The smartest thing American voters can do in 2012 is put aside the party based thinking and look at the desired outcome of the election on a candidate by candidate basis.
Before you are in the booth and ready to pull the trigger, consider the following questions:
· Are you in favor of those who can afford it, paying more in taxes, especially if they are willing?
· Are you in favor of favoring the individuals who make over $250K/year over those that do not?
· Are you in favor of everyone paying for their own health care, regardless as to the cost?
· Are you in favor of allowing our taxes to cover some of the health care costs?
· Are you in favor of allowing the market to manage wages and jobs without the interaction of government agencies?
· Are you in favor of shutting down or privatizing the post office?
· Are you in favor of privatizing social security?
· Are you in favor of eliminating health care choices for women based on religious belief, ignoring medical necessity?
· Are you in favor of rebuilding the middle class?
· Are you in favor of the American people receiving the same benefits of paying taxes as our Congressmen and Congresswomen?
· Are you tired of Credit card and Credit Agencies taking advantage of consumers (jacking up interest rates without provocation and regardless of loyalty etc.)?
· Are you concerned at all about the number of military campaigns we are engaged in around the globe?
· Do you consider national border defense to be a top priority?
· What are your feelings with regard to immigration and foreign workers paying taxes on income earned in the United States?
Based on this caliber of question and your response to them, the next step is to become educated about which candidate supports the outcome you desire, and then vote, even if that person isn’t a member of the right “party”. We the people can choose to empower the advocates for the outcome we desire. But we need to become educated regarding what those candidates are aiming to accomplish. We need to use our “power” as the people of this nation to express how our “leaders” should represent our wishes.
Supporting a party, if you desire, should be done through finances if you agree