Thursday, January 5, 2012

How To Make Up Your Own Mind (Decision 2012)

Now that I am no longer in the active military, I can openly say that I am a libertarian-leaning conservative. I think those who have seen my article and comments over the past six months or so have pretty much figured that out.

Those who have read my previous articles can probably also surmise that I am opposed to Obama's reelection to a second term. I could take the time here to explain how Obama has corrupted our country and greatly overstepped his Constitutional authority. I could also spend my time trying to convince you that he has done so not out of incompetence and inexperience but out of direst design and desire. However, I won't. I will leave those seeds planted for your own research and consideration, for the time being.

In one of my previous articles, I also explained how Ron Paul and his supporters dissuaded me against voting for Dr. Paul. As days go by, those reasons are confirmed more an more. I am now at the point that my analysis and reason predict that Ron Paul would be just as if not more dangerous in the Oval Office than our current president. My mind will not be changed on the subject. Attempting to do so, you will undoubtedly just serve to prove my assessments correct. Do not bother.

I am still largely undecided on whom I will vote for. I will say that one of the candidates has stepped ahead of the field, in my view. However, the race is far from over and I still have more than a month to make up my mind before my state's primary.

Bachman has pulled herself from the race, narrowing the field. Huntsman's abysmal showing in Iowa has probably signaled the end of his campaign. However, there are still 49 primaries to go. However slim, he does still stand a chance. It is laughable that Herman Cain did almost as well, though no longer in the race.

That leaves the other candidates. I could go over what I perceive as the merits and faults of each. I may as the Arizona Primary comes closer. I state all of the above, however, to press some key points. The first point is that these are my decisions, my observations, and my evaluations. I have made informed and conscious choices.

Choice!

Our country is built upon certain key concepts including the founding principles of "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness". Liberty is contingent upon Choice. Choice equates to Free Will. Free Will is a power. It is a divine authority. It is also a responsibility. In political decisions, casting a vote just to toe a party line or go with what is "popular" is to give up that choice to another person. To tell somebody how they must vote, like trade unions so often do, is to steal that choice. That is just as great a sin as murder in my view. So, don't let somebody else do that to you. Do not do it to yourself.

Now is the time to start making up your mind. Even if Obama is your guy, you owe it to yourself to look at your other options. It is irresponsible to not do so.

I am going to take a page right out of Obama's "How to Convince Your Family" playbook on this. Obama took it from Ailinsky. Ailinsky took it from a Libertarian thinker named Robert A Heinlein. Heinlein too it from Voltaire and other political philosophers. Here it is:

Who Do You Plan To Vote For, and Do They Have Your Best Interests At Heart?

Don't worry about your neighbor. He has to do the same thing. He will most likely do so out of self-interests.

I do not care to hear your answers. I will not try to convince you in this article or in its comments section. I want you to ask yourself that question, and write down your own answer. I want you to read it to yourself. Then I want you to think about it.

If you are not sure who that person is, don't worry. The rest of this still applies and may help you to make up your mind.

Next, I want you to write out what you want out of somebody in that office. Prioritize that list. Just try it. Don't write "so and so will do this". Nope, that will come later. Just write down the issues or attributes, the subjects most important to YOU.

Next, across the top, write out EVERY candidate's name. Yes, that means even if they are NOT in your party. Go ahead, indulge me and increase your own power of choice in the process.

Now you have to get to work. That means it is research time.

You need to research each candidate's record on each issue. What HAVE they done.
Next, you need to research what each promises to do on each issue. Use their words, not some pundit's. There are debates and ads out there that contain that information.

If one of them brings up some other issue, adjudicate it with yours. It may be the same thing with different terminology. It may be something you haven't thought of. You may find this important to you. You may not care. Check out what the issue is to be sure.

Now, the next step is the really painful one. Pull out your copy of the US Constitution. Yes, that old thing. That old document is OUR contract with those we CHOOSE to put in office. It says what they are allowed to do and not allowed to do, by office.

Now you get to go scratch off every issue you listed that is NOT in the authority of that office. After doing that, you need to THINK CRITICALLY and ask "how is this person going to accomplish this when they don't have the authority to do it?" (People failed to do this with Obama. The answer has overwhelmingly become "he doesn't care about the US Constitution").

You'll not that this system, called an ACH (Analysis of Comparative Hypothesis) works for any elected office, be it legislator, sheriff, President, or Governor.

It is highly unlikely that any single candidate will cover everything the way you like. However, one should emerge as the best choice. That is the one you should make.

In your data, you can use opinions of experts, coworkers, neighbors, and the news media. Make sure you do your own fact checking. The Main Stream Media is biased. You can argue CNN versus Fox versus MSDNC. However, they are ALL biased. They have already picked for you and will try to convince you they are correct. Look at some of the atypical news sources such as the blogosphere. Some articles out there are rather unbiased. Some are biased, but not in the direction of the MSM. You have to sift through the opinion and extract the facts. Another source of facts are congressional voting records and public records of executive policies. Even those few with no previous "public record" have data on their previous decisions and policies in company and corporate sites.

I will state the Rasmussen, Heritage, Goldwater, Hillsdale, and a few other watch-dog, analysis groups have done an amount of that work for you. I still double check the data because I am not the most trusting soul in the world. They are mostly accurate and not overly biased (based upon records of personal fact checking).

Now I will put out one large bit of caution to you. If you are "Pro-Life" or "Anti-Abortion", you need to rethink how important that issue is to you. Here's the common sense, factual, drop-dead reason why:

Abortion will most likely not be outlawed in my lifetime, and probably not in yours either. Thanks to Roe v Wade, it will take a Constitutional Amendment to do so. As easy as that sounds, research the process. You will need over 2/3 of both houses of congress to be on your side. You will have to hope some other issue they feel more important won't lead them to compromise and cross that political line to the other side. Then you have to wonder about if the majority of the governors of the states will back the amendment. the issue is so volatile that most elected officials won't touch such an amendment. If they do, they risk alienating key voters and constituents, whether they are for or against. Abstainment is the option of choice. And the office of the President can't do anything about it. It is not a Presidential issue. It is a legislative one. Any views I have one way or the other don't change those facts. As soon as you check out the process for amending the Constitution,and look at that dose of reality, you'll see how futile it is. And yes, you can thank the SCOTUS that decided/ruled on Roe v Wade for this reality.

The same could be said of several other issues.

If you fail to critically think about all your options, all the candidates, you shoot yourself in the foot. If vote, blindly, for somebody "just because...", you shoot the whole country in the foot. If you fail to vote, you have no right to complain. You chose not to care enough. Suck it up, princess. You let somebody else chose your bed. You are stuck with it until the next election comes around.

The only thing worse than not voting, is voting blindly. I know several who voted for Obama in 2008 "just because...". Now they regret not having done their diligence. Guess what? The facts were out there. those of us who DID the diligence, well, we told you so. Now is the time to gather your data, think for yourself, and make up your OWN mind.

The race is on. Time is ticking. Get cracking. It isn't as though your future and the futures of your kids are at stake. Oh wait, They are.