Monday, September 10, 2012

Some Political Resources...

Ok, the conventions are over.  The parties have had their say.

The delegates have had their parties.

Clint Eastwood is off his meds.

Time to get serious.

It's the duty of American citizens to vote.  It isn't required by law, but if it were the GOP would say it's socialist.  No, it isn't required, but 1,340,000 people died so we could Vote. 

That's One Million, Three Hundred Forty Thousand Soldiers

So, I'd like to think they didn't die for nothing.

So.  How to decide.  Do we decide by listening to the Candidates and their made for TV soundbites?  By watching Fox news

Nope.  Good old fashioned Research.  Want to know what the candidate supports?  Read their party platforms!  And here they are!

US Republican Party Platform

US Democratic Party Platform

Remember, the Best and Brightest of both parties got together to write these.  So, do they truly reflect what the parties REALLY believe?

Let's compare the national platforms with what may be considered "more extreme" platforms. 

Texas GOP Platform

Which includes the following:
"Knowledge-Based Education – We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority."
(emphasis mine)

Yes, the GOP opposes critical thinking.  It's there on page 12.  That's a direct quote. 

Oh, they use a big word in there.  Outcome Based Education.  I work in the Education field, so I know what that is, but not many others do.  Sounds evil, doesn't it?  Well, here's what it is.  Want something a LOT more rigorous?  Here it is.  Judge for yourself.

Where was I?  Oh right, the Texas GOP Platform.  The following is on page 13.

"Sex Education – We recognize parental responsibility and authority regarding sex education. We believe that parents must be given an opportunity to review the material prior to giving their consent. We oppose any sex education other than abstinence until marriage."

Worked really well for the Palin family, right?  That means kids can't be taught about their reproductive systems, nor will they be taught how to AVOID pregnancy.  Oh, and don't forget, Texas wants to outlaw abortion.

I could go on about this one forever (repealing voter rights, corporal punishment, etc.)  They say they're for free expression of religious freedom, including prayer in schools, but something tells me that the second an Islamic student knelt toward Mecca for prayer he'd be beaten to a pulp.   

Fair's fair.  I tried to think which state a Tea Bagger would consider to be the absolutely most Liberal.  Gallup says it's DC, followed closely by Massachusetts.  That's right- Romney's state.

So here it is: the Massachusetts Democratic Platform:

I read through it, and it seems fairly reasonable.  Exactly what would be expected by something written by a committee trying to appeal to everyone.  I'm sure my right-leaning readers may find debatable points in there (Marriage equality, health care for all, etc)  and I invite that discussion.  Caveat:  I only read it twice so I haven't memorized it. Yet.

So, comparing the State platforms to the National platforms, there are differences.  What will the candidates actually work toward?  Follow what they SAY, and their past records.  Find an unbiased source if possible.

"But Sophie," you say, "I don't have the time to do all that work!" 

Can you afford not to?

I'll let you in on a little secret.  Want to know where you can really, honestly get unbiased facts about the issues and candidates?  It can be done!  It's HERE

That's right.  Them.  They have no axes to grind.  And laws about journalistic integrity.  Yes, really.

So there it is, folks.  The basics.  Now, I really doubt that there are many people who HAVEN'T made up their minds already.  But I've been wrong before, and I will be again, I'm sure.

But if nothing else in the multitude of links I provided, read the platforms.  From there, use your own values, judgement, and, yes, Critical Thinking, to reach a decision. 


And now, a completely gratuitous picture of me so something will appear in Facebook when I link to it.

Rockin' the Red, White and Blue Look!

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