Sunday, March 13, 2016

How to Survive the Election Season

Dear friends,

This political season is bad enough already. Please, for the sanity of all involved, if you're going to post something political, try to follow these guidelines:

1) Make sure you are posting something that includes a citation. Just because you find something on the internet that you agree with doesn't make it true. If it doesn't include a citation, try to find the original source material to check it's validity. If you can't find a citation for something, it's probably smarter not to post it (because someone probably made it up, or at least skewed the original source).

2) Focus on what you're voting for not against. There's enough negativity in the world without spending your time mocking those who disagree with you. If you want to show the strength of your position, convince us with arguments showing what your position will do for Americans. Don't spout vague platitudes; saying that a candidate will "create jobs" without explaining the economy behind the candidate isn't enough. If they don't have a working explanation or budget in order to do what they promise, they're probably not going to do it.

3) Be open to changing your mind if someone provides evidence contrary to what you believe. If you make a claim stating that candidate's economic plan will destroy the middle class, and someone else posts an analytical breakdown of that plan explaining why it won't, then the rational thing would be to concede to the possibility that you might be wrong (and spending some time studying the subject from different perspectives on your own time is even better). Outright rejection of any contrary evidence shows lack of cognitive maturity, and dogmatically holding to your personal belief in the face of contrary evidence is foolish.

This is going to be a long road. We are friends and neighbors, coworkers and family. We can disagree without being disagreeable, and we can all make this world a little bit better by taking these small steps to make this a little easier for all of us.

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