With the 2008 Presidential Election only a couple weeks away, I felt like now would be a good time to share some great resources for those of you who (like me) are as of yet undecided. Whether you’re helping students sift through the swamp of information about the election or simply trying to figure out who to vote for, here are five websites to visit before casting your vote for the next Commander-in-Chief.
- Factcheck.org: One of my favorite sites of all time. The hard-working people at FactCheck (and the authors of unSpun– a great read) do a wonderful job dissecting the claims made by candidates in debates, advertisements, and other media. They’re especially helpful after the presidential debates, as they sift through all the “whoppers” each candidate told. I’d recommend RSSing their blog and following regularly.
- InQuotes: Is there anything Google can’t do? A searchable, sortable compilation of quotes from each candidate on major issues, from abortion to taxes. Get the information about each candidate’s position from the candidate’s own mouth. Simple, but powerful tool for adults and for students.
- Connect2Elect: A really interesting site that asks you to input your own beliefs and positions about all the major political issues and then prioritize them. Once you’ve finished that step, it connects you to the candidate that you best align with based on the positions you’ve written down. Absolutely worth checking out if you’re an independent and/or undecided. Kind of pointless if you vote based on party affiliation.
- Project Vote Smart: An oldie but a goodie, Project Vote Smart outlines the positions of all the key candidates. The huge benefit of this website, though, is that they don’t stop with the Presidential election – they include an abundance of information on Congressional elections, state elections, and even state ballot measures. If you want to know what each issue is really about, this is the place to look.
- PBS Vote 2008: OK, so this one is kind of cheating, but that’s alright. PBS has a slew of great resources, including links to other wonderful sites that I won’t cover here. Some of the site’s best stuff is found under the “Tools” menu, including interactive games that will help you (and students) understand what is going on in this election. There’s even a “For Teachers” button on the top right that sends you to a second site full of educational resources on the 2008 election.
And finally, a quick bonus. I’m not sure how influential this will be on your vote, but here’s Stephen Colbert (also available on Hulu) comparing the Presidential candidates to Shakespearean characters, with the help of Shakespeare scholar Stephen Greenblatt (thanks to the English Teacher Blog for posting this first). If not informative, at least it’s entertaining. Hurt out.