I think one of the most important things one can learn in life is to think for oneself. My grandma used to tell me that often when I was a kid, and now I understand completely what she was referring to.
It's so easy to believe as we are growing up that teachers are gods who know everything. It's easy to believe that everything we read in the newspapers is the truth. Well, we all remember honest Walter Cronkite.
A perfect recent example is the meeting near the end of last week when Paulson, Bush, certain members of the senate and house, Obama and McCain got together to discuss the financial crisis and what to do.
After the meeting went bad, the media told us that it was McCains meeting. It was his idea, and then all he did was sit there.
It's so easy just to believe that. I did, until the rest of the story started to come out on blogs, interviews of the people that were there, etc. Yet, even though the facts came out, the media did not change its story: the meeting was McCains idea.
The truth is that Paulson (who leans democratic) wanted to have republicans at the meeting, and he thought McCain could reel them in. The meeting itself was not McCains idea.
And, as we do not hear in the media, Obama did most of the talking. He sort of became the chairman at this meeting. Even though Bush was pres, he decided to take a back seat and let others lead.
He started out criticising the republican plans for the bailout, and he got everyone bickering. Repubs were mad at him. Want to know why? Because Obama was confused about what the repubs plans were.
So, instead of coming in and being a good leader by sharing his ideas and opening the door to discussion, Obama got everybody arguing. That is not the sign of a true leader.
McCain, in his usual fashion of trying to get both sides together, kept saying, "Come on guys, let's stick to the issue and get something together."
And that is why the media, which is in bed with Obama, wants us all to think that the media was McCains idea.
This is just an example that came to my head. The same happens on the other side of the political spectrum too. There are some things republicans believe about democrats, but it's not so obvious on this side as conservatives don't control 80% of the media outlets.
Sure we have guys like Rush Limbaugh, but most of the people who tune into him are conservatives. And we have Fox news, but still we have to be careful we aren't just getting only one side of the story.
So, my point is, when we are making a decision as important as electing a president, especially in these trying times, we all should read everything we can from a variety of news outlets, opinion writers, editorials, blogs, magazines, etc.
We need to not be fooled. I don't care who you vote for (well, I do, but you know what I mean.), just make sure you are voting for that person for the right reasons. Think for yourself.
Note: please do not leave comments criticising my example. It was just an example. If you do, that's fine too).