November 3 is quickly approaching. The time to get informed about the presidential candidates is now so you can make an informed decision when you cast your vote.
Here's why you should research the candidates:
1. It's Important To Know Where They Align with Your Values
Keep in mind that no one candidate will ever align with or have exactly all of your values, but that's no excuse for not doing your research. Knowing where candidates stand on issues that are important to you is essential because your candidate should embody at least some of your values. While no candidate will be perfect, you want to be informed to make the best decision come Election Day.
2. You Need To Know Candidates’ Track Records and Voting History
Knowing their track record and viewpoints will give you an idea of how they will govern, but you should keep in mind that views can change. For example, Senator Chuck Schumer who rejected President Trump’s plan to fund the border wall used to be for supporting the limits of entry for illegal immigrants in the United States, according to a 2009 speech he gave at Georgetown University. Now, he vehemently rejects Trump’s border funding proposal. In a country that's obsessed with what people say and being politically correct, actions speak louder than words.
In a country that's obsessed with what people say and being politically correct, actions speak louder than words.
If candidates have already had a career or experience in public service, their voting records are available online. By directly examining and evaluating Congressional or Senate websites, you can access roll call votes and see which bills and laws your candidates sponsor and advocate for.
Why look at the Congressional and Senate websites directly? This way, you don't just leave it to news outlets and other third-party sites to do your work for you because chances are they report on a partisan angle and editorialize votes. You might find that candidates vote separately from party lines. For example, everyone was shocked when late Senator John McCain voted against repealing the Affordable Care Act. He historically broke with his party and voted independently despite the pressure he received to vote in line with his party.
3. Follow the Money — Know Who Backs Your Candidate
Investigating campaign finance data gives you the awareness that candidates have many different influencers. It's essential to know which groups support them and give money to them because it shows who has the potential to influence and shape policy. Organizations such as Emily’s List or the National Rifle Association may release ads on behalf of candidates or fund specific candidates who will vote in accordance with their agendas.
It's wise to know who has a vested interest.
While candidates may act independently of different organizations and don't necessarily act in tandem with them, it's wise to know who has a vested interest. Candidate committees are also required to report contributions over a certain limit by law and therefore disclose precisely from whom they're accepting money.
4. Find Out If They Have the Experience To Add Value to the Country
As Commander in Chief, it's essential that the next President demonstrates that they have the best interests of the United States of America in mind and can act on those best interests based on their experience. Do the candidates have experience leading an organization? What have they actually accomplished? How long have they held their roles and expanded their career? President Trump proved that a career in politics was not necessary to become president.
It's essential that the next President demonstrates that they have the best interests of the U.S. in mind.
Is the candidate a person of action, or are they hesitant to take action? Do they work towards solutions, or do they work to divide and to isolate? Asking these questions about candidates can give you an idea of what type of leader they would be.
5. If They're on the Campaign, Chances Are They'll Be Involved in the President’s Administration
When you campaign for a candidate, you get to know the candidate’s goals, objectives, and style, so often people on campaigns play roles in the official administration. Those on campaigns also set the tone for the next administration because they influence the candidate in all facets of communication and decision-making, and they've spent a lot of time with the candidate on the campaign trail. The candidate on a campaign should have different advisors who become administrative officials, and it's important to have a variety of advisors so that the candidate is well prepared and informed regarding various issues and decisions.
6. Find Out What the Candidate’s Vision Is for our Country
Does the candidate have goals and objectives that are best for the safety and security of the United States of America? A leader makes the decisions that are best for his constituents; so, thinking about the end goal of the president’s role gives you criteria with which to evaluate the candidates.
A leader makes the decisions that are best for his constituents.
Does the candidate want the United States to be closed in on itself or to help promote diplomacy and relationships with other countries? Does the candidate have the best interest in mind to protect the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness for the citizens of the United States of America?
By doing your research on the plethora of candidates, you'll be able to be informed and pick the best individual for president. With the knowledge that you find, don't squander it. Put it into action—get out the vote. Voting is a right and a privilege that many people wish they had. Use it, and use it well to elect the next President in 2020.
Being informed is sexy. Get an unbiased news breakdown of everything you need to know in politics, pop-culture, and more in 60 seconds or less.