It's that time again in American politics: The candidates are atwitter, the campaigns are abuzz and the debates abound. Even if you are a diligent voter and make an effort to follow all the hype, you will soon find yourself buried under an avalanche of (mis)information.
It is a common strategy, employed by campaign managers everywhere, to comingle political issues with popular culture in order to attract even the most a-political of citizens.
Many like to think that our personal lives, our family concerns, our health issues, our financial matters, our social contacts, our recreational activities, our private pursuits, our religious affiliations, our choice of entertainment exist in a separate sphere from our town halls, our state houses, our courts, our Congress and our president.
This widespread misconception is being exploited by skilled campaign strategists who wrap their message inside more popular and innocuous slogans and images so it will penetrate down to "where we live".
The question: - How do we separate fact from fabrication?Here are some examples of what might, or should, be of importance to you, your future and the future of your children and grandchildren:
The answer: - Focus on the issues that matter to you, and examine each candidate's stand on them.
* Assault Weapons Ban
* Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Drilling
* Iraq War
* US Patriot Act
* Universal Healthcare
* Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change
(Sidebar: 'Democracy' by Leonard Cohen)
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