The Upward Politics Project spends time researching while other people just get angry. When we do our research, we adhere to a fundamental rule where we don’t recognize the internet as anything of authority and often refer to print publications. Because of the motivations of people, we remain overly suspicious of online content.
Print is unchangeable
Although we don’t trust anything 100%, we do see an element of accuracy in printed reference. Once a book is printed, it’s done. It’s not like we’re going to get a recall notice on a book like we do on a Chevy. We get a call; “Excuse me, sir, we have a few words that need to be changed in your book, we’ll give you a loaner while we make the appropriate fixes”. Not feasible.
Dictionaries for political terms
You would be amazed how many words used in politics are incorrect and go unchallenged. If a word is political, we don’t research it online because of the temptation to mold it. Writing this blog, I can tell you how easy it is to change a word or sentence here and there. It takes less than a minute to do so and very easily, you could have the nation believe something completely different.
This is why we refer to a dictionary and, if possible, one that was published before the internet was around. Politics wasn’t as tense as it was before the internet, so there is less of a likelihood that it was tampered with before it was printed and sent out. If you don’t have one, that’s fine, but the older the better for sure.
Almanacs for general statistics
Statistics are mentioned quite often in political statements and arguments. The first place we go is to an almanac where a lot of general information is available. Can today’s almanacs be subject to political biases? Hard to say, but of course, we don’t believe anything 100% anyway because it stops the learning. However, this is probably a road less traveled by people who are researching politics. People focus mostly on the mainstream way of delivering information like online articles, radio programs, podcasts, and TV shows.
Internet in a pinch
Sometimes, the almanac won’t have the information that we seek because of the scope of the research. In which case, the internet must be consulted with a 4-5 source check. This is using a variety of resources to check on the validity of a statistical statement. But again, be very wary of what is said online. It’s just too easy to make people believe a certain way. Never underestimate how far people will go with the right motivation.