Educate yourself, then vote

In some countries, people fight and die for the right to vote. In others, people wait hours to vote. With the right to vote comes an obligation to become educated on issues and candidates. In these days of fake news, where do you go?

I once attended a media forum addressing where Americans should go for unbiased news. Here is their advice: Print: The Washington Post, New York Times, and the Chicago Tribune; Radio: National Public Radio (NPR); TV: Prolonged silence. Nothing. The Washington Post, The New York Times, and NPR are all available locally.

Here’s a list of issues important to me:

1. Economy. Economists agree that tax cuts don’t work. Americans don’t want lower taxes, we want effective government.

2. Education. Preschool education should be part of mandatory public education and paid for by taxes.

3. Healthcare. Healthcare has become a right. You can’t have life, liberty, and happiness without it. The government must provide healthcare for everyone. Most civilized countries have a single payer healthcare system. Coverage is universal. For now, the ACA is the best alternative. Embrace it.

4. Energy. Coal should be left in the ground. Today, coal costs more than natural gas, without considering the environmental and health costs of mining and burning coal. Petroleum and natural gas are stepping stones along the path to a renewable energy economy.

5. Environment. Rachel Carson wrote “nothing is valued until it is almost gone.” We’re there. The Paris accord was a beginning. Global warming is real and is caused by man. Fix it now or regret it forever.

Make your own list. Become informed by consulting the sources mentioned above, and then vote. If you don’t vote, someone else will, and you may not like the result.

Dr. Robert Burney


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