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Archive for Election Day

The Undecided

Okay, so it’s election season and the cartoons have been few and far between. I’m sorry, okay, a lot’s been on my plate lately, and since this is my NON-paid gig, it sits in the backseat.

I am going to make a declaration that may sound outrageous upon first utterance. This Tuesday, I do not think everybody should vote. In fact, I strongly believe that some people should not vote. Now that may sound harsh, and perhaps it is a little, so let me clarify. I do believe that every informed person should vote. That’s a big distinction.

“It’s your right!” come the calls from those who are trying to get one demographic or another to the polls to swing it favorably their direction. Yes, and with all rights, there comes responsibility.

YouTube is full of videos mocking the uninformed voters, people who cannot even name the vice president of the opposing party. (Some who cannot even name the VP of the person they just voted for!) It amazes me when I find out the reasons why people support certain candidates in any given election. Usually it’s because they believe the negative ads against the other person. But other reasons include likeability, swagger, good looks… What is this, the high school prom?!?

And what really boggles my mind is the so-called undecided demographic. How can you be undecided? No one should ever be undecided. Let me break it down for you. You have core values. These can be broken down into economic issues, social issues, and foreign affairs issues. Each party (notice I said party, not person) has made statements about where they stand as a party on those issues. You find out which aligns most correctly to yours and you vote the party ticket.

You and I can disagree on the roll of government, and that’s fine. We can argue those merits based upon our own understanding of history and I’ll let you throw in your vote for the Democrat party. But if you are pro-life, believe in private property rights and favor a strong military, it does not make sense to me that you would vote Democrat, simply because he’s cooler than the Republican.

Every voter should know where they stand on all of the ballot issues before they arrive at the polls on election day. To be reading the questions for the first time is foolish. And then to cast a vote, just so they don’t have empty spaces on their ballot is even worse. Let me clue you in. If you don’t know, don’t vote! An incomplete ballot is still counted! It is perfectly fine to show up on election day and just vote for president (or county sheriff, whichever you’re most passionate about). Your vote will count. And you won’t inadvertently be voting for a cause or person that just might not align with your values.

The founding fathers originally felt that only land owners should be allowed to vote. I certainly am not advocating we go back to this, but they had a point. They knew that if you owned land, you had to be intelligent enough to make that transaction a reality. And an intelligent voter is always an informed voter. There is no national intelligence requirement for elections, nor would I wish for one (I could see abuses in that in a hurry), but people should at least be informed on the issues.

I don’t remember the exact quote, but it’s from Thomas Jefferson and goes something like, “the uninformed electorate are tools in the hands of a despot.” How true that is. If we can be swayed by razzle, dazzle, then only we are to blame when we vote away our freedoms.

 

The moving discourse of political opinion

Do we allow our opinions to be swayed by other’s distortion of facts? For instance, I noticed a lot of venom against Ken Buck by many of my friends, due to the political ads leveled against him. Yet, many of those ads were wholly false and on the verge of being libelous. So are the uncalled for poisonous feelings toward Buck fueled by those ads or are they justified by them?

Having met him in person, Ken Buck is a decent man and a gentleman. He’s not afraid to speak the truth and to answer questions from his heart, perhaps his downfall as a politician. The same cannot be said of Michael Bennett, whom even my liberal friends have admitted is a bit spineless. (How he beat Andrew Romanoff in the primaries still confounds me. I guess Democrats prefer losers.)

The horrible nature of the attack ads is never justified, and it bothers me that so many place their opinions of individuals on those ads. Another example is the one against John Odom, and I have no idea whether he is a Republican or a Democrat, just that I know that the ad is a mistruth from the start. The ad states he failed to file for a renewal on his business with the Secretary of State and that his business was described as delinquent. Newsflash: Anytime you wish to cease doing business under a certain name in the state of Colorado, all you need to do is not file the following year. When this happens, the business goes into a *gasp* deliquent status, which simply means it is not currently registered. There is nothing illegal, wrong, unethical or immoral about this. In fact, it is common procedure and it can describe hundreds of no longer functioning businesses out there. Yet the ad writers are counting on the fact that the voting public does not know this and therefore would be shocked into voting against John Odom.

What cowardace! Why can’t we run on our accomplishments instead of against fake charges on our opponents? And why can’t Americans see through the falsities for what they really are? The reason attack ads are used is because they work. That’s a sad commentary for our society.

Ed Perlmutter’s ENTIRE campaign was about how Ryan Frazier shipped jobs overseas (itself a gross distortion of the truth). Never once did Perlmutter talk about the legislation he helped pass during his four years. Why not?

Say what you will about John Hickenlooper, but I respect the man and his campaign. Not one attack ad was leveled against Tom or Dan. That’s how a campaign should be run.

Sweeping Conservative Victories in Europe


When Democrats won sweeping victories in 2006 and 2008, constantly we were bombarded with stories in the media asking, “is this the end of conservatism? Is this the end of the Reagan era?” “The Republican party is now an endangered species, conservatism is dead!” was the conclusion made by some.

I find it interesting, now that the European elections indicate a swing to the right, there is scant coverage of it in our presses. I haven’t found a single story questioning whether Democratic Socialism is now dead in Europe. In fact, I had to dig deep just to find the election results themselves!

For conservatives, the results are a promising sign. America is usually a few years behind the European trend (I’m still waiting for European style jeans to show up at my local Kohl’s). What is boggling my mind now is why on earth is the Republican party shifting left? Polls indicate that America is still a center-right nation, and some Democrats have won victories by campaigning to the right of their Republican counterparts. With Europe moving right and America remaining to the right, the Republican party must either love losing, or they are power hungry, sacrificing principle for what they believe will be the quick vote.

My hope is that true conservatives will run solid campaigns on what conservatives hold dear: limited government, more individual freedom and responsibility (like the freedom to choose which kind of lightbulb I want to use) and fiscal responsibility. My next hope is that they keep their promises once in office.

Politicians that keep their promises? Now that would be news.

The Day After the Election


Those of us who have been through a few election cycles know that nothing really ever changes. The candidates make feel-good promises that could never really be implemented without some sort of consequence, and yet we buy into it, follow the hype, buddy up to our candidate and hammer in those yard signs. It seems both sides make the move to the center, contrary to how they historically have voted. This year the Democrats have especially done so, but to be fair and objective (like there is such a thing, anywhere), this toon lampoons both sides.

Tax cuts, strong defense, limited spending, pro small business, wait a minute, those are Republican talking points! Use the federal government to stop corporate greed? Now my side is sounding like Democrats! Anecdotally, I occasionally hear individuals talking about how they will support a certain Democrat candidate because they promise to reach across the aisle and be bipartisan. When it was brought to their attention that said candidate was one of the most liberal in the House or Senate and has yet to reach across the aisle, according to readily available congressional records, those people merely replied with, “but now they say they will this time.”

A liberal will always be a liberal and a conservative will always be a conservative and a campaign promise is not worth a whole lot. It amazes me how some people vote based on what a candidate says rather than what a candidate has done.

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