Monday, October 09, 2006

Politcal Observations

I've had a couple of months in which I did not have really too much to talk about, so, I basically have passed on clips that I have found elsewhere. It was geared more towards the "loafing" side, but definitely not very creative. Rick has posted an excellent post on voting over at Good Coffee. Frustrated with the current state of politics, he is going to make a stand a simply vote blank at the polls. The best line is in his follow up post is that the politicians are telling us "what I want to hear" instead of "what you want to say."

Here are two observations about the state of elections

1. You gotta pick a Team: In America, nothing gets someone fired up like rooting for a team. And in politics, for all practical purposes, we have two teams. How do you know which team you should be on? Well, you have to determine if you are a liberal or a conservative: those labels describe the two ends of the scale, and if you really want to root for your team, you have to be on your team's side. It is, after all "Us versus Them."

2. You gotta learn everything you can about your guy and the other guy from media adds. Life is too busy, and your time is valuable. They can some up every thing that is right about your guy and everything that is wrong about the other guy in thirty seconds or less. And if you can not persuade about their guy, they will simply play to your fears. That way, all you have to remember about the other guys is that you are scared of the other guy.

Life tends to get busy, and many of us (hand is raised here) do not have much inclination to research the person who we end up voting for. But, here is what I am going to do.

  1. Make a list of the things that are important to me. Don't make it a list of "The Issues," but what, as a citizen of the United States of America, is important to your pursuit of life, liberty and happiness.

  2. Ask yourself, how does "being" a Republican, Democrat, Libertarian etc, fulfill your pursuit of life, liberty and happiness? Have your past voting patterns been based solely on political affiliations or has it been based on what is on that list of yours?

  3. Find out who is going to be on the ballot. If they are an incumbent, dig around and see how they shake out on that list. I would advise digging a little deeper on their record because candidates voting records are often muddled by other items that have gotten attached to what they are voting for. No one said politics was clean.

  4. Find out what issues are going to be on the ballot. Virgina has amendment on the ballot this year for same sex marriage. I need to really think about why I would,or would not, want such an amendment to be made to my state's constitution. Unfortunately, many people already have their minds made up, and will never truly consider the issue until the day they walk in. I have settled it in my heart already, and perhaps I will write on that some more.

  5. Do not forget: The State is not it's government, it is it's People.

No one will fulfill all of your list. The people running are prone to mistakes, just like we are. But hopefully, there is someone who best represents your personal goals. Look for that person.

1 comment:

James said...

Charles, I don't know where to begin, so I will end with this: good suggestions. There are few things in the political arena I wish for more than an informed electorate.