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"Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts." - D. P. Moynihan
Politicians on all sides of the political spectrum make many claims on the truth and veracity of something they will call a fact. There are no alternative facts. As defined by the Merriam Webster's Dictionary, a fact is something that truly exists or happens or something that has actual existence. There cannot be two sets of facts that are opposed to each other with regard to one thing.
Adding to the mix of misinformation are intentional falsehoods put out by non-candidate third parties and others who wish to do harm to American democracy and the democratic process.It's a good idea to double check the information that you hear, particularly if it's about a hot button political topic.
To be informed voters, we should try and understand the positions of the candidates for which we are voting and the facts upon which they rely to form their assumptions.
Fortunately, we are in an age of open information. Simple searches can ascertain if someone is speaking clearly and truthfully to you very quickly. Many websites are fully dedicated to helping you find out the actual facts and statistics which politicians are quoting and claiming as fact.
Here are a few that are recommended by our librarians:
PolitiFact is a fact-checking website that rates the accuracy of claims by elected officials and others on its Truth-O-Meter.
FactCheck.org is a nonpartisan, nonprofit “consumer advocate” for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics.
VoteSmart.org provides factual and unbiased information on candidates and elected officials