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Old 10-17-2008, 05:03 PM   #16
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I think part of the problem is that it takes a great deal of effort to truly become informed, to sort through the vast amount of information that's out there, and to decided for one's self what is fact and what is fiction. There have been times in my life when I've just been way too busy with life to be truly politically engaged. In situations like that, I think many people rely on the status quo - they tend to vote in a partisan way, according to how they or their families have always voted, or the information they do gather is in the form of sound bytes from pundits, the evening news, or a quick scan of newspaper headlines. Of course, there are many others who are just plain not that interested, and while they could make an effort to inform themselves, they don't.
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Old 10-17-2008, 05:04 PM   #17
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Sure, but I also made the point about people who get their info from Rush or Hannity. I think I was being fair.

However, somehow I am not surprised by your response. Miss the point and nit pick an example. Well done!

No, I got the point. And I did indeed note that you mentioned Matthews/MSNBC vs. Rush/Hannity. Just as you're not suprised by my response, I can't say I'm surprised by what you wrote. If you really wanted to be "fair and balanced," you would've said that FactCheck is a great source in that it shows that Obama was wrong on this, McCain was wrong on this...etc. What I found interesting was that you instead presented FactCheck as if it were a solution to being uninformed, and then as evidence showed that they prove that Obama has been wrong. In a sense, it's like you were saying that FactCheck is a great source for real information because if you read it, you'll see that Obama is wrong.

Yes, it is indeed a small thing. But the innuendo is there.
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Old 10-17-2008, 05:36 PM   #18
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I think part of the problem is that it takes a great deal of effort to truly become informed, to sort through the vast amount of information that's out there, and to decided for one's self what is fact and what is fiction. There have been times in my life when I've just been way too busy with life to be truly politically engaged. In situations like that, I think many people rely on the status quo - they tend to vote in a partisan way, according to how they or their families have always voted, or the information they do gather is in the form of sound bytes from pundits, the evening news, or a quick scan of newspaper headlines. Of course, there are many others who are just plain not that interested, and while they could make an effort to inform themselves, they don't.
This is true but if the majority decide to keep up that helps. It will be hard for people who have little education and abilities to read to keep up but if people try the info is out there. It's important though that people look at classic books and general textbooks to get the variety of opinions because if you want to believe in XYZ conspiracy there are reams of info on the internet alone that you could wade in and never have time to read anything else. I would say 95% of the bookstore is full of books that won't have relevance beyond 1 year from now.

People would have to change their lifestyles drastically just to become a regular reader.

Maybe we should start a Free your mind bookclub?
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Old 10-17-2008, 05:59 PM   #19
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This is true but if the majority decide to keep up that helps. It will be hard for people who have little education and abilities to read to keep up but if people try the info is out there. It's important though that people look at classic books and general textbooks to get the variety of opinions because if you want to believe in XYZ conspiracy there are reams of info on the internet alone that you could wade in and never have time to read anything else. I would say 95% of the bookstore is full of books that won't have relevance beyond 1 year from now.

People would have to change their lifestyles drastically just to become a regular reader.

Maybe we should start a Free your mind bookclub?
I understand, and I essentially agree, but what I was getting more at was the sheer time factor. In my case, for several years, I was a single parent, a full time university student commuting 2 1/2 hours most days, as well as helping to care for my own parent who was going through some health issues. I was lucky if, at the end of the day, I could remember my own name, nevermind engage in politics.

With people working, sometimes multiple jobs, raising children, and juggling the myriad things that people must juggle in this day and age, for some, time spent on other things is a luxury. If they choose not to spend it on politics, who can blame them?
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Old 10-17-2008, 06:34 PM   #20
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I understand, and I essentially agree, but what I was getting more at was the sheer time factor. In my case, for several years, I was a single parent, a full time university student commuting 2 1/2 hours most days, as well as helping to care for my own parent who was going through some health issues. I was lucky if, at the end of the day, I could remember my own name, nevermind engage in politics.

With people working, sometimes multiple jobs, raising children, and juggling the myriad things that people must juggle in this day and age, for some, time spent on other things is a luxury. If they choose not to spend it on politics, who can blame them?
Yeah I agree. Lots of people also don't vote because of a lack of time. That's why education when you are still in high school is the time people have, but most people (including me) didn't use it for knowledge but spending time with friends and learning what instructors wanted us to learn.

For those people who have little time I think reading newspapers from different points of view (easier thanks to the internet) is the only way. Comparing left and right wing filters is better than nothing. If there's no time for even that then waiting until there is a period in your life you can is the only option.

