Monday, October 25, 2010

voter prep

I am looking at some candidate websites right now, as I confirm my choices for the various open positions here. I thought I'd share a couple of observations, because, um, I like to procrastinate, and I should be doing other things. (Oh, and I just learned to take screenshots -- I finally just looked up how, duh -- and how can I not put that to use?)

When I was fully entrenched* in academia, I consistently had a difficult time not qualifying my arguments with phrases such as "it seems" or "I think." I was told to just be assertive, put my argument firmly out there (wherever that may be). I don't like using language that asserts I know all the answers, that I've eliminated all other possibilities, that what I'm saying is the ultimate word in a conversation. And, I don't know that was the point of academic writing, but I felt it was part of the point. I wanted to acknowledge, though, that there may be something else "out there" I wasn't aware of, or that someone else might have had a different experience.

Here's what made me think of this when I was looking at the websites:


Reid (from the first example) talks about his first-hand experience. The Angle writer asserts that no one is more committed to education. That just irks me. Because, really? There is no one more committed to education? I have a hard time getting behind this kind of superlative. However, I've often felt on the outside (of something) because this kind of language doesn't sit well with me. I'm sure there are plenty of people who will argue that they want their candidates to be just as assertive as Angle is presented here. Or, perhaps, I should say she's confident.

Of course, I'm nitpicking, not because I want to be petty, but because the language made me think of some of my own issues (and, well, I apparently like to write about myself...a lot).

I'm off to further explore websites. Remember, November 2nd is Election Day. (I'll be voting in three days because Nevada offers early voting.)

[In case you didn't catch it, I included links to the candidates' sites. Check them out before they're gone.]


* Was grad school like war? I'm not making that comparison. I've never been to war, so I wouldn't know what that is like. "Entrenched" is the word that felt best there. When grad school was over, I did feel as if I was slowly climbing out of some deep, dark hole. (Now, if only I weren't in a new hole. Ah, well.)