I know who I am voting for in the race for Michigan’s Governor. I won’t tell you who it is, but I’ll show you how I was able to get there and maybe it will help you reach your own decision.
Dexter, nestled as it is in the politically rich and coveted political ground of southeast Michigan, gets inundated with political rhetoric from ads to news articles to friendly and not so friendly conversation. It can leave us bewildered as to where candidates actually stand on issues and which one best represents our values and should receive our vote.
Political advertising is entertainment. Campaigns know people will be drawn to a smiling candidate in full color over a serious-looking opponent in grainy black and white. We will also favor those candidates who reinforce our own ideology and bias with a specific portrayal or catchy phrase. While maybe clever at times, these ads can hardly be sound information upon which to endorse any candidate. But a lot of times, ads are all we know when it comes time to vote.
We know political ads are spin, suspect news articles have a slant, and conversations mostly echo those headlines and ads. It’s confusing at the least and misleading at the most. How do we cut through it all to find the right candidate we can feel good about supporting?
It would take a lot of work that very few of us have the time for. For example, the League of Women Voters suggests the following steps:
- Decide what you are looking for in a candidate.
- Find out about the candidates.
- Gather materials about the candidates.
- Evaluate candidates’ stands on issues.
- Learn about the candidates’ leadership abilities.
- Learn how other people view the candidate.
- Sort it all out.
Right. Nobody is going to do all that for one candidate, much less every candidate. But what if there was an organization that has already done all that legwork for you and handed you a concise and clear summary of their findings that compares the candidates side by side?
Bridge Magazine has done exactly that for us with Michigan’s gubernatorial candidates. It’s the most help I have found in understanding clearly each candidate’s platform and making my own decision. I encourage you to take a few minutes and visit their website.
Bridge Magazine is the publication of The Center of Michigan, a non-profit, non-partisan organization founded by Michigan media mogul Phil Power in 2006 to engage Michigan residents statewide in pertinent political issues and concerns. “Bridge” in the publication’s title refers to the Center’s vigilant efforts to engage people in a reality beyond partisan ideologies, labels, and prejudices.