With the barrage of conspiracy theories and false accusations emanating from Russia and the alt right, many ordinary Americans are struggling to make sense of this year’s presidential election. Trump frequently makes ludicrous accusations against Hillary, often based on stolen and possibly forged Wikileaks documents, while Putin and the alternative media wage a non-stop disinformation campaign against the Democrats. So how do average American voters break through this noise and separate fact from fiction, in order to make up their minds about who to vote for this November?
Luckily for the astute American, there are a variety of established and professional organizations providing facts and relevant news through a number of mediums. These organizations relentlessly fact check the wild and dishonest accusations of the extreme right, and make it easy for anyone to stay informed. These organizations include respected media outlets such as CNN, MSNBC and the New York Times, which have been conducting professional journalism for decades, always verifying their sources, and seeking the professional opinions of a range of experts, from economists and scientists, to political analysts and university professors. If multiple professional media outlets are reporting something, you can rest assured that it is accurate and unbiased; and if they are ignoring or dismissing something, it’s safe to say that it’s false.
If you’ve run through a couple of respected media outlets, and you’re still not satisfied that you have the full truth, there are a number of fact checking websites that review the statements of public figures and assess their accuracy. Politifact has tirelessly exposed Donald Trump’s many lies, allowing smart Americans to see through his charisma and charm and get to the facts. For example, Trump’s statement that the groping stories have been “largely debunked” was rated “false”, as it turns out there is actually a lot of evidence for his mistreatment of women.
Together, the established media and fact checking organizations allow ordinary Americans to find the truth and cut through the lies of conservatives and the alternative media. Every voter should have at least three mainstream news sources that they run through each day, and at least one fact checking website that they use to look up outlandish statements by candidates like Donald Trump. With these tools at their disposal, everybody should be capable of staying informed and making the right choice this November. It’s important to make a ritual out of checking these sources, so that no matter what candidates like Trump say, you can confidently dismiss the lies and deceptions and remain a free-thinking and independent human being.