Sunday, October 19, 2008

So, How Informed Are You?

Do you think you know what the presidential candidates' positions are on the issues they would be facing as president? Kathryn Jean Lopez shocked many members of a crowd of young Catholics when she informed them of how radically pro-abortion Barack Obama's views are.
In a packed bar, I was discussing the contentious question of whether a Catholic can support Obama for president. I highlighted the priority that defending innocent human lives takes in these considerations, according to the Church. I then went through Obama's radical record on abortion. The jolt came after I finished speaking, when one by one, people told me they had no idea Obama was so radical.

They were shocked. And so was I.

Lopez cited numerous examples of Obama's position that are clearly on the public record despite the candidate's attempt to smooth talk his way out of his own record during last week's debate.

OK, so you were unaware of these facts on abortion and protecting life. Of course you know who's to blame for the mortgage debacle that led to the financial crisis. George Bush, right? Well, if you read the article by Stanley Kurtz on his research into the origin of the mortgage debacle, and/or check out this video clip (~11 min), you may be surprised.

So why is there so much confusion as to what the facts are surrounding some of the grave issues facing our society? For that matter, why are we so divided on these issues? Could it be that the traditional sources of information, the large news media institutions are distorting or omitting critical information and whipping up emotionally simplistic reactions to controversial issues? Could it be that not everyone trusts the same sources of news and that people are reaching out to increasingly diverse sources of information?

You don't have to rely solely on those traditional, so-called mainstream media sources. For that matter you don't have to rely on any narrow source of information, including this blog and the sources I cite. Being an informed citizen means taking the advice in the video linked above to use Google and other tools to check out and verify information for yourself. When you do so with an open mind you may be surprised. It may even change how you vote in two weeks.

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