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Are You An Informed Citizen? Essay

Let’s just start out by me explaining my political views and how well I am informed. I have to be truthful and say that I am not a very political nor am I an “Informed” citizen. I know this is crazy but after researching and doing a lot of reading, I have been enlightened and what I have read has been very interesting. “An informed citizenry will benefit from applying both creative thinking and critical thinking in solving the challenges of our society”, at first I was like what the heck does this even mean? Well, I have informed myself and I must say I feel I will be able to vote Tuesday feeling more informed about the issues that concern this country. In a democracy, public misperceptions carry an enormous cost and I would hate to be one that contributed to this. The main goal of citizenship education is to produce citizens who can make informed decisions on matters pertaining to the operation of government. Do you know that a very high percentage of citizens make their decisions based on appearance on television? I don’t fall into that category although I may fall into the category above that.

Because in the past I have based my decision on commercials. I never educated myself to learn the facts from the opinions or lies one might say. A lot of powerful groups and interests in the country try to manipulate public opinion and they are very good at it. An essential element of critical thinking is learning how to ask questions that will uncover the information needed to make an informed decision. Many decisions that citizens make have direct impact on their day to day lives. People who possess higher level of critical thinking skills are able to face society’s moral dilemas with the confidence that they will be able to find answers that will solve the problem. Let’s go back to how people decide who to vote for. Several recent studies indicate that candidates who simply look more capable or attractive are more likely to win elections. It also states that people who watch a lot of television will base their decision on the candidates appearance and are likely not educated on either candidates. Also naive students based their decision on just a black and white photo. I feel like it would be a great idea to have a political course taken in high school.

That way students know the importance of having knowledge and being “informed”. Teaching them the importance of having sufficient and sufficiently reliable information or knowledge to be able to understand a¬†subject or situation and make appropriate judgments or decisions regarding it. Teaching them how to search for information, digest it, and actively participate in society putting their knowledge to a good collective use. It’s very important that we do not allow others to think for us. That we should be able to think and make decisions for ourselves based on the information that we know and have researched. We have so many underlying issues that have to be dealt with in the country. For us to not be educated on each issue and just base our decision on someone looking the part, well we might as well just do a coin toss.

Seems more interesting and “creative” to me. We have job issues, environment, education, healthcare, budget for the country, same sex marriage, economic, taxes, abortion, gun control, immigration, social security, welfare/ poverty, the war, and the list goes on and on. It is embarrassing for me to admit that I was the percentage that made my decision on the media when the only thing they are thinking of is entertaining and making money. If we want this country to be built back up and to be strong like it once was we have to become educated and educate the young, because they will be running this country one day. I would like to go through some of the things I mentioned above and let you know what I have learned just by having to write this paper. Because I believe I have become more educated just from this one assignment and to think how much more I would know if I had started researching years ago.

First would be Same sex Marriage/ Adoption that is interesting. I have always believed in every human lives their life the way they want as long as they are not harming themselves or any one else. Who cares what someone else does in their life. If they are happy and a good person, let them be. A gay couple should be able to adopt. A baby that is with a loving gay couple will benefit more than staying with someone who will not give it as much love. Gay couples are just as deserving. Romney believes in marriage only between man and woman. Who is he to judge? One that I am un- decisive on is taxes. I honestly can see both sides. Why is it fair for one who goes out and works hard to make a great living have to pay so much more in taxes to give to some that just live off the government?

But the I can see where jobs are hard to get and some people of disabled and they would love to be out there working and making money. That is just one that I will have to do more reading on to be able to see what my beliefs are there. I feel everyone¬†should have healthcare and no one should be turned away for pre-existing medical issues conditions and insurance companies should not be allowed to drop you if a patient has been diagnosed with a terminal disease. There are so many issues and debates that its overwhelming and stressful, this is one reason I have never been a very political person. I see now why it is important to be an informed citizen and to know the facts. No matter how good our leadership, if we don’t have discriminating citizens, this nation will not work very well.


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