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A free people who find lies acceptable won’t remain free for long.

Why won’t anyone say it? Is it American sacrilege to suggest that “government of the people, by the people” may no longer be possible? The masses are being herded and corralled by those who always find the means to seek an advantage, even in a system designed to strip them of advantage.

Is it not obvious that modern political tools target us emotionally? Like a Gamma Knife, they drill into that spot in our brains to stimulate a passion and overwhelm our ability to think logically. Without any means or time to independently research, investigate and analyze for ourselves, we adhere to anyone that empathizes and confirms the rightness of our view on one or two issues of concern. Thus, we are rounded-up and herded into one camp or the other.

Most citizens have intense feelings about one issue or another abortion, guns, religion or a handful of others. We are attracted to news sources that agree, applaud and value our grasp of what we see as important and virtuous. Who would not be vulnerable to those that commend and give voice to the rightness of our view, who soothe and encourage us on this or that?

Many may not have thought much about other issues and only know who thinks alike on our most important concern. Thus, the lure is set and our newfound guide sits in the catbird seat and tells you about the economy, foreign policy or innumerable issues we have not considered but on which we can now be influenced, emotionally. After all, they think like us, they are family... Right?

By relying only on media that confirm one’s emotions, you’re off on an effortless

ride that makes it easy and thoughtless to find your stand on almost anything. No study, time, or good sense required. Hungry? Eat a Big Mac and then have some satisfying fries that fill you up with their vision — painless, effortless satisfaction, an affirmation that you know what you are doing on a glut of things.

Through such means citizens are bundled, tied and readied for delivery into a voting booth or to their neighborhood soap box.

The new data-rich sources political operatives now have, to know every citizen’s nature through the personal behavior each exposes by what they buy, say or just look at over cellphones and computers, gives access to what makes you, you. Add the presence and acceptance of alternative facts and unpunished lies, and all that is left is who can bundle the greatest number of the now dependent dead.

At Vote Smart, hundreds of young people are building what may be America’s last best chance to turn citizens back to the facts — facts upon which our struggle to self-govern is so dependent.

With little pay, and often no pay at all, they are building a Voter’s Self-Defense System that gives any citizen instant access to abundant, relevant facts on those who govern or those hoping to replace those who do:

On thousands of national and state politicians.

So accurate and comprehensive are our staff and interns even Google and Bing use their data. But they are also under attack and have been threatened by candidates of both parties for documenting their public records.

They need you to have their backs at They are what every thinking American should stand up and defend. Use one of the powerful tools they have created like ISPY, where you can simply enter a politician’s name and then open the files that give you direct access to their backgrounds, public records, what they stand for, and how they are likely to represent you.

Or try VoteEasy which allows you to compare candidates for the Presidency or Congress on any issue you select.

What these young students and staff are doing is just the beginning, where FACTS stand in defense of reality — and it is free to every American. You do NOT need to support them to use their work, but if you are one of those who can, they need you to have their backs.

Richard Kimball

Vote Smart President

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