Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Silly Season

We've reached the Silly Season in politics. With weeks still left in the campaign, pundits have decided that they know exactly who will win. The candidate who is sinking in the polls, which may or may not be measuring reality, is throwing everything and the kitchen sink at his opponent. Bloggers are ramping up their rants, and the one thing that is absolutely indisputable is that it is now impossible to escape campaign ads. (Heck, you can't even get away from them in video games anymore.)

After we've all taken deep breaths and nice, long calming walks in the woods, we need to do whatever we can to ground ourselves in reality. Here are a few ideas on how to do that.
  • Remember: No one has won the presidency yet. Days can equal years in politics. Withhold your celebrations or depressions until the night of Nov. 4.
  • Ignore the polls. Unless you're a pollster or on Barack Obama or John McCain's campaign staff, they'll only drive you crazy and possibly mislead you. No one wins or loses until all the voters vote. If this election matters to you, it's still important to give money and time to your favorite candidate.
  • Read every blogger, including me, with a healthy dose of skepticism. Bloggers tend to view the world through ideology-tinted glasses. That article they claim shows how everyone hates Sarah Palin, for example, may actually say nothing of the sort. Check out the article for yourself.
  • And above all, fact check everyone, and that includes me.

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