Lots of retirees like to take courses because they FINALLY have the time to do so.
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Old 10-17-2008, 07:02 PM   #21
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No, I got the point. And I did indeed note that you mentioned Matthews/MSNBC vs. Rush/Hannity. Just as you're not suprised by my response, I can't say I'm surprised by what you wrote. If you really wanted to be "fair and balanced," you would've said that FactCheck is a great source in that it shows that Obama was wrong on this, McCain was wrong on this...etc. What I found interesting was that you instead presented FactCheck as if it were a solution to being uninformed, and then as evidence showed that they prove that Obama has been wrong. In a sense, it's like you were saying that FactCheck is a great source for real information because if you read it, you'll see that Obama is wrong.

Yes, it is indeed a small thing. But the innuendo is there.

Correct me if I am wrong but the question asked on this thread is about voters being dumb or or well informed. It is not an analysis of Obama and McCain and what Fact Check says about both of them. That is for the dumb or well informed votes to look up. I used examples that I had looked up. Two items that we have heard mentioned several times over the 3 debates. I choose examples that matter to me. The Fact is...an unbiased source is out there to look this stuff up if people want the real story.
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Old 10-17-2008, 07:26 PM   #22
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Correct me if I am wrong but the question asked on this thread is about voters being dumb or or well informed. It is not an analysis of Obama and McCain and what Fact Check says about both of them. That is for the dumb or well informed votes to look up. I used examples that I had looked up. Two items that we have heard mentioned several times over the 3 debates. I choose examples that matter to me. The Fact is...an unbiased source is out there to look this stuff up if people want the real story.
Just looking at the site now..... Yeah it seems pretty good though some of the examples like Obama not being the most liberal senator all the time but 10th or 16th is not really helping him much.

This is a good site for those with little time on their hands to get informed. This site plus the party sites with platform information is a quick way to decide which side you want to be on, and to parse through the TV ads bombarding the airwaves.

It's the mean season.
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Old 10-17-2008, 07:35 PM   #23
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I think the World War Two generation is the last well informed group.
Their world view, through their life experiences, gave them an acute awareness the political world and the consequences of not paying attention.
They are quickly passing away.

The generations that have followed and our awareness of what is really going on in the world has been best explained by the 1985 book by Neil Postman
Amusing Ourselves to Death:Public Discourse in the Age of Show Buisness.
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Old 10-17-2008, 07:38 PM   #24
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Correct me if I am wrong but the question asked on this thread is about voters being dumb or or well informed. It is not an analysis of Obama and McCain and what Fact Check says about both of them. That is for the dumb or well informed votes to look up. I used examples that I had looked up. Two items that we have heard mentioned several times over the 3 debates. I choose examples that matter to me. The Fact is...an unbiased source is out there to look this stuff up if people want the real story.

Much better post.


As an aside, I'd comment that it seems less like you looked at examples that matter to you, and more like you looked at examples that support your underlying argument. Perhaps the best approach for us all to become more well-informed is to instead research those things that challenge our own natural arguments. But we all do fall victim to tendencies to look up and report on facts that we like to see, so it's entirely understandable.


Aaaaanyway.... Indeed, factcheck.org is a great site to get an snapshot of how much of what the candidates say is completey true.
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Old 10-17-2008, 07:44 PM   #25
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Just looking at the site now..... Yeah it seems pretty good though some of the examples like Obama not being the most liberal senator all the time but 10th or 16th is not really helping him much.
I don't think his campaign was built upon this notion, hence I don't see how it hurts him. Given the general political climate of the US I guess that is rather helping.
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Old 10-17-2008, 08:25 PM   #26
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Much better post.


As an aside, I'd comment that it seems less like you looked at examples that matter to you, and more like you looked at examples that support your underlying argument. Perhaps the best approach for us all to become more well-informed is to instead research those things that challenge our own natural arguments. But we all do fall victim to tendencies to look up and report on facts that we like to see, so it's entirely understandable.


Aaaaanyway.... Indeed, factcheck.org is a great site to get an snapshot of how much of what the candidates say is completey true.
Thanks. Here's how it went. The 95% thing was because I had a hard time believing that only 5% of the population make over 250K. I had posted that in someones blog on here a few weeks ago. I looked at the taxing $42,000 because I was skeptical as to the truth of this.

As for reporting on facts we like to see, I agree though I think it might also be because these are the things that stick in our minds. I guess they are related.

Either way, this is an easy way to sort through the talking points and weed out some of the BS.
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Old 10-17-2008, 09:12 PM   #27
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I don't think his campaign was built upon this notion, hence I don't see how it hurts him. Given the general political climate of the US I guess that is rather helping.
Well I hope his rating will keep going down based on my bias so he ends up on other aisle.
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Old 10-17-2008, 09:59 PM   #28
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Ok, so it was wishful thinking?
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Old 10-17-2008, 10:09 PM   #29
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Ok, so it was wishful thinking?
To be honest if he wants to go more to the center like Clinton it will help him. Conservatives want to label him as too far left for the country. Like Jimmy Carter the sequel. If he is viewed as moderate it certainly will help him.
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