Yes, I am a registered Republican. No, I had no intention of voting for Obama in a gazillion years. But I did the research to the best of my ability and this is where I ended up. So be it – see my Google Spreadsheet Doc for my primitive scoring method 😀 (Note: Google Docs is chopping off the Justice Party candidate, Rocky Anderson, but there were enough gaps in issue coverage that I didn’t actually score him).
VOTE BASED ON BELIEF
This year I made a pledge, and I intend to keep it. I pledged never to vote out of fear. What that means is, people constantly tell me that if I don’t vote for a Republican or a Democrat, I am just wasting my vote because those are the two biggest parties, and there is no hope for the other candidates to win.
Guess who makes that possible? Yep, the people who told me that. So, I pledge, for the rest of my days, that I will never vote for a Republican or a Democrat just because I am scared to vote for somebody else. Ross Perot got 19 million votes back in the 90s as an Independent. The bottom line is, if all Americans would vote for the BEST CANDIDATE, regardless of party, the system would represent them better. That’s what I believe, and I encourage everyone to throw the two-party fear out the window and vote based on their beliefs!
However, for that to work there would need to be more visibility to the other parties and their candidates! But that’s a separate diatribe. The bottom line here is, I am going to research who is running and then I am going to vote for the people who best represent my interests.
So, what are my interests? If I am going match someone to them, I guess I had better figure that out.
The election is tomorrow. I know, I should have started sooner. Oh well. I need to do some research. So, I sat down and came up with 30 issues that were important to me – 30 things I would like to see happen in the United States of America. I guess this would be considered a “platform” with the exception that there are so many issues that must be faced by any platform, and then drilling into those issues down to the details is impossible at the platform level.
My list of 30 issues is in a separate document – and really I could have added so many more. I wrote what I wanted to see, roughly (again very high level). That is, until I got to Healthcare. I needed to do some additional writing before I decided what I wanted to see happen.
Thinking about healthcare… first the question is, does every person deserve healthcare in an advanced nation? I think so. But I also think there are limits. For example, you child is rushed to the hospital. She’s 15, class president, and is already being eyed by various educational in situations for her promise as an academic superstar. She needs an immediate heart transplant.
500 miles away, a slightly insane invalid walks in front of a truck screaming obscenities and is run over. He is rushed to a hospital. In order to survive he needs a heart transplant. OK, I know the odds of this are slim, but you see where it goes… Who gets the attention?? Who gets to make the choice?
5 years later, the girl is flunking on her scholarship, she is strung out on drugs and dies of a heart attack – the received heart is ruined, while the slightly insane invalid receives the heart, and they find out that improved blood flow is enough to get him back on his feet. Even though he is always kinda weird, he starts a homeless shelter, writes a book about it, and changes how shelters are run across the United States. Who gets the attention, access to finite resources, under healthcare for everyone?
The second question is, presume everyone is entitled to healthcare, and so this person decides he wants to commit suicide by lighting himself on fire. It doesn’t kill him, but through the flames he realizes he wants to live and now requires years of surgeries and rehab, at taxpayers expense. Later, maybe he goes on tour and becomes a major force in suicide prevention and self help…or maybe he turns out to be the psychopath that goes into the re-release of Nightmare on Elm Street dressed as Freddy and kills 5 people. How do we handle people who invite risk/violence into their lives? Do they get the same level of care?
Beyond those types of situations, I think everyone should get wellness exams, shots, medication, and basic care. To some extent, provided they didn’t intentionally invite the situation into their lives, I think they deserve advanced medical care (unless they want to pay some kind of risk premium ahead of time)…but enforcing that would be difficult at best. It might cost more than the medical attention. And in the case of finite resources (transplants), I am clueless how to solve that issue…it seems too important to leave to chance, and yet as soon as we try to qualify a recipient…the door to favoritism opens and human corruption steps in.
Now, I had my list of 30. I decided to see if there was a party out there that was even close. There wasn’t. I found this website (http://www.politics1.com/parties.htm), which seems to explain a lot about the different parties out there (although I don’t know how accurate it is). It was useful. If I had to characterize myself, I think I am somewhere close to being in:
Modern Whig Party: http://www.modernwhig.org/handbook/who-are-modern-whigs/what-we-believe
Their position seemed interesting but a bit vague – I mean, based on their explanation, I get the position of discovery thing, but how will that process be conducted, assessed, etc. How will decision be made? Plus, the bias for veterans seemed a bit out of place – I have a huge appreciation for veterans, but there are many heroes that never wear a uniform and don’t get benefits either, so I would just want things to be fair…
The Justice party: http://www.justicepartyusa.net/
They had some interesting perspectives, but there environmental bend, although not bad, seemed over dominant compared to my list, and their thirst for prosecution seemed a bit spooky. I could almost hear the spittle welling up in their mouths as I read about it… eww!
The Reform Party (closer to 2012 version, not the old one): http://reformparty.org/about/core-principles/
They had some interesting views, but there were a lot of agreements they wanted to shut down, and their bend on immigration seemed over the top. Immigration didn’t even make my top 30… scary how many important topics there are…but I am not about shutting down immigration. That’s like shutting down gun sales… it doesn’t stop anything, just shifts who does the trafficking.
Ultimately then, no one platform seems to align with what I am looking to accomplish. I think I will stay registered as a Republican, but operate as an Independent. Maybe I will start my own platform…I mean I did Walk for President this year. Let me know if you write me in. Hee Hee.
Out of this research, something interesting has come to light. I was talking to a cohort in the office today, and they said people can’t vote on platform. I wasn’t sure I agreed, but after this research, I do agree. There’s too many issues. No one platform will represent them or serve as a guide to how the candidate will interpret their platform. And a lot of platforms contain candidates all over the spectrum, or who have, themselves, bounced from platform position to platform position.
So, in the end, it isn’t about platform. It’s about the candidate, and whether or not they will, with integrity and diligence, represent me and my interests for my country.
So it is 3:45 AM and I have read every candidate BIO I could get my hands on (literally I have reviewed mainstream all the way to people trying to prove the NSA is out to kill them) – only scored 4 presidential ones: Barrack Obama, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul and Andre Barnett. It’s been great, but details are in the spreadsheet, and on my BALLOT TEMPLATE!! Muahah.
I know it wasn’t rocket science, but it depresses me that the president I will be voting for only meets 25% of my top 30 issues. Then again, I could probably list 100 issues. Of course, I don’t know if that would drive the overall match percentage up…or even further down. It also doesn’t help that my research is incomplete – it is based solely off the issues listed on the candidate’s campaign website…not based on other research sites which might have gathered quotes that may have flushed out some of my issues at hand.
Plus, having read all the different issues, I question if my top 30 are truly MY top 30 anymore. Oh well… there’s always 2016. But then, I should be running instead of walking by then 😉
I voted for 3 Democrats (for one position 2 Democrats were running, there was no other choice!), 1 Republican, and 1 Green Party member. All my voting was done based on what the candidate SAID they would support, as best as I could match it to what I felt was important. ZERO PARTY VOTING.
Of course the next step is to evaluate their performance based on their commitments, right? Also, over time I think it is easier to research as I go instead all at the last minute…it’s just hard when the media reports fluff and plays on emotions…I want objective facts.
And in closing, all I can say is, I don’t think ANY of the candidates have what it takes to address my issues – the only person who has that is me, and it it just underscores our need to participate in civic duty and not rely on proxies – only Americans can truly save America, and our system, from the campaign engine to the economic machine to the little schoolhouse on the hill, it all needs to be updated and brought to the same advanced state as all the gadgets we carry with us.
Cheers and Happy Voting!!