Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Political fact checking

In the days after the first of the 3 presidential debates, I noticed quite a few emails in my various communities flying around with accusations of how much Romney lied. Knowing that both of the 2 major candidates are politicians and that speaking off the cuff in a high pressure situation lends itself to exaggeration, I started wondering if maybe President Obama's truth rate really trumped Romney's by that much or if maybe it more likely matched his opponent's.

A curious fact finding search landed me at two fascinating web pages.

First is a site that asked my stance on various issues and then matched me with the best candidate:  Most shocking to me was how little I actually understand about many of the issues actually at hand in this election - and despite that I was considering myself an educated voter. I've not yet delved into learning about these issues (and quite honestly may not in the next few weeks), but hopefully at least I'm a bit more humble about my true place in the world. At the end of the quiz, I was also slightly chagrined to learn that I'd never even heard of the candidate I most closely align with.  43 years old and still so much to learn about the world...

The second site I'm totally fascinated by., not surprisingly, fact checks statements by politicians and rates them with helpful and entertaining categories like true, mostly true, mostly false, flip, full flop, pants on fire.  Turns out both Romney and President Obama and their campaigns look pretty equal to me with some serious gaffs on both sides.  And I can't tell you how much of a relief it is to me to be able to easily go somewhere and figure out how the sound-bite of the day really rates.

In the end, I'm not sure any of this actually influences my voting - I still strongly hold the values I hold.  I do think these sites both help me be a better educated and engaged member of our Republic.

How about you?  Do you have any favorite political truth or clarity sites to share?

1 comment:

The Bug said...

Well THAT was fascinating! I enjoyed the quiz & am unsurprised by the result (92% Obama, 91% Jill Stein Green Party). I'm going to share with my husband, who is left of the left on most issues. Thanks for sharing!

I've heard generally good things about Politifact, although sometimes they can make me scratch my head too - but I'd say that they're a pretty good source.