“In choosing a president, we really don’t choose a Republican or Democrat, a conservative or liberal. We choose a leader.“–Rudy Giuliani
Personally, I don’t think many people do this–but they should! Informed voters can.
“I am sure that every one of my colleagues–Democrat, Republican, and Independent–agrees with that statement. That in the voting booth, every one is equal.“–Barbara Boxer
Too bad they aren’t equally informed!
Even though it’s just the start of a new term, it seems all anyone can talk about is the NEXT election. Do yourself and our country a favor and click this link to The New York Times‘ article by Ross Douthat, How to Read in 2013. You will find thought-provoking, challenging advice on how to get informed. He suggests reading information on the right, the left, and in the middle. Read the publications that have definite biases and the ones that don’t. Even read articles by the total nut cases. Douthat claims you will learn a lot if you do. You will expand your thinking, and you’ll have a better understanding of facts when you are barraged with expensive sound bites next time around.
Our earlier blog, How to Read a Newspaper, suggested checking out the publication the author writes for before reading an op-ed piece to help you prepare for the bias that is likely to be in the article. I added that I do read columns even by people I frequently don’t agree with because I learn to see other sides of things and once in a while I even agree with the writer. Douthat’s article goes way beyond that. It’s worth reading and contemplating. Covenant Presbyterian Church’s senior pastor Tracy Keenan recently delivered a sermon with similar advice about listening to the other side. My favorite snippet from this sermon was “if we listen we might find a sliver of good.” And sometimes I do.
Be careful when following this advice. An article in our speed reading class we have used for years, “Getting More Out of Your Reading,” states that we tend to remember more accurately information that we agree with. So read with your mind open! Don’t be like one of our students who stated that she never reads anything she doesn’t agree with! After you read How to Read in 2013 , let us know if you are going to try following his suggestions and/or how that goes!