I am learning more about the presidential candidates than I ever expected and it’s because bloggers are free to say what they mean.
They may rant, or persuade with great eloquence, or spit out mind-numbing arrays of data, but they usually manage to say all that they want and provide some way to check on their sources.
I don’t have to agree with them, and I often don’t, but I get reams of data and some interesting insights when my blogging friends report on political issues like abuse of the environment, or on the questionable veracity of a candidate. I can always dig deeper and see what the original facts were and make a decision for myself.
Not only can I dig deeper, I can read comments which give me every possible side to the story and give me a good view of the passions surrounding it as well.
This is in such obvious contrast to contracted media figures who whip out their sound bites with well-practiced insincerity or indignation, whatever fits the needs of the moment. There are so many ways to slant a story when there are no links to follow back to the original source.
This is one presidential campaign that you have no right to remain uninformed. If you want to know what the candidates have done, or not done, you just need to search the web.
In the same inquiring spirit, I looked up John Kerry’s voting record and Edward Kennedy’s voting record for the past year. I may not agree with Edward Kennedy, but I do know that he performed his duties as a Senator. John Kerry was conspicuously absent for most of the last year. That does not speak well for his capability to get things done. His indecisiveness is another subject for study.
On the other hand, I am not at all happy with the Bush Administration’s record regarding the environment. That is my next area of study.
I hope to be able to determine which of the candidates will bring us through the next four years with the right balance of regard for all aspects of our complex and democratic society.
I expect to find the answers by searching through weblogs to find the underlying documents. There is a lot of heat and smoke to get through, but I will find who has done what and if it means anything in the long run.