Just the facts, Ma’am

What’s scarier; illegal immigrants voting or uninformed registered voters? Facebook is great for keeping up with friends and family and also for spreading false information. A friend recently commented on a  link regarding President Obama saying in an interview that illegal immigrants should be able to vote without repercussions. There is a video clip from Fox News host Neil Cavuto stunned by what he interprets the President is suggesting. It was on TV so it must be true!  Except that it isn’t.

I hesitated to comment and post the link explaining the context of the conversation because, for one, I don’t know these people.  Nothing like a friend of a friend jumping in and correcting everyone.  I respect that people have different opinions.  My issue is that we are completely disregarding facts.  We see a story that aligns with our own beliefs and we share it without considering whether its true or not.

In a recent episode of the This American Life podcast, they spoke with CNN’s Jake Tapper .  Set aside your opinion of Jake Tapper and CNN for the moment, but he made a good point in that facts, especially when it comes to the Trump campaign, are considered partisan.  Facts are facts whether you agree with them or not.  Fact = truth.  You can’t argue with that, and yet we do.  Later in the podcast the host speaks to his Uncle Lenny, a conservative that believes every conspiracy theory related to President Obama.  We are well beyond disagreeing with policies, but questioning even the most mundane aspects of Obama’s life.  We all know someone like Lenny; “Obama isn’t who he says he is and he’s trying to destroy the country.”  No matter what the facts show, we believe what we choose to believe and those beliefs often originate with cable news and talk radio hosts.

I can’t imagine that there has ever been a time when people distrusted fact based media as much as they do now.  “It’s the liberal media’s fault.” “It’s the right wing media’s fault.” Honestly, it’s the 24 hour news cycle.  Everything is “Breaking News” on cable news.  Hosts over analyze and speculate every last detail of the latest development.  They break down stories and interviews sentence by sentence and that is how you end up with Neil Cavuto claiming the President wants illegal immigrants to vote.   Pundits are on TV every day saying how the (left/right) media is to blame, as if they themselves aren’t part of the problem.  The hypocrisy is astounding!

If the talking heads on cable news and social media is your only source of information, then you are uninformed.  In another 24 hours we will elect a new President.  Everyone has made up their minds at this point.  All that’s left is to cast and tally the votes.  Unfortunately it won’t end there.  Trump’s self fulfilling prophecy of the election being rigged will cast a shadow over the process for at least the next few weeks, if not months.  I truly believe Donald Trump doesn’t actually want to be President.  He just doesn’t want to lose.  When faced with the idea that he could lose, he casts doubt and conspiracy theories.  Before you support or rally behind ridiculous theories, check your facts.  Be informed.  Think before you post/share.

 

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