Let’s get something out of the way before we begin. Neither candidate currently running for president deserves the title. Neither one will change the world, and neither one will get us out of the respective messes we are currently embroiled in. These are simple observations.

What happened to our country? Take a minute and answer that question for me. Look at the people around you, the things you are presented with day after day on television. Can you answer that question for me, please?

We worship people who completely destroy their lives. We put “reality” TV on every channel. Honey Boo Boo is on The Learning Channel, for crying out loud. This isn’t the worst thing we have done to this nation, though.

No, the absolute worst thing we have done to America is that we have chosen to allow politics—and politicians—to create a divide in this nation that no one can bridge.

Chosen is a word choice that some may not agree with, but it is the only way that this situation we have gotten ourselves in can be described. We lock ourselves in to websites and channels that spin the news in a way that we want to hear. We only listen to what others have to say if we agree with them. If it’s not what our party wants, then it must be a lie.

News is no longer presented to the people without some kind of spin. As a journalist, it’s sickening to see. Objectivity has always been my goal, even in this opinions section.

Yes, some articles have been written to present one perspective on an issue, but the other side has been equally represented. That’s why the “vesus” articles exits. To give both sides a voice and present it to you, for you to decide.

News as entertainment is only half the problem, though, even though it is the root of the problem. The other half is the politicians themselves. They follow the party line, whether or not that’s what their constituents want. Because if they didn’t, the so-called “news” would hound them.

We have allowed politics to become a game, one that is played by two teams, Republicans and Democrats. There may be other parties, but in all honesty, these are the only two that matter.

America is divided, separated into supporters of either side. If you like the other, you become un-American in the eyes of said party. We fight one another and we have put the emphasis of elections on winning and losing. We don’t have to provide the best candidate, just one that can beat the other guy. Because if our guy wins, we win.

It would never have happened if we didn’t continue to perpetrate this despicable behavior. But we did, and we continue to do so. Don’t vote for our guy because he’s good, vote for him because it’ll get the other guy out. These words we actually said during this election season.

Have we forgotten the true meaning of this season? It’s not about winning. It’s about electing the best people to represent us. People who sacrifice their time to make America a better place. People who should be the best men and women for the job. To make sure that all Americans have equal rights and are protected from harm, physical or otherwise.

We can, however, stop this before it gets even more out of hand than it has. All it’ll take is a lot of work.

The first step is to stop supporting the spun, subjective “news” channels that have taken over politics. Support sites that try to spread objective journalism. Yes, they will be hard to find, and yes, it will be kind of boring. It’ll be news, something that hasn’t been seen in a long time.

The next step is to educate yourselves on what politicians really stand for. Don’t let someone tell you what you want to hear—their records are all available for you to see. Take the time to look and find them. Once again, it’ll be boring, but at least you’ll be politically literate when you’re done.

Finally, don’t be a follower. Don’t just do something because some talking head tells you to. Vote for who you think will represent you and your interests best. You have a voice. Don’t let it be drowned out by the screaming heads.