College Hacks: Election Information

Marc Murdoch, Asst. Opinion Editor

If you haven’t heard by now, there’s a presidential election underway! One that will soon decide whether the United States will keep the current leader of the world I mean country or if he is kicked out and replaced with someone else. You, as educated (at least some of you) youth of ‘Merica are the ones who help to decide the future of our country.

“But Marc,” you say. “I don’t feel right about voting on something I know nothing about. I’ve missed all the debates and I’ve been ignoring my friends when they argue about them.” Well, that’s what I’m here for, dear reader, to inform you of how to inform yourself about our presidential candidates. I’m going to try my best not to put any of my own political opinions in this article. I mean, what is this, the Opinion section?

Most obviously, you can hit up either of the candidates’ campaign sites. Both sites ( and feature a “Meet the…” section where you can find information on the personal lives and backgrounds of the candidates and their running mates. They also feature a list of their respective candidate’s views and strategies. These sites essentially provide one with quick access to the candidates’ core ideas (Obama’s site even allows one to compare the President’s views side-by-side those of Romney).

What if you’re looking for something a little less biased or less obviously spun by PR professionals faster than my head when a girl confesses to me? Good luck, and let me know when you find it! However, Diffen ( has a nice chart that lists both candidate’s key points with longer explanations beneath. It’s not perfect, but it’s probably the most objective source that you’ll find on the web.

If you’re okay with sorting through all the political talk (or perhaps you even enjoy it), then pop over to YouTube. All of the debates are on the site and you shouldn’t have a difficult time finding their campaign commercials. Just remember that anything they say is put out by them will be extremely biased for themselves, so make sure you’re checking everything against what they claim, and whatever objective column you can find.

Finally, and this may prove to be more detrimental than good, but ask your friends. I know, you’re never supposed to bring up politics, sex or religion in public conversation, but screw the rules, I have money. I mean, just set some rules/guidelines about how you want the conversation to go. If you’re asking for Obama’s views on education, don’t let your friend go off on Romney’s Mormonism.

In the end, it’s up to each of you to decide which is better for the country: will we have a “Mormon-in-Chief,” as Cheers & Jeers put it last week, or will our current president stay on top of the Capitol Hill?