How to Join the Remnant of Fact Seekers

trump_signsThe Internet is abuzz with numerous anti-Trump campaigns designed to leverage people to agree with the media. The information is skewed on purpose to maintain control over the arguments and its outcome, to the extent that it’s controllable.

There is, however, a remnant of people that don’t react to or live by the latest social crisis. They transcend the Facebook arguments and concentrate on more balanced and healthy perspectives. They focus on understanding the real truth beyond the sound bites that we’re all too accustomed to hearing.

When focused on 3 simple steps, individuals can protect their position on border security and immigration enforcement improvements and help others see all sides of the issue.

  1. Test for Bias. The easiest test for bias is this: If you can’t explain both sides of an argument in positive terms you are biased or caught up in someone else’s rhetoric. You are not thinking in a sound manner that will help mankind. Anything you say while biased will only add to the unfiltered noise in social media and muddy the true issues.
  1. Seek Two Sets of Facts. Gather the facts on both sides of the issue without bias. Create two lists with the most important facts at the top. Make sure there is a real human benefit associated with each fact, otherwise strike it from the list.
  1. Triangulate Facts from Sound Bites. Facts will come in many forms, shapes and sizes. By seeking out multiple unrelated sources you can quickly learn which facts are more likely real. The key is the word “unrelated.” Any information coming from various “outside” sources that use the exact same wording as a television networks or political party’s remarks is most likely planted rhetoric. Paraphrased wording that interjects the sources own perspective and culture is more likely to be factual. Always find three unrelated genuine sources for your information before sharing your newfound “facts.”

Okay, let’s try these three points out using the recent issue related to President Trump’s executive order on border security and immigration enforcement improvements.

First, test for bias by listing the issues using positive (from the perspective of the group’s viewpoint) statements from both sides. Here is a sampling of the bullets I found:

Media…

  • The countries band by the order is Muslim and therefore racist.
  • Families have a right to stay with their loved ones and the program is separating some.
  • Businesses have a right to have their employees return back into the U.S. from business trips and some are being stopped at the border.
  • A Federal Judge in Brooklyn, NY blocked part of the order so saying that refugees and others being held at airports across the United States should not be sent back to their home countries. Three other states did the same.
  • The implementation of the orders and corrective orders were not clearly followed by the Customs and Border Protection, and Citizenship and Immigration Services.

People Directly Involved in the Executive Order…

  • The list of countries selected was because nationalists from those countries murdered Americans on U.S. soil over the past 8 years.
  • The order does not affect naturalized U.S. citizens.
  • The order does not affect legal permanent residents.
  • The Secretaries of State and Homeland Security can waive the executive order for individuals on a case-by-case basis.
  • Priority for passage is given to refugees of religious persecution.
  • The order is for 90 days to check the security system and protocols of the Customs and Border Protection, and Citizenship and Immigration Services. After 30 days, the Secretary of State and Secretary of Homeland Security must submit a report to completely revamp the vetting process going forward.
  • Green card holders are not to be prevented from returning to the U.S. “going forward.” This was a statement of clarity from the White House based on a mistake by Homeland Security during the initial implementation.

Second, review the items to determine which bullet points are facts. Opinions, feelings and rhetoric must be removed. Here are the two bullets that I’m removing and thoughts on a third bullet.

  • The countries band by the order is Muslim and therefore racist. (This point is not a fact since the list was not based on racism, but formed based on the murderer’s country of origin.)
  • Businesses have a right to have their employees return back into the U.S. from business trips and some are being stopped at the border. (This is not a fact since naturalized U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents are allowed passage.)
  • Families have a right to stay with their loved ones and the program is separating some. (I’ll keep this as a fact even though the families that I was aware were separated has since been reunited based on the waiver process.)

The next step is to check for three unrelated sources that confirm the remaining bullets. For the sake of time and space, I’m not going to list the homework I did that verified the bullets. But, I recommend you conduct your own due diligence to make sure your bullets are factual and to pick up on any that I might have missed.

After you are comfortable that you are working with facts and not fiction or feeling statements, you can now look at the information objectively and determine what position you will take.

In my case, the bullet points have revealed that the 90-day program had my security in mind, the selected countries were based on historical murders, the program was executed poorly, and I couldn’t help but notice that the program was very similar to the one President Jimmy Carter (Democrat) did with Iran during his term in office.

My outcome—Instead of joining the argument, I’ll choose to share with people three steps that will help them formulate their own opinion. And, when the 90-days are up, I’ll hope that the Secretary of State and Secretary of Homeland Security will have come up with a new more robust vetting process.

I see no reason to let this program or those raging in social media cause me concern. In the larger scope of things, this 90-day program is a small blip on my life timeline, especially since my family easily survived President Carter’s version of the same program.

Copyright © 2017 by CJ Powers

 

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