I don't like discussing politics, and so I rarely make public posts regarding the topic. However, today, I dealt with a situation on a social network that required additional commentary. If you aren't interested in reading about my view on politics, and/or specifically, the topic as it pertains to the current election cycle in the US, feel free to go occupy your time elsewhere (I like kongregate.com; you may as well).
In this incident, a 'friend' on this social network posted a link to the following YouTube video of Trump revealing his 'big announcement' today.
I heard of the announcement a couple of days ago, and wasn't expecting much. Based on my previous assessment of Trump, I regard him as a flamboyant attention seeker, with deep pockets. The comment associated with the video post was to the affect of, 'Obama sucks; he hasn't accomplished anything. Why would he not take Trump up on his offer to donate to kids?'. Did I mention that the comment was entirely in capitals?
I watched the video in its entirety and my opinion of Trump stayed exactly the same; a flamboyant attention seeker with deep pockets. I commented on the OP's wall, stating that this was 'a dumb stunt' and that 'the only person it benefits is Trump, since he'll have a $5m tax write-off for 2012.' The reply was quick from the OP, mentioning that Trump was going to exclusively donate to kids, who cares if Trump gets a write-off, and restatement of the original opinion that President Obama hasn't accomplished a thing while in office.
As an engineer, I gather, analyze data, and make an appropriate decision on my discovery. I watched the video again, and quoted in my reply that Trump states '... a charity of his choice' to negate the claim that the money would only go to children. For the second point, specifically around jobs, I visited the Bureau of Labor Statistics to find information against the point that President Obama has not improved the employment situation in the US since the financial issue of Q4'09. I found that the September unemployment rate was 7.8%; that 142M people are employed, compared to the worst in Q4'10, when only 137M were. In my opinion (whether it be by direct involvement of President Obama or not), that's a +5M person gain in employment over roughly two years. This growth occurred on President Obama's watch, and it deserves credit.
My frustration with this scenario is that it proves the voting majority are making decisions based on all points other than the raw data. I understand that humans are emotional; I understand that humans have an affinity to physical appearance that appeases them, but depending on those two points to decide the future leader of the most powerful country in the world is ridiculous.
Over the years, I found myself aligning with candidates and issues that were fiscally conservative, and socially liberal. Early on, I associated myself with the Republican party, but soon discovered that their opinions on social issues were completely backward (especially recently). Today, I'm a registered independent, because I don't agree with either major partys' agenda in its entirety. I respect the concept of Libertarianism but understand that it will never be implemented, as its closely related to a form of anarchism. I hope that over the course of time, the Republican and Democratic parties of today merge (as its obvious they've both swayed from their core over the past +200 years), and a new party emerges to cater to those who share the same opinions as I.
I'm frustrated by the partisan stances the majority of the population hold, without having properly validated their alignment; blind allegiance is why this country is where it is.
Do your research.