Several people have asked me how to learn more about Barack Obama, both here and via email. Here's sort of my pitch:
1. Read Audacity of Hope. Obama wrote it while he was in the US Senate, but before he announced he would run for president. I had to skip the first chapter, it was WAY over my head. He's a very intelligent man. The first chapter is about the history of politics, and I didn't understand most of it. The rest of it is brilliant. He talks about the challenges he sees in America and why we can still have hope.
2. Don't read email smears. Period. I usually defer to www.snopes.com and www.factcheck.org to debunk rumors. They are both non-partisan sites that break down what is said and reveal the truth.
3. Pick up a US News and World Report, TIME, or NEWSWEEK once a week. At first the information might seem overwhelming, but as you learn more about it, it will become more familiar. It's important to keep up on current events now more than ever. I am NO expert, but I have learned a lot since I balanced out my US Weekly subscription with my NEWSWEEK subscription (blush).
4. Check peoples' facts. How many of my friends have been annoyed with me when I've said, "Oh, yeah? Where did you hear that?" I'm a stickler for backing up your argument. If you hear something that sounds hokey, it probably is. And I likely won't make an argument with you, either, without being able to cite my source.
Any other good ideas, friends...a lot of intelligent people out there!