Letter: Misinformation affects people from all political affiliations

Editor,

Elections have always been wrought with intense emotions, positive and negative. But, today in an age of unrestricted, profit-driven corporate control over the messages that enter our brains, and the ease with which technology disseminates them, we are facing a crisis of truth that no previous generation has experienced. It affects all sides of the political spectrum, and it’s ruining us.

If you think that it’s only the “other side” that is crazy, then you’re part of the problem. We’re only hearing what we want to hear, from sources that only reinforce our beliefs, because we can’t bear to be wrong.

I’ve fallen prey to it, and so have you. This misinformation affects everyone from all political affiliations, and it’s actually quite easy to research. In Safeway just this evening, I overheard a man state two voter fraud claims against “the Democrats” that I later researched and found to be partially false on one claim, and completely false on the other.

Every country in the world has some degree of voter fraud, but in our country that number is incredibly small and it’s committed by both Democrats and Republicans. But we are being fooled into believing that this is a serious, rampant problem.

The data simply don’t support this.

Instead, think critically: how convenient for a president to perpetuate these exaggerated voter fraud claims, because 1) if he wins, then he “overcame the odds,” and 2) if he loses, then there’s reason not to concede victory. It’s a win-win for him and his supporters.

Don’t be fooled. Think critically. No news is absolutely perfect, but do your own research from sources that are proven to be more fact-based than others, and especially those that don’t merely prop up your own pre-existing beliefs.

Democrats need to avoid Huffington Post, MSNBC and Slate, and Republicans need to avoid the New York Post, OAN, and Fox News and, by all means, InfoWars.

And don’t get your news from Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. These sources don’t help us; they only drive us further apart with misinformation and biased messages that churn the anger and resentment towards our neighbors. Meanwhile, the people who operate them laugh all the way to the bank.

Look up a few different “Media Bias Charts,” and see where your favorite source falls. If your sources are anywhere other than center, then someone’s got you wrapped around their finger.

David Coleman

Oak Harbor

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