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Election day is almost here, three days and counting down. The few days before an election are typically the worst in terms of mudslinging because the campaigns know that people aren't going to have as much time to fact check prior to voting. Often the campaigns will attempt to make the most passionate arguments against the other candidate, and those arguments may contain a lot of fallacies, but the campaigners realize that no one has time to look up information and find out the truth. This is why we should all be very wary of the untruths that may be presented to us and think critically about what we are hearing.
One rumor I've been hearing lately is about how Obama is a terrorist, or that he has links to terrorist organizations. Now, let's take a moment to consider this statement. Barack Obama is a United States Senator. He's in a high position of power in the U.S. Government. One would assume that someone who is high up in the government has probably had a lot of background checks to make sure they are not connected to any known or suspect terrorist organizations. And you can be sure that if such background checks did reveal a connection, that person would not be allowed to keep their office and even aspire to a higher office (indeed, the highest office in the country), but would most likely be sitting in a federal prison, perhaps even in Guantanamo Bay. If, for some bizarre reason, a person with connections to terrorist organizations did rise up to power in the U.S. Government, what exactly would that say about our government?
Looking at this statement carefully, we can easily see how absurd it is, yet these rumors are still spoken. Some of the things you may hear in the next couple of days may not be so obvious in their falseness, so we must be vigilant and try to think carefully and clearly about what we see or hear, whether it's on TV or from your best friend or your history teacher.
One website many of you may find helpful is FactCheck.org, "a nonpartisan, nonprofit "consumer advocate" for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics" (from their website's "About Us" feature). Right on their front page is a listing of recent postings on political ads about McCain and Obama. They also allow you to email questions concerning the different candidates, and they have an archive of frequently asked questions.
So be vigilant, don't believe everything you see or hear, and, most importantly, remember to vote on November 4th. For those of you still uncertain about what each candidate stands for, or if you just need a little refresher, check out our D-luxe 2008 U.S. Presidental Election Voting Guide.