about my political beliefs here. I know it can get so contentious, and I'm hardly an unemotional person. I get very, very passionate. So I try to keep things light and merry, most of the time.

This post, really, isn't about what I believe. (Although for the record I think Barack Obama is our only hope. He alone has acted rational and presidential these last few days, and yes, I thought he won the debate. And I'm sorry, I can't help but believe McCain is the one, the only one, who inserted partisan politics in the bail out negotiations. (Well, aside from Nancy Pelosi yesterday - sigh. But still, that can't be the only reason the bill failed.) And to talk about cancelling the debate? Now, more than ever, we need debates. Saying now is not the time for one of only three non-partisan official opportunities to see and hear both candidates, side by side, is ludicrous. And neither candidate needed to be in Washington because neither candidate is the Treasury secretary, chairman of the Fed, nor even on the finance committee involved in negotiations. Also, watching Sarah Palin being interviewed by Katie Couric made me physically ill at the thought that this person might be president some day. Although it sure made for a lot of fun when Tina Fey re-enacted it on Saturday Night Live!)


These are my beliefs. But here's the thing - they shouldn't be yours, just because someone like me spouts off at the mouth.

I came to my beliefs on my own. And that's what I want to urge everyone to do, regardless of political party. Watch, read, listen - to the candidates themselves. Not the pundits. Not the blogs. Not cable networks that try to cloak opinion as "news" - and yes, I'm talking about Fox "News" Channel.

There is so much spin, so much misinformation. I get emails daily from people who should know better, who try to tell me things like Barack Obama eats little children. People pass this stuff along as truth. They don't bother to check it out; they just swallow what they're fed, without question. And pass it along as gospel truth.

Folks, most of the crap we're force fed, on a daily basis, is just that. Crap. The Internet, and email, has really made it easy for people to pass this on. And people, I think, want to believe what they want to believe. If crap shows up in their inbox, or on TV, and it happens to reflect what they want to believe is true, then - they believe it.

This is what concerns me, as we enter the home stretch of this election season. This is what I urge:

Check it out. Check everything out. Watch with your own eyes, listen with your own ears - and don't believe the spin from the pundits. The Internet may have given rise to a lot of crap, but it also is extraordinarly helpful for sorting out the truth.

If you missed the Palin/Couric interview, don't go over to Fox and hear what they had to say about it. Go to YouTube and watch it - all of it, not a mix of it - yourself. And make up your own mind.

If you get an email that says Barack Obama eats babies, go over to a wonderful site called FactCheck.org. This is a completely non-partisan site dedicated to telling the truth about both candidates. They address all the crap, and sort it out, and give you the facts. Just the facts.
Snopes.com is also an excellent resource.

So - please. Just open your eyes, your mind. Make your own decision. Ignore the crap and the hype. And -

Vote. Of course, for heaven's sake, get out and vote.

I'm Melanie Lynne Hauser, and I approved this message.


MargyWrites said...

I approve it too. Well done, Melanie.

Not Too Old said...

AMEN! I'm so tired of lazy minded people telling me I eat babies because I support Obama, then when questioned they can't even tell me where they received their information, or even worse they tell me "well, great Uncle Bubba told me, and he's a friend of George Bush, so he knows!"

Melanie Lynne Hauser said...

Unfortunately, the lazy-minded constituency makes up the largest percentage of people who actually vote, I sometimes think...

So it's up to the rest of us to keep trying to point people toward actual information, not just pundit-colored spin. (Or chain emails - ugh!)

Barb McKone said...

Yes. I was a party the other day- a CHURCH party, mind you, when a friend (who used to be quite liberal- I think she lost her mind somewhere along the way and I didn't notice) told us that she was voting for McCain because he had a woman on the ticket. I thought- OMG, this is one of the women we were warned about when Palin's name was tossed into the ring- the woman who was such a Hillary fan she'd swing to McCain just because he signed on a woman. She then said Obama isn't a citizen- doesn't have a real birth certificate. I don't know. But, YES. Check the facts. I'm going to check out the birth certificate thing right now on the link you supplied! I'll report in... great post!

Barb McKone said...

After visiting Fact Check, just for my ability to argue- birth certificate looking good. Friend looking stupid.
Can't wait to see her at the next party!