I resisted writing this here, as I didn’t really want my very first post after a month of silence to be a rant. However, it’s my blog, dammit, so I’m going to do it anyway. Warning: no humor here!
This started as a comment on a friend’s blog. Don’t ever let it be said that I’m not famous for repeating myself (over and over.)
Last week, I received an email from one of my best friends from college. It was a copied and pasted, forwarded political rant, based on — oh, how shall I put this — internet-rumor-hate-mongering-xenophobic bullshit, designed to prey upon people’s most basic fears.
My issue with my friend is not about her choice of candidate. This kind of crap does not discriminate by party. Everyone gets a vote, and I am always curious to hear and understand opinions and points of view, particularly if they differ from my own. I get frustrated when people fall prey to and base their opinions on either party’s campaign commercials or carefully-scripted speeches, without bothering to dig into the issues and track records of the candidates. Forwarded emails annoy me anyway, and it’s pretty easy to tell when one is biased and distorted (um, all of them.) It shocks me when someone assumes that just because it’s written down somewhere, it must be accurate, and then it upsets me further when they don’t bother to gather information from multiple sources to check on the authenticity of what they’ve read. This isn’t hard to do, and often takes only a minute or two, given the speed and depth of information available online. Of course, a lot of that “information” is false, but c’mon, it’s easy to check a few reputable sources from all sides of the fence, then separate the curd from the whey.
I wrote back to my friend, expressing my frustration about forwarded emails. She didn’t seem to get that I wasn’t bashing her political leanings, but instead was saying that I can’t stand it when people forward internet-rumor, anger-driven drivel, as if it is fact, without even bothering to check on the specifics. In my opinion, it’s the height of laziness. It only compounds the problem.
Have an opinion, and vote with your conscience. But make an effort to learn the facts and base your vote on that knowledge, instead of relying on one-sided campaign commercials and e-mailed, fear-driven propaganda.
Is it over yet??