Wednesday, September 26, 2012

You Have to Get Past the BS (Decision 2012)

For those who wander through life unaware of world events, this is a presidential election year.

What that means is a few things. First is the obvious that at least three people are competing for the job of chief executive officer of the United States of America:  Romney, Johnson, and incumbent Obama.

It also means that, like happens every two years, every seat in the US House of Representatives is also holding an election in each congressional district.

It also means that approximately 1/3 of the US Senate is also headed to the polls for, by Constitutional Amendment, the citizens of the respective states to decide who will represent them in that house of the legislature.

Among those national elections that greatly impact the immediate and long-term futures of our great republic, there are also several state and local level elections to determine who will enter office and govern at those levels.

Another thing this means is that lawful, registered voters have some hard decisions to make. Some who qualify to vote will abstain and not bother to register (or, if registered, won't bother).

As with every election, this will mark the first big election cycle for many new voters who turned 18 within the past two years or so (or are energized enough to finally start voting). Today, September 25, 2012, is "national voter registration day", marking one of the last chances for many of them to register. I have had the honor to speak, chat, text, or otherwise interact with a few new voters in the past week.

One of them truly is currently undecided. That new voter confessed that she did not follow the primaries and finds the news depressing. She also admitted that she trusts the information and rhetoric she has encountered in new media only slightly more than she does the mainstream media. Most of her information has come from campaign commercials and word of mouth.

She asked me why I back the candidates I back. I answered her as honestly as I could. Next she asked about certain issues and what she had heard about one of the candidates. The majority of what she had heard was blatantly false. Those who spoke to her not only attempted to push the hyperbole of one party, but had mutated  that hyperbole into ridiculous lies.

I was honest about my bias and where it stems from. Those who have approached me understand that. I do not attempt to hide it. However, I also caveat my answers with a statement about making up one's own mind based upon verifiable facts and not heated rhetoric. I was asked specifically why I backed whom I did and about my thoughts surrounding these lies. So, I pulled the veil away about the lies and presented honest facts, then explained how I support the candidates I support. So, I was asked for a biased opinion and analysis. If asked to just state the issues, the platforms, and the constitutional facts, I could have restricted my answers accordingly.

Here are a couple of the lies. "[Candidate X wants to make birth control illegal". None of the candidates I was asked about, pro or con, wants to make birth control illegal. Even if the presidential candidates have moral issues with birth control, the president does not make laws, though Obama believes he has that power.

"[Candidate X] wants to steal federal funding of Planned Parenthood". Well, federal law already did that. The laws were voted on in Congress and passed years ago. As an NPO and NGO, groups such as Planned Parenthood, the Boy Scouts of America, AARP, NAACP, etc. should not receive federal tax money anyway. It is actually not a constitutional allocation of federal revenue. So, it's a moot issue.

Those examples demonstrated a serious lack of education. Before graduating high school, turning 18, and registering to vote, citizens should take a non-partisan class on the US Constitution and its history. Why? Well, if voters pulled out that rather short document and read it, they would know what each federal-level elected office is responsible to do, is authorized to do, and what it is expressly forbidden to. They would rest their eyes on some key amendments as well, such as the 10th, which states that anything not explicitly stated in the US Constitution as a federal authority/responsibility is reserved to the states and individual citizens. In other words, if it isn't in there, they can't do it. That pure and simple truth should eliminate much of the diatribe posited by all sides. Of course, in reading that supreme law of the land (not a guideline), the voters will also plainly see who has violated that supreme law, and who intends to violate it more.

It is the responsibility of a law-abiding citizen to vote. In accomplishing that responsibility, it is implicit that they do their diligence and do some research. This is NOT a popularity contest. We are not voting for prom queen. We are voting for our economic future. We are voting on our national sovereignty. We are voting on our individual rights, to include personal property (both physical and intellectual) -- otherwise known as the "pursuit of happiness". To get past the BS, you need to read. You need to do some math and check the math of a few other people. You need to ask important questions based in the real issues (not the shiny "gaffe of the day") and on the US Constitution. 

Personally, I voluntarily sacrificed, for 24 years of my adult life, much of my individual sovereignty in order to support and defend the citizens of  this great republic and the supreme law that governs it. Now, I intend to enjoy those basic natural rights and constitutional rights I spent so long fighting to defend. I see one candidate who has chipped away at those and seeks to deprive my fellow citizens and I of more of those rights. In actuality, I am not voting for one candidate. I am voting for the one candidate who stands the best chance of defeating the one that threatens all that I hold most dear. I am voting for somebody with a track record of professionalism and competency and against an amateur whose ideology is contrary to our Constitution.

But that is my informed decision. Each voter needs to get the facts (not emotive rhetoric), check that supreme law, and make their own decision.