Young "Politicians"

February 19, 2013
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A trend that I find annoying only happens every four years. If you guessed the presidential elections you guessed right. I am not annoyed by the elections; I think the elections are fascinating. I am annoyed with my generation, (who by the way, cannot vote) going around and saying things about the other candidate that are simply biased, false and completely inappropriate. These details are usually spouted out of the mouth of bias media, or spoken by a parent in a friendly debate. It is not the debating at school that I get annoyed with, it is the biased information being said in an argument with a friend over which candidate would be a better president.

What usually happens is an innocent question is asked: “Who do you want to win the presidential election?” This small question sparks a response from the person being questioned. If the person who asked the question wants a different candidate than the person being questioned, the fireworks begin there. A flurry of biased media reports come from both sides. For example “he wasn’t born here”, or ”he doesn’t know what it is like to work for a living ”, were two of the most popular phrases used in the most recent presidential election. Two examples of media bias would be Fox news, which is a conservative news outlet, and CNN, which is a liberal outlet. Fox unintentionally confirmed that they are a conservative outlet in an article titled, “The worst media election since the last one.” In this article the author says “if you were President Obama you got the best of coverage … your radical positions downplayed, and the ongoing failures of your administration- economy, fast and furious, foreign policy in general- were all given short shrift in the major media.” The author in this quotation trashes President Obama, and many phrases used by my generation were based off of Fox’s writing and opinions. CNN is often credited to be a more liberal news station especially when in 2011 a question was asked by a CNN White House Correspondent that talked about a GOP debate and how some candidates said that waterboarding is not torture. The question that the CNN reporter asked the President was “I’m wondering if you think they’re (the GOP candidates) uninformed, out of touch, or irresponsible.” This question places the CNN reporter on the side of the President who has said that waterboarding is considered torture. Both major parties have bias both for and against them, which is causing this annoying trend in my generation of people who cannot even vote thinking that they are a professional politician.

An example of bias would be a friend of mine was saying very biased, and offensive things about a candidate. I went over and kindly told him that what he was saying was untrue and that he really should stop before someone actually fact checked what he was saying. My friend vigorously denied that what he was saying was untrue and continued to speak his political bias to anyone that would listen to him. Even after I fact checked what he was saying, and proved him wrong, he still said that he was right and that anyone who opposed him was stupid. He actually called people who had different political views “stupid”. After hearing him call those with different opinions stupid, I simply made a true statement about his candidate’s shortcomings and walked away. I am not saying that people are not allowed to state their political views. I am saying that people who say false things about the candidate they oppose should not say anything at all. The amount of biased tweets on Twitter and posts on Facebook during election season is staggering to the point that the posts and tweets become laughable at how untrue the statements are.

People who engage in this behavior do it because they want everyone to think like they do and to think that they know what they are talking about. Some people do it because they are debating with another person who has a different view and the other person is “winning” the debate, so they try and use bias to convince the other person that their candidate, for example, is not legally able to hold the job, or they are going to send the country into recession.

Peers who have the same views as the person spreading bias about a candidate foster this behavior. If someone says that the opposing candidate is lazy, unknowledgeable about the government and a lawbreaker, someone who wants the same candidate as the person who just made that statement will believe it and spread it around. Other factors that contribute to this behavior would be the 24-hour news cycle, and social media. These factors contribute to this issue because they allow for information to be spread around quickly.

People can be prevented from participating in this annoying trend by fact checking everything they hear about a candidate. This trend can also be stopped by coming to the realization that we cannot vote yet, nothing we say can influence a fellow peer who is our age to change his/her opinion, and even if we did, it would not make a difference in the real election. I guess that the point I am trying to make is that biased information cannot help or hurt a campaign. There are always people who will fact check everything the politicians say, but spreading biased information will not help or hinder an election because we are young and will not influence who becomes President of the United States.

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