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Mule and elephant competing for votes

Three tips to help you avoid voting for the wrong politico.

With midterm elections approaching in the US, you may be getting bombarded with commercials promoting and attacking political candidates. No matter what your viewpoints are or how strongly you may feel in support of or against a given candidate, try not to let yourself be swayed by the sneaky tactics used in these commercials. Here are a few tips to help you see through the smoke and mirrors and make (hopefully) unbiased voting decisions.

Don’t assume what isn’t actually said. Some commercials might try to attribute a negative occurrence to a rival candidate. For example, a commercial might say that “The unemployment rate in city X has gone up by Y since candidate Z has been in office,” making it sound like it’s Z’s fault that unemployment has risen. The fault here is that they didn’t say that candidate Z actually did something that directly caused the unemployment rise. Given this information, there could be some other reason for the rise that the attackers conveniently forgot to mention.

Don’t fall for vagueness. Some candidates might promote themselves by saying they’ll “do what’s best” or “make things right” or “change things.” Do what’s best for who? Make what right? Change what, for better or for worse? They sound vague like this on purpose so they’ll sound like they have your best interest in mind without having to specify their true intentions, which may or may not be what they’d like you to believe.

Do your research. This is a big one. Don’t assume that every little detail in a commercial is the absolute, complete, unexaggerated truth. For example, a candidate brags that he passed a bill that looks great in theory, but when one takes a good look at how it was actually carried out, it wasn’t so great as it was played up to be. It wouldn’t hurt to do some “background checking” to see if candidates really live up to their claims before you give them your vote.

Happy voting.

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