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Editorial: Keeping up with political issues

On January 30, 2013

When an individual states that he or she doesn't care about current issues, it indicates a growing problem in American society.

Politics affect each and every person on an everyday basis. When a nation's people fail to know what is going on, that nation becomes crippled.

Politics matter because a government is only as strong as the people it represents. When the people fail to educate themselves, the government fails to represent them properly.

We believe that self-education is the answer. Do research, compare what different forms of media are representing as fact to the public. Know both sides of the issue thoroughly before forming an opinion. If you cannot explain both sides of the issue, then very likely your opinion does not have enough evidence behind it.

Facebook is not a valid or reliable source. As a typical rule, only trust sources that you would be allowed to use for a research paper. Be sure to listen to more than one newscast, read more than one article and find more than one side to every issue.

Your opinion should be your own, not the parroting of someone else's. Become aware of the facts and then consider what you think is best. If you happen to agree with someone, that's great, but it should be a coincidence. Trying to impress someone by agreeing with his or her political leanings is nothing short of groveling.

We have no problem with opinions that differ from our own, so long as there are solid reasons for why you believe what you do. We believe in free discourse. Discussion should have opposing points of view to promote thinking; diversity is what prompts us to figure out who we are and what we stand for. Discourse and discussion suffer when the people participating are uneducated on the issues.

Please keep in mind that your opinion on an issue does not make it fact. You can present facts to others without giving your opinion, but once you present your view of the issue, the facts have been skewed to support your opinion. Feel free to express your opinions, just remember to be respectful while you do it.

An informed public makes for better citizens. So please, make sure you're educated on the issues; we will thank you for it.

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