DISCLAIMER: I am doing my best to make this totally nonpartisan and completely unbiased.
I'm not a poli-sci major. I never was.
I'm not a political genius. I never was.
I certainly don't think I'm the smartest U.S. American (and yes, that was a jab at Miss South Carolina 2007).
I try to avoid political conversations for 2 reasons:
a) I'm generally too poorly educated on political issues to voice my opinion
b) I would rather everyone just get along. Donkeys/elephants/hippos/rhinos... can't we all just get along?
But maybe I can educate you, if only a little bit, on how to be a responsible U.S. citizen. Please, if you're an American citizen of sound mind and body, VOTE. And make an informed decision. You have the right to vote (um, not every country has that!), and you have free, easily-accessible materials to educate yourself. Use them!
Things to keep in mind for election day:
- Don't go GOP just because you think you're a Republican (question 1: do you even know what GOP stands for?).
- Don't vote Democrat just because you're an atheist and you think every Republican is a Bible-hugging redneck.
- Don't vote Republican just because you affiliate with a certain religion and you think every Democrat worships the devil.
- Don't vote for Romney just because your dad will vote for Romney.
- Don't vote for Obama just because your dad won't vote for Obama.
- Don't vote Republican just because you think all Dems are asses (haha).
- DON'T get your information from any of the following sources:
- Fox News
- Rush Limbaugh
- Don't support a candidate just because you like his skin color.
- Don't support a candidate just because you don't like the other's skin color.
- Don't support Obama just because you like to say his name.
- Don't discount Barack Obama just because you don't understand his name.
- Don't discount Mitt Romney just because you don't understand his name.
- DON'T forget about all the other political parties (listed HERE).
- Don't knock the way someone else voted if you didn't vote (and yes, that happened to me in 2008; I was criticized for my vote by someone who didn't even vote).
- Don't write your brother-in-law's name in just because you think it would be funny (we're not in 7th grade anymore... and if you're a registered voter and still in 7th grade, in my opinion you shouldn't even bother voting).
- China's role in America
- death penalty
- voting rights for felons/nonviolent drug users
- gun control
- U.S. embargo against Cuba
- corporate bailouts/government subsidization of the big bad oil companies
- private school voucher programs
- sex education
- increased domestic oil drilling
- healthcare reform laws
- increasing federal taxes
- Occupy Wall Street movement
If you care about the issues at hand (and not just concerning the presidential election), you can consult the following sites:
Project Vote Smart - you can type in your zip code and get an idiot-proof rundown of the ballot in your area
ProCon - this link provides a quick summary of the candidates' views on 68 controversial issues
If you live in Michigan (which most of you probably do), you can find a non-biased summary of the 2012 ballot proposals HERE at the Citizens Research Council website.
And if you have any questions, send 'em my way. If I don't know the answer, I'll help you find it.
HOORAY for the right to vote!