Outside of the USA, it’s hard to find an election cycle that lasts longer than 100 days. Of course here at home, we’ve been in election season for just under twenty billion days. What’s that you say? I’m exaggerating? I’m allowing my emotions to distort plain hard facts? But isn’t that what election years are all about?
It’s tempting to just stay out of it this year, but as parents we’ve got a responsibility to wade into the nasty and do the best we can. So here are apps to help you deal intelligently with this election year without making outrage your part-time job.
Here’s an independent news app that’s updated daily with commentary, polling results, and links to dive deeper into key resources on real, practical issues.
It’ll keep you updated and conversant on the big stories, but keep your critical cap on. Real Clear Politics does not generate content, but curates them from a wide variety of reputable sources. Taken individually, some pieces will be biased from one side or another, taken as a deep well of information, the biases tend to level out.
Where Real Clear Politics is about the pure intake of good information, Countable lets you respond in a real, immediate, meaningful way. As you read unbiased arguments for and against decisions, you’ll get to vote Yea or Nay and record videos of your opinions. Countable will then send all that to your lawmakers.
This way we can all can stop ranting in comment sections and spend our social media time judging celebrities for losing or gaining or staying at their current weight.
This one is so great, but it comes with a serious warning label. BuyPartisan lets shoppers scan any product and see the political contributions of that company’s CEO, board of directors, and political action committees.
It’s incredibly empowering to walk the aisles knowing what political pockets your grocery cash is going into. And there’s nothing more American than making a statement by buying a certain kind of peanut butter.
But watch out, Pandora. This box is tough to shut. Once you start scrutinizing the political ties of your kids' favorite cereals, it gets hard to whistle while you shop. You’ve been warned.
To get a similar grip on the motivations behind media outlets, give Politomix a try. It gathers good informational content similar to Real Clear Politics, but Politomix color codes every piece based on the general political leaning of that source.
For good results, make sure you read pieces from the left, right, and middle. For even better results, pay attention to which sources give you the strongest grasp on the nuances of an issue. Whatever their color coding, those should become your go-to sources.
This one bills itself as a smart reader. Once you’ve figured out some go-to sources you respect and more or less trust, you can use Longform to follow those writers and publications. You’ll get notified when they publish new articles.
You can also recommend good pieces and read recommendations from friends, as well as browse articles curated by the Longform staff. You’ll still need that critical cap, but this app will help you filter out writers and outlets you’d rather not hear from.
No matter how informed and objective you become as a voter, sometimes in the coming months you’re going to need to get out some aggression. Ninja Dude vs Zombies lets you tap and slash your way through hordes of undead.
Honestly, does it have anything to do with the 2017 election? Yes. But will it actually help you make informed decisions in November? Big time.
Torch is the smart, wifi router for connected families.