With Nov. 3 less than a month away, Americans need to vote now more than ever. However, there is so much at stake that it’s hard to know where to start with educating one’s self on key issues — both on the ballots and on candidate’s platforms.
The advent of technology has allowed individuals to have endless knowledge at their fingertips. News articles are always a good way to stay in the know, but there are also plenty of entertaining, yet informative alternatives to your average New York Times op-ed.
Podcasts are a fun, easy way to keep updated on what’s happening within the United States. Zags can enjoy quick bites of the most important news with “NPR News Now” or longer segments with “The Daily” by the New York Times.
For left-leaning political podcasts, look no further than “Pod Save America” — a talk show hosted by former Obama Administration Aides Jon Lovett, Jon Favreau, Tommy Vietor and Dan Pfeiffer. Zags interested in right-leaning commentary should consider podcasts like “The Ben Shapiro Show.”
There are also a plethora of books to read to help you stay informed. With regards to the candidates, former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and President Donald Trump have all published books detailing their political ideals and bits of their pre-political life.
“The Truths We Hold: An American Journey” chronicles Harris’ life in Oakland and her days as California’s attorney general before she became a senator.
“Promises to Keep” is about Biden’s response to the adversities he faced, such as losing his wife and daughter in a car crash back in 1972 and how that’s shaped his politics.
“Crippled America: How To Make America Great Again” is President Trump’s pre-election book detailing his hot takes on America and how he thinks it could be improved.
In addition, Zags can read books like “Color of Law” (racism) and “Alt-America: The Rise of the Radical Right in the Age of Trump (radicalism)” to help them understand importance of social issues that affect and are affected by the election.
Movies are also very effective ways to help understand political issues. “On the Basis of Sex” is a biopic featuring Felicity Jones and Armie Hammer depicting the life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her contribution to gender equality.
“Moonlight” is another personal favorite. The 2016 Academy Award winning film beautifully depicts an intersection of LGBTQ+ life, poverty and racial issues. It’s thoughtful and rich with little moments that make you think.
Documentaries offer rich insight as well.
The 2016 Netflix original “The 13th” delves deep into the history of mass incarceration within the United States — beginning with the Nixon Administration and working its way up to the present. This film doesn’t shy away from harsh, real imagery and it does an excellent job at showing the flaws in our justice system.
“This Changes Everything” is a riveting critique of our current economic system and how the effects of climate change could be disastrous to numerous communities and the larger populous around the world.
“The Armor of Light” delves into the unlikely relationship between a conservative minister and the mother of a school shooting victim and their quest to advocate against the use of guns within the U.S.
As election season ramps up, it’s important that voters are on top of the issues that impact themselves, their loved ones and the nation as a whole. There are plenty of resources out there for Zags to engage with, learn from and better prepare themselves before they cast their ballots.