Generally speaking, I am not all that cynical.
In fact, for the most part, I am, if anything, a bit too trusting.
Yet, for the past month or so I have been experiencing these moments when what I see leads me in that direction.
These moments typically last in the area of 30 seconds, and often lead me to turn my head, leave the room or even to change the channel.
That’s right. My cynicism has to do with the ever-increasing number of political commercials we are seeing now.
Honestly, I used to be a lot more politically interested, but in recent years I have become more and more disinterested in the whole process.
While I am certainly still keeping myself informed on the issues and am learning about the candidates who are running for office, I do not consider any politically driven TV commercial, regardless of the organization behind it, right or left, to be a valuable source of information.
Commercials on TV offer emotionally driven sound bytes that are intended to stir those who are watching to vote for, or most often against, a candidate or a political party.
The problem is these commercials tend to offer half truths, if they are the truth at all, and they believe the general public is dumb enough to believe it.
In fact, they are counting on you watching and believing without ever researching for yourself.
I want to encourage you right now to stop gleaning your political information from TV commercials, if that is what you are doing, and start spending some time finding out the truth.
Find a reliable source of information, and, quite honestly, the mainstream media should not be that source either. Naturally, you should not trust all that you read on the Internet, either.
So, where do you look?
Read candidate Web pages and determine their positions on the issues. Remember, don’t necessarily read what they say about someone else. Just find out what they have to say and how they stand.
If they have already served, take the time to find out how they voted on a particular issue.
If you need help finding resources for that, let me know.
I can certainly help you find what you are looking for. Sometime in October, the Gazette is going to be publishing a special insert that allows politicians who represent this area, from school board and city council to state and federal representatives, to answer a few questions relevant to the area.
If you have a particular question you would like to ask one of these candidates and are finding it hard to contact them to ask it, send those questions to me.
Page 2 of 2 - If they have a broad enough appeal to our readers, it might just become one of the questions asked of candidates. Send those questions to firstname.lastname@example.org within the next couple of weeks.
Speaking of politics, we want to encourage you to write letters of support for your candidate.
However, if we feel your letter is merely a canned letter sent out by the candidate that merely has your name on it that letter is not going to be printed.
Also, we give priority to those who write letters from our reading area. Remember to use the golden rule when writing.
The final letters to the editor for the 2012 campaign are going to be printed Nov. 1.
So, get writing.
Make your voice heard.