Changed your mind?

I have been wondering recently about people casting their vote in a few days (or who have already cast their vote). Has anything caused you to change your mind about who you will be voting for? This could be applied to all office positions, but for this, I do just mean the presidential election. So I pose these questions:

Have you changed your mind from one candidate to another?
Have you changed which party you will be voting for this tome compared to 2000?
What has caused you to change your mind? Friend? Family? A Blog? News? Political Ad (I REALLY hope this isn’t the case – yes, I know not a very objective statement, so sue me)? The debates? Someone one of the candidates said? One particular platform stance? Anything else?

If you haven’t changed your mind, have your reasons for staying with the same candidate changed or been strengthened?

How do you view such things as polls that show one candidate over another and then change 20 minutes later? Have polls changed anything for you?

I am specifically interested to hear if blogs have changed anything for you. I don’t just mean blogs on modblog, but the larger blogosphere – if you pay attention to it that is.

One thing that blingking brought up which I thought was particularly important was how you read the research you do: Do you read in order to confirm your opinions or do you read to create an opinion? I find it very difficult to read many blogs that will take any piece of information and make it fit their agenda/beliefs. Research, ideally, should be done objectively and should therefore create a position – that position could strengthen your current beliefs or it could force you to re-evaluate your beliefs. To be open minded you have to be open to the idea that you may have to change. Blindly following one party is a pitfall.

Thoughts? Comments?

I suppose I could start out answering my own questions.

I have to admit that since 2000 I have changed quite a bit. I am somewhat embarrassed to admit that I did not vote in 2000 because I didn’t really know who to vote for. I didn’t really look into either candidate. I felt that it was better not to vote rather than vote for someone I know nothing about. Kinda stupid because I should have looked into it more. So one big change is that I have looked into it a lot more, or more specifically have been very impressed with Bush thus far (overall) and so have payed attention to this race a lot more than I ever have before.

That being said, the candidate I will be voting for this time around (Bush) has not changed. Through the campaigns my support for him has strengthened. Political ads have just pissed me off on both sides. Listening to friends and family has been good and debate there always causes one to figure out why one believes what he believes. Blogs have been really interesting in that there is a wealth of knowledge there. (That isn’t always a good thing as Postman has pointed out numerous times.) My bias does come in to play here in that I have largely only read the blogs that have supported Bush (adonai and tonyr), but I also frequent those that try to present the information in a way that makes sense and will allow the reader to make up their own mind (even if they are also biased). I have been really disappointed with the blogs that I have read on the left. They are largely just attacks on Bush and don’t really have substance. atruk, strategery, and thisishardwork have given great sources of entertainment but have had very little substance. They think that spouting out links and news articles equates to substance. They don’t seem to understand that you can take many pieces of information and make them appear to support your cause. Context is so important and many of the leftist blogs seem to ignore it and take anything they can to attack Bush. (Please note that I have only linked to Modblog users, but modblog is actually only a very small percentage of the blogs I read.)

For me it has come to this: In all my reading of blogs, news articles, listening to debates, speeches, and whatever else I have come across, Bush deserves my support. He has been the most truthful and the most realistic with what he wants to do. Kerry continues to do what ever he can to get the vote. I don’t believe anything he says especially when he promises anything and everything to everyone without raising taxes. I don’t support everything Bush does, but he is sound in his values I think. Bush has convictions (that I believe are largely correct) and he follows through with them. Kerry will just say what ever for the vote without actually remaining consistent with a large number of issues.

PS. I am also really tired of people just blindly calling people stupid for following one candidate or the other. I recognize that they are quite intelligent people who will vote either way. If you have a different focus of interest than I do you may vote a different way than I. So people that just call someone stupid or moronic for their political following is fairly ignorant. Ignorance is one thing, stupidity is another. Ignorance should be removed in order to make the most informed decision, that does not mean that I think that if ignorance is removed you will therefore believe exactly as I do. I am just suggesting that much of what I have seen as support is clouded in ignorance and THAT should be removed.

PPS. Feel free to join the discussion over at my post Calling all Conservatives and Liberals!!

EDITOR’S NOTE: This post is from a previous blog so the original comments no longer exist.

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