Three Corners Media Launches Political FAQs
In journalism, a backgrounder is information that gives context to the current topic. When used properly, it enhances the reader’s knowledge of the event being described and places a wider lens of perspective into the reader’s mind so that other topics might be linked to the issues at hand. In many ways, this is the purpose of PoliticalFAQs.com.
In today’s fast-paced society, we often move at such a speed that contemplation and context are lost. Even in education this has become a problem. Our concerns about the cost of higher education have become reasons to accelerate the learning process, so 16 week semesters have now become eight week courses. Instead of face-to-face with instructors to whom students could inquire and “fill the tree of knowledge” so to speak, we now have discussion boards: good, but not the same. Hopefully, this website will help fill some of this void.
Additionally, as adults, we are busy running between work, kids’ practices, and various other commitments, all the while catching news in mostly sound bites. As this website grows in content, it will serve as additional information for adults who want and seek the background information so often missing in today’s world.
News clips and sound bites all too often run the vital element of public debate within the policy making process. In our rush-about world, it is easy to forget events of the past that might illuminate our current situation. This is the purpose of a backgrounder: the perspective that provides information concerning past failures and successes and works well for those of us selecting representatives who make the policy decisions we live with everyday. Is this important? Yes, in fact I will argue that it is vital to our future. Let’s take a look at one example.
Currently, as happens periodically, we are in a debate about tax reform. Some people advocate the elimination, or severe downward adjustment, of the primary home mortgage interest deduction on our federal income tax return. What would be the result of such a change? Massive would be the answer. Why? Because the deduction increases the wealth of many middle class Americans, that is why. Allowing the deduction incentivizes more Americans to buy homes. Most do not have the cash to buy a home outright, so they borrow the money. As they pay their monthly bill on the mortgages, they gain equity in their homes. Because of the deduction, they have cash available for home repairs, car repairs, clothes, money for vacations, etc. All of this keeps the money circulating through the current economy while building a wealth asset for the homeowner. This is commonly known as a win-win situation.
Understanding the possible ramifications of our political decisions is vital to self-government. However, we cannot process this information without a solid foundation of knowledge. This will be the first step for PoliticalFAQs.com.
We begin this website with the first goal of providing supplementary information for the study of American government. Foundations, rights and liberties, branches, participation, and policy making will be addressed in a format made for today’s learning. Each topic is presented as a FAQs Sheet, and then divided into subtopics presented as Frequently Asked Question about American government. This is followed by the short answer (good for review right before an examination), and then the detail of the answer which serves to enhance class discussion or a possible essay exam. So, you might ask, how does this system and content function as a backgrounder? Ok, this question is fair enough.
In any class, repetition is essential in learning. Very, very few people work a math problem once and then proficiently perform the task with each subsequent effort. So it is with all learning. Even we as adults have trouble when, over time, we forget, or more rightly cannot retrieve, information we have known for years. Also, we might only get part of the answer and context in the course lecture and textbook. A reliable supplementary source would be very helpful in this situation. Therefore, we offer PoliticalFAQs.com.
On this Constitution Day, it seems fitting to unveil a resource intended to broaden our understanding of the very complex constitutional system that we live within every single day. Thomas Jefferson pointed out that we have government controlled by those who participate. If we do not inform ourselves, our participation is diminished in scope and results. With this goal of informed self-government, to perpetuate this goal for future generations, and to provide an optional source of information for the public debate of policy, PoliticalFAQs.com is duly delivered to the American public with great hope for the future preservation of our constitutional system.