Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet.
Robo-poller: This is the National Marriage Organization for Marriage calling to poll you on your views of marriage.
Me [Thinking to myself]: Hang up? Nah, what the heck, I’ll be a statistic.
Robo-poller: Do you believe marriage should only be between one man and one woman?
Robo-poller: Are you male?
Robo-poller: Are you over the age of 50?
Robo-poller: Thank you for your time. [Click]
And that was the end of that conversation.
Another robo-poller wanted to know my opinions on the national debt crisis (even this wording screamed “Republican poll!”), and said I would get a FREE two-day cruise in the Bahamas just for answering 30 seconds’ worth of questions. I declined to participate by hanging up, but really I need to just take the phone off the hook, because by the end of the day it’ll be six more polls or political ads.
I am grateful that our lack of TV spares us from the worst of the TV ads, though. And listening almost exclusively to NPR insulates us from nasty radio ads. Some people would suggest that it also insulates us from the “fair and balanced” views espoused by those worthies to the right of us on the political spectrum. Maybe so, but most of the NPR shows work to get real, serious experts from both the Republican and Democratic camps when evaluating the political situation.
I hope I’m not burying my head in the sand too much, but realistically, studies have shown that we choose to believe what we want, and then find evidence to support that belief. Contrary evidence may crop up, but often contrary evidence actually reinforces a belief. So I have to accept that my views are biased, that I’m seeking news outlets that fit my worldview, that I can’t make a truly bias-free decision, and I have to try my best to overcome that by deliberately being open-minded. Which is not to say that I’d choose to vote for Newt — but that’s a whole different ball o’ wax.