Friday, October 28, 2022

Political Endorsements: Letting Others Think For You and How to Stop It!

There was a time when newspapers saw themselves as the ever vigilant "defenders" of the public's morals. They were the arbiters of public justice, albeit self-appointed and as often as not, the creators of their own hype.  However, society finally grew up. We decided that we didn't need or want any more babysitters or hand holders.

For the first time in human history, we can compare stories and arrive at our decisions on practically any topic. Today, we have instant access to information the world over at our fingertips, and with it, the ability to investigate candidates and the issues which are important to us.

For years, I campaigned for the release of unedited transcripts of candidate "endorsement" interviews and full disclosure of the interviewer's names and their political affiliations. I believe that the public has the right to know exactly what a candidate said about a particular issue unedited and without "editorial interpretation", as well as the ideological slant the so-called "endorsement" or article was written from. In short, I believe in full disclosure from the media.  Unfortunately, few in the media have that kind of courage.

To many times the candidates are misquoted, misattributed, a "correct" answer inserted or a gaffs  removed, making the "chosen" candidate look better than they actually are or the other candidate look bad. I've seen where "chosen" candidates  (usually incumbents) aren't  even interviewed or their positions on issues questioned, and yet they're still "endorsed" under the premise of being unbiased.

Look, I've been a political activist and community organizer for over 45 years. I've been there, done that, and got a lot of  campaign t-shirts and paraphernalia for my efforts. I know all too well how the game is played, how endorsements are made and whose palms are greased. 

I've seen ad nausem where candidates are endorsed merely on their political registration. This wasn't  just by special interest groups, which you'd expect,  but by newspapers and other media outlets. This, in my opinion, is wrong and deceiving.

The  news media's job  is to present the facts as impartially, balanced and as fair as possible. It is not to attempt to manipulate public opinion to suit its own political agenda, even if they think it's "for your own good" (the news media still tries to hang on to its antiquated belief in its own self-importance). 

Only you---the voter--- can decide what's in your own best interest.  Can you imagine Fox, CNN, CBS, ABC, KET, or PBS making a political endorsements? Neither can I, but in truth they do make implied endorsements through the political slants in their reporting. 

What if ESPN or Fox Sports decided to do political endorsements too? I wouldn't take them any more seriously than I do any other endorsements. They should stick to sports just like the news media should stick to providing balanced and honest reporting and let us make up our own minds. 

Voters need honest and unfiltered information without a biased intermediary deciding for us what a candidate said or meant. I believe that you, the voter, have a right to know what questions were asked in a endorsement interview,  their answer in full, and the political slant of those asking the questions and making the endorsements, be it the media who is pushing their own agenda or a special interest group quietly underwriting a campaign. Anything less is a farce and attempt to manipulate the public. 

As I have done every year  since 2001, I urge voters to take a few minutes to do their own research and make their own decision about who to vote for.  A "Voter Guide", is available in many newspapers, or can be found online, is one such resource for you to consider. Other resources include visiting the candidate's webpage or contact the candidate yourself with your own questions.  

If you find that you happen to agree with a particular candidate's positions mentioned, fine. Then support that individual as a volunteer, a financial donation, or with your vote. But whatever you do, do it as an informed voter.

So forget about your newspaper's or other special interest group's endorsement. They are doing nothing more than pushing their own agenda,  which isn't necessarily in your best interest. You're not a brain eating zombie! Remember too that endorsements are merely personal opinions, and they aren't always the most informed ones at that.

So, do yourself, your  friends and family, your community, and the nation a favor. Do your own research. It's not difficult to do and it doesn't take a lot of time. Then go vote. Don't ever let anyone take your power as a voter away from you or let someone else think for you.  It's the only thing ultimately standing between you and servitude.

To help you with your research, I've provided some non-partisan links below to help you get started  It doesn't get any easier than this!

If you want to know more, please take a look at the links below. If you enjoyed the article, please consider passing it along to others and don't forget to subscribe. It's free! Lastly please be sure to "like" us on whatever platform you use to read A/O. It helps with the algorithms and keeps our articles in circulation. Thank you! 



Kentucky on Ballotpedia


BallotReady: Kentucky General Election


Vote411: Your Voters' Guide


USAGov: Decide Who to Vote For

LDP: How To Research Candidates and Issues


League of Women Voters Education Fund

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