Wednesday, August 29, 2007

One Man, One Vote

Earlier, on this blog and others, I have expressed my determination to vote for the candidate I consider best regardless of party affiliation, strategic maneuvering or media bias. This led to a number of questions about pragmatism, expediency and consequences. There were also a few requests for elaboration on the logic (or madness) behind my decision, thus this posting.

Let me begin, gentle reader, by stating my position. I believe that it is my responsibility as an American citizen to define for myself what values, skills, education, opinions and experience are necessary to hold a public office and then find the best qualified candidate for that office and vote for him/her. I regard this as a somewhat private process and a solemn duty. I have not always thought so, but as time passes, I have learned more and so have come to this position.

I have been noticing a definite tendency in the media to influence the public towards one or two candidates almost as soon as a race is announced. I find this to be a highly objectionable tendency, and, on a personal level, extremely intrusive. I do not mind being informed of who is running for office. This is a service and the proper role of the media. I do mind having those candidates sorted into “most likely to have a shot” and “also ran” categories for me. This is a despicable manipulation of the election process and any journalist who engages in it should be sternly reprimanded. (And, one would hope, ashamed of themselves.)

By participating in this sort of manipulation they create the illusion that my vote is worthless if I don’t cast it in favor of their choice of “Most likely to have a shot”. For many voters this leads to an apathy which causes them not to participate at all. After all, if their vote is worthless unless cast for someone who doesn’t represent their views, why vote?

The truth is that we each have exactly one vote and a responsibility to do our homework and cast it according to our conscience. In years past, it may have been an onerous task to get good information about those lesser known candidates, but with the advent of the internet we, as Americans are without excuse.

I refuse to believe that Americans are too stupid or lazy to make the effort to research the best candidate. I believe we are better than that and a good deal smarter than the mainstream media often give us credit for.

I am not so foolish as to believe that this realization will come overnight to the bulk of Americans. I am not so foolish as to expect the major parties to go out of their way to promote such an idea. I am also not so full of myself as to believe that by simply voicing the idea in a small forum such as this, it may have an effect. But when I look at the big picture, I find myself thinking: if not me, who, and if not now, when? So I appeal to the American voter to do the research and find the candidate of YOUR choice, not the one with the most fundraising ability or the one most touted in the press or even the one who might fulfill some personal wish to see a minority or a woman in an office traditionally held by a man, but the best candidate for the job.

Vote your conscience America, I will.


Michael Tams said...

Mom, you're a principled one, and that's what we all love about you.

Regardless of party affiliation? Surely you hold that some parties are inherently more destructive than others, and you would therefore rule out potential candidates based specifically upon party affiliation, no?


Call Me Mom said...

In my view, a "qualified" individual is one who will do the right thing regardless of his/her party's stated positions. So, no, party affiliation is not necessarily a disqualification in my view, unless it is clear that the individual would toe the party line despite their individual ethics, which would, of course, remove them from "qualified" status as far as I'm concerned.

My reasoning for this requirement of personal character is that anyone holding a leadership position will come to a place eventually where all that is between their constituents and disaster is their own strength of character. Someone who reverts to the party line in that place rather than holding to their own principles is not fit for the office.

Vanishing American said...

Good post, Mom. Good advice for us all.
I am still working on narrowing down my choices for President; I've got it down to two choices.
I agree with you about principles before party labels. I have voted third party in the past (though not in the last few elections) and I will do so in 2008 if the presidential candidate is not a pro-sovereignty conservative with the American people's interests at heart.

Terry Morris said...

If Guiliani gets the republican nomination, and Hillary or Obama (or whoever) gets the democrat nomination, then who does that leave me with?

I guess we'll have to see, in that case, what my choices are for third party candidates.

But Mom, you didn't insert my line I suggested so let me do it:

If you're a liberal, don't vote your conscience because it's very likely that it's misinforming you. Elsewise, why would you be a liberal?

Okay, so I changed it up a little, so sue me. ;)

Call Me Mom said...

Thanks VA, I appreciate your feedback.

Mr. Morris, that leaves you with exactly the same number of votes you started with, one.

I figured you would get that statement refined a bit and post it

Terry Morris said...

"Mr. Morris, that leaves you with exactly the same number of votes you started with, one."

Yes; but what am I to do with it under that scenario? I may be forced, this go-around, to stick it in my hip pocket. Like I've indicated before, that would be less taxing on my conscience than casting my vote for someone like rudy or hillary, or obama.

But of course the nominees have not yet been determined, so I'm holding out hope. Oh, and by the way, that doesn't mean I'll not vote in the Congressional elections. And it does not mean I wouldn't vote for someone like Romney were he to get the republican nomination, so try not to read too much into this.


P.S., as to what Mike said about party affiliation, I have said before that the democrat party is the closest thing to absolute corruption between the respective parties, particularly on the national level. Their platform and all that they stand for, or virtually all that they stand for (quite openly, btw) is anathema to traditional Americanism. Hillary, Obama, Edwards, Kerry, Kennedy, Schumer, et al, these are not extreme democrats, these are mainstream democrats because the democrat liberal agenda is consistent with their worldview. It's a whole lot like so-called 'islamic extremists,' vs. 'moderate islam.' There's no condemnation or backlash against the 'extremists' in islam from their 'moderate' brethren because the latter understand that these are really consistent with what islam is fundamentally.

Call Me Mom said...

Well Mr, Webster and Mr. Tams,
assuming that my candidate of choice doesn't get a major party nomination, and also assuming that my candidate of choice did not choose to continue running at that point in the race, I would then be forced to write them in.

Terry Morris said...

"I figured you would get that statement refined a bit and post it yourself. lol"

Mom, you know me too well already. But do I really mean what I say about liberals not voting their consciences? Of course.