Russ Kent Column: Ignore the mind-numbing rhetoric; Make your own decision when you vote

Get out and vote Tuesday.

It’s your duty.

But ignore the false rhetoric, and vote with your own heart and head.

In the greatest time of political unrest since the war in Vietnam — if not the Civil War — voters have more reason than ever to get to the ballot box and let their opinions be known.

Unfortunately, only about four in 10 Americans will vote No. 6. According to the website, the average turnout across the nation for a mid-term election is about 40 percent.

That’s shameful, because about 99 out of 100 Americans will be complaining Wednesday about Tuesday’s results.

Aim Media, which owns the Galion Inquirer, is not endorsing candidates or issues for the general election. There is a story on the front page of today’s Galion Inquirer. It is an analysis piece on the Ohio governor’s race between Mike DeWine and Richard Cordray. On Wednesday, we ran an analysis piece on Ohio Issue 1.

In Crawford County, there is one countywide issue: The Crawford County Criminal and Administrative Justice Levy. It asks voters to say yes or no to a 0.5 percent sales and use tax for the purpose of supporting criminal and administrative justice. Although there are no “contested” races in Crawford County, several races do have write-in candidates.

The course of this nation will be determined by how Americans vote in congressional races and who they elect in numerous governor’s races and who they send to their state legislatures.

If you love the way this nation is going, vote in a manner that helps to continue that trend.

If you hate the way this nation is going, vote for candidates that agree with your views.

Elections have changed in recent years. Today, most candidates don’t advertise in local newspapers. They go straight to social media — which costs little to nothing. On social media, they also can say and do as they please with little chance that anyone will refute what they say.

Sadly, with the cuts in manpower at newspapers and other local media companies, local issues and candidates aren’t covered as they were in the past.

Also, most large, national media companies are too “Right” or too “Left” to present unbiased election news.

That means most voters never hear two sides of political stories anymore.

And that makes life really difficult for voters who actually want to learn the facts before casting their votes.

On the plus side, I have a feeling most voters don’t really care about hearing two sides of a story. Like the national media, they are either right or left and care little about the other side.

There is no middle ground in America anymore.

How else do you explain the last two years?

My only pre-election advice to voters is to ignore pre-election polls.

It became obvious in the last presidential election that you can’t believe them. Polling companies — and the national media that hires them — are as partisan as voters. Pollsters develop questions designed to verify or reinforce whatever pre-planned conclusion they wish to share. The media reports those skewed results as fact.

How else do you explain Election Night in 2016?

It was strange to see the stupefied looks as pollsters and members of the national media watched the 2016 results roll in. It became comical to watch them become completely unhinged as the evening wore on and everything they had predicted — and hoped for — went awry.

The pollsters were 100 percent wrong.

And we’re expected to trust them again?

The media was 100 percent wrong, and they didn’t even try to hide their anger and disgust.

I have little faith pollsters will be any more accurate Tuesday.

I have even less faith that the national media will behave any better.

The problem in American is not Donald Trump, nor Hillary Clinton, nor Nancy Pelosi, nor Barack Obama.

It’s the people who report on Trump, Clinton, Pelosi and Obama.

Until the pro-Trump media on Fox and the anti-Trump media on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and PBS admit their biases, the anger and hate-talk and violence in America is only going to get worse.

That is a scary thought.

The role of the national media used to be one of a non-biased, non-partisan, non-political watchdog.

Today’s national media has no interest in being a watchdog. The role of today’s national media is to breed anger and mistrust and hatred, and it has ramped up that role since 2016.

There is the Fox way, or the CNN/MSNBC way. There is the “Right” way or the “Left” way. There is the right way or the wrong way.

I don’t see that changing, which frightens me.

I fear our next Civil War is not far away.