Why should I care about constructing my own truth? And which tools can I use?

Finding common ground in politics is key to a healthy and functioning democratic state, but the growing separation in ideology between the Democrat and Republican parties has caused increasing friction in US politics. Voters have found themselves caught in the disinformation wars propagated by these opposing parties and their associated media outlets, causing a loss of trust in the traditional news sources.

This sensationalized reporting creates a distorted view of the political landscape, the comedies and tragedies of which are designed to keep our attention, in addition to digital algorithms that keep us locked into an echo chamber of our own making. Moreover, false dichotomies surrounding political issues such as environmental bills and abortion rights are often used to manipulate voters into more extreme views rather than seek actions of bipartisanship.

For those left feeling dizzy from the noise, using tools such as websites like We Will Decide that provide unbiased political information, going straight to the source of an issue, and gathering news from a range of media channels will all help you to vote smart. Utilizing a range of tools when keeping up to date with current politics is the best way to remain informed and make decisions guided by what is important to you.

Stay up to date

The news can often seem like a barrage of anxiety inducing chaos, so it can be reassuring when your news feed reflects similar views and opinions to your own. This type of algorithm manipulation however can be dangerous when the filter of information created stops a healthy mix of information from being received. Break out of your echo chamber by reading from a wide range of news sites. By gathering your information from a range of sources you’ll have a better chance of understanding multiple perspectives on the issue.

Using a diverse range of media can lead us to appreciate the complexity of many current issues. Take the matter into your own hands and edit your personal social media preferences to train your algorithm in showing you news from a varied selection of broadcast sources.

Look local, national and global

Now more than ever have we become aware of our interconnectedness, and it’s important to recognize the effects of voting on all levels of governance. The internet is the best resource for those looking to make informed political decisions and see how local politics feeds into the larger demographic process.

Directly examine the voting choices made by elected officials from your area to help you understand the votes’ wider consequences on a national and, subsequently, global scale. Congressional elections occur every two years and is a clear example of how your local vote can go on to affect politics on a national level. Senators and representatives vote on important and widely affecting local and global issues such as environmental bills, so seeing clear information on things like voting history and how frequently someone votes with their party is vital to making an educated choice of who to elect.

Look for original sources

Going directly to the source is a tried and tested method for seeking the truth. We Will Decide aims to give voters agency in their decision making by arming them with unbiased political information. Knowledge gives people the power to vote smart and make decisions that are right for them, and one way to seek clarity without the influence of media manipulation is to search out original source documents.

However, finding specific documents amongst the overwhelming amount of information already in circulation can be a daunting task. We Will Decide is an online tool for those looking to keep track of politics, where users can follow the voting history of representatives as well as see their upcoming proposed bills without the divisive clamor of partisan politics.

Clear, unhindered access to information gives individuals the possibility to stay informed without the emotional and ideological manipulation of traditional news sites. For voters looking to stay well-versed in politics, websites such as We Will Decide recharge a culture of democracy in the USA. Together with users, they work against an image of politics as a war with opposing sides to instead revitalize a process of multiple parties finding common ground.