Be a Better American
I like to think of myself as a smart man. I have attained a smattering of knowledge from an array of subjects through the course of my life. But when it comes to politics and what is going on in the world or even outside my front door I find myself lacking. In that sense I feel I am not living up to my obligation as an American citizen so it is time to correct that. I am sharing this because maybe you feel the same way or maybe you don’t know how to sift through all the demagogues, so let’s walk together.
So I’ll deal with the biggest issue to tackle, where to get your news. This is a many-headed beast simply because there are so many facets to brush up with. From learning about local issues going on (something that I feel gets far less attention and is far more impactful on your life) to national debates on so many topics facing us as a nation. Also let’s be clear I am not talking about activism here, just becoming a well-informed citizen is enough for me at this point.
When it comes to local issues I’m sorry to say but the tried and true method is just your local paper and newscasts. With Facebook and Twitter a dangerously growing population is content to get news from these sources and not bothering just to read the paper. Local news is dying because of this and it is a real shame because that is how you know what is going on immediately outside your door. So for local elections and ballots and issues this is your best bet, a little legwork I feel is our duty in order to be a good member of the electorate.
For more national sources I would treat your collection of information the same way you would handle investments, diversify. I do think that news should be given from a perspective and should show a little bias in a way because if helps provide context. That being said don’t lock in to one particular ideology, that helps to further the polarization that is going on in the country. You can never go wrong with the New York Times or the Washington Post, some of the last bastions of journalism still standing in this new age of information. And otherwise for every source that leans one way go with something that leans the other.
I watch a lot of The Young Turks on YouTube, they are a scrappy young team that I feel does some really good work. They also cover some things that I feel get overlooked by other news outlets. Their coverage of the DAPL movement in North Dakota is the best example and have been the best source of information on that story. They are a progressive leaning source and are very honest and unapologetic about that. So to make sure that I am not simply falling in line with talking heads I must have another source to help me understand the other side.
Another place I go for information and for this I might get a bit of flack is Fox News. While yes I am never a fan of the screaming split screen and feel that kind of television is what is destroying our national dialogue have you ever looked at the website? Simply reading the news from there and getting the information without being told what to think about it is good. And yes even facts can be presented in a way to inform your position. But you have to listen and read that because you are not a puppet. Apply some critical thinking to anything you read and watch because that helps codify where you stand on things.
We are not a nation of red or blue, we contain multitudes. The point of our democratic republic is to elect officials who share the beliefs of the majority, then use them as our instrument in Congress and the White House to exact our will. No we don’t agree all of the time but consensus should be an attainable goal. We will never get there if we are not informed. I never served in the military and to many of us that haven’t I think we have gotten the notion that we have no obligation to our nation. That is horribly wrong, we do have and obligation, to be well-informed people and then vote based on what we know and believe. Let’s all be just a little bit smarter.
Richard is the other half of the bromance team and is the self-confessed geek of the duo. Whether it is pontificating on the merits of Star Wars or going on a rant about why Batman is so much better than Superman he loves to flex that muscle. With Shawn he takes to the mic and hopes that he isn’t awkward enough for you to stop listening.
About Language of Bromance
Together Richard and Shawn formed the podcast The Language of Bromance and from there it has been nothing but fun. The duo laugh about things they go through, stories in the news and even getting serious discussing net neutrality along with other issues. Every so often their friendship turns to a bitter rivalry with their nerdiest creation the draft episodes. An original take on a best of or a top 10 list. The draft episodes are done like an NFL Draft 7 rounds where Richard and Shawn flip-flop picks on various topics.
To become a LOBarmy Contributed
If you are interested in writing an article for the LOBarmy Intelligent Reports please contact Richard and Shawn at EatTheBeaver@LanguageOfBromance.Com or reach out to us via twitter @LanguageOfBro.