It has been said that critical thinking by the electorate is dead. People are expected to make their voting choices by colorful signs, slick flyers, and name recognition. There is no room for substantive content on a sign. Flyers are most often a collection of empty buzz phrases such as “Jobs! Leadership! Independent!” And a rose by any other name still needs to be pruned.
Between now and election day, Nov. 4, there will be many candidate forums, newspaper articles and radio interviews. Candidates will be in the community trolling for your vote. You will have the opportunity to ask them pointed questions about issues that affect your life. Here is where critical thinking skills can be put to work: Ask a direct “Yes” or “No” question. Time how long the candidate speaks before the original question is forgotten. If it is not even possible to wade through the verdant verbiage to find a kernel of an answer, that person may not be the candidate for you.
You do not deserve to be cynically dismissed as a chump. But it will require a bit of thinking.