Why waste the next election feeling suckered, ignored or manipulated when you can follow the simple lessons in this book to become a member of the most fearsome of all demographics: the free and truly independent critical thinker.
Critical Voter, the new book by writer and educational researcher Jonathan Haber, provides easy-to-follow explanations, illustrated with examples from presidential campaign politics, to show you how to:
* Decode arguments to understand what people (including presidential candidates) are really trying to convince you to believe
* Understand when persuasive language is being used to push you one way or another, as well as how to master the persuaders’ techniques to get people to do what you want
* Identify and overcome biases (especially the ones that are holding you back)
* See past what the media is telling you
* Make the Internet your servant for discovering the truth
From Cicero to Mr. Spock, from Aristotle’s logic to the latest work of cognitive science, Critical Voter applies 2500 years of practical advice to today’s news headlines to help you learn to think clearly, communicate convincingly, and live a more successful and happier life.
About the Author
Jonathan Haber is an educational researcher, writer and recovering entrepreneur working in the field of technology-enabled learning and teacher education. His Degree of Freedom One Year BA project, which involved trying to learn the equivalent of a BA in just twelve months using only Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and other forms of free learning, has been featured in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Wall Street Journal and other major media sources. His writing on education-related topics has also appeared in Slate, EdSurge and other publications.
There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.
– John Adams
Professional politicians? An exploited and broken system of representation? Propaganda of scare tactics? News as entertainment? Voting as the illusion of freedom? Private sector in bed with Big Brother? War in the name of “democracy” and “freedom”? Privately owned Federal Reserve? Privately owned for-profit prisons!? WHAT THE FUCK! America, the Great?
First, let me point out that in no other industrialized, democratic country, are there only two strong political parties. In each and every one of these countries, there are at least three political parties that are on an equal footing. I find it incomprehensible that in a country such as ours, which demands choices in every other aspect of life (i. e. – 150 station cable/satellite TV systems), we still limit ourselves to only two options when it comes to politics.
It should be further noted that there is nothing in the Constitution that specifies a two party system. There are even clues in this document that suggest the Founding Fathers assumed that there would always be more than two strong candidates. In fact, if you look at the first several Presidential elections in this country, you would see that there were always at least three Presidential candidates who received electoral votes.
We have been deluded in this country into thinking that a Third Party won’t work. How? Well, first we’re told that if we vote for a third party, we’d be wasting our vote. This is, of course, looking at it from their perspective. In their view, any time you don’t vote for their candidate, the vote is wasted. If that doesn’t work, we’re told that our vote won’t count. Translated, this means that your vote will count, just not for their party. Next, we’re told that we are splitting the vote, helping the other candidate win. I have two comments on that. The first is that this is certainly an egotistical viewpoint. After all, why should you drop your candidate in order to help get their candidate elected? My second comment is that this argument is nothing more than the “voting for the lesser of two evils” logic. We people who vote third party, however, have our own logic. And that is, why should we vote for the lesser of two evils when the lesser evil is still evil? Finally, we’re told that we are being presented with two clear choices, so we don’t need to clog up the field with any more. In reality, this makes no sense. Even if it were true that we are always being presented with two candidates who are at opposite ends of the political spectrum, where does that leave the voters who are in the middle? As an example, how about a voter who has liberal social ideas but conservative fiscal views? Why should these types of voters have to give up fifty percent of their values in order to choose between the conservative and liberal candidates? This is another example, and there are many more, where the two party system is a failure in delivering representational elections.
The present two party system has led to gridlock in the country, which has extended into the general population as well. Essentially, we have become an “us” versus “them” society. There is no middle ground. If you are not with “us”, then you are with “them”, and that makes you the enemy. Moderates who try to compromise with opposing moderates, and who go against the party’s wishes, are branded as traitors. As a result, the serious problems that we are facing in this country are not being addressed. A strong third party could blunt this attitude, and therefore open up a dialogue, since people might realize that it’s no longer just “them” anymore with their diametrically opposing viewpoints.