After this election I am disappointed in the US public. (I promise I’ll quit talking about the election tomorrow) In reading Facebook and talking with people about their vote and why they are voting the way they are, I’ve discovered that people are a lot dumber than I had thought. I cannot believe the ignorance and misinformation that people just accept as fact. The Sweetness and I call these people Sheeple. Sucking the big media teat and gulping it down. So, here is how not to look like a complete idiot:
1. Keep you mouth shut. Nothing makes you look smarter than only speaking when you have a valid and good point. Speaking too much usually exposes your lack of research.
2. Get your ass off the couch and read. Do your own research. Go beyond the major US media outlets. Read several different versions of the same story from different sources. You’ll get a more complete picture that way. Every news outlet has ulterior motives, be it a sponsor, owner or a viewership that effect how they spin stories. Look at foriegn news sources also. Read between the lines and put the picture together.
3. Have your own opinion and defend it. Do not repeat someone else’s politics. It’s obvious when you’re regurgitating some report you saw on the news last night or a conversation you had. For the youngsters out there: Don’t just accept your parents’ political views. Think for yourself. Do research and find out what you believe in. Stick with your position and defend it. If you waver, you’ll look weak minded and it’s obvious you don’t really know what you’re talking about. Defend your opinion with facts and ‘I statements’, ie: I think, not personal attacks or insults.
4. Remember your facts and sources. Once you’ve done your research, remember where your information came from. When someone questions your stance, refer them to your source. Sourceless information is useless information. It could have come from the crazy guy that lives behind the dumpster if you don’t give a source.
5. This is all important! Practice some cynicism. Question every piece of information you are given. Consider the source, is it reliable, accurate, accepted? Analyze what a statistic is really telling you. Does it make mathematical sense? Has the data been manipulated? A lot of statistics are total BS. They tell you what the numbers mean, but a lot of times, if you actually look at the study, you’ll be able to see through what they’ve tried to present. Look at the sample size, if it’s tiny, the whole thing is nonsense. Look at the source, was this a legitimate study or just a internet poll? On and on, but do your own fact checking.
Also, calm the F down! I am tired of frantic “I’m leaving the Country if _____ wins!” No, you aren’t. Don’t be a poor sport, you lost. Get over it. The votes are in and we’ve got to live with the decision our Sheeple have made for us. Unfortunately, the Sheeple outnumber those of us with brains and until we change the media and the mindless consumption of it, it will always be this way. At least this campaign is over and I can turn on the TV again without being molested by attack ads.
And a last note, politics is generally not a good dinner, work or mixed company topic. This has always been an etiquette guideline and I wish it’d stay that way.