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Time to stand up for what you believe

This Tuesday, Nov. 3, brings an election perhaps unlike any other, complicated by modern times and room-darkening curtains over what should be windows of transparency.

Politics have long involved twisted versions of the truth, with either side going after the other with increasing levels of attack.

Behavior by candidates and a refusal to give straight-forward answers to questions further cloud the picture.

Those who seek public office — incumbents and challengers — rarely talk civilly about the issues anymore.

They instead resort to constant attacks on the character of the opposition.

Complicate all of this by modern technology and “reports” not based on fact that circulate online via social media.

Before you buy into any report, we urge you, look for and investigate the source.

Is this a credible news agency?

Is this a credible person?

Or is it coming from something invented by other forces — from biased political machines to enemy states — that are purely designed to sway votes?

Remember the U.S. Supreme Court decision “Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission” that, in our opinion, violated the Founding Fathers’ vision of a transparent democracy? It means our government is allowing secret campaign donations that further tilt political influence toward wealthy donors and corporations.

Please, look for the red flags with what you watch and read. There are many.

Falsehoods about candidates and even events permeate social media.

If you have not yet voted and intend to show up in person to cast ballots on Tuesday, we suggest a strong dose of skepticism and time spent this weekend sorting through what you’ve absorbed before deciding your final votes.

Yes, a great many people have long been decided on who they will vote for– many have already mailed in their ballots.

But for those who haven’t, including the ones on the fence, the time to decide is near.

Pennsylvania’s popular vote may decide who will be the nation’s president for the next four years.

And don’t fret going to the polls. Election officials are working hard to make it safe, to prevent any problems.

There’s an opportunity to steer this election in a legitimate direction based more on discernable fact than on fiction and fake news that permeates social media.

Discern the real facts and apply your beliefs, your values and your hopes for our great, hard-fought Democracy with every vote you cast.

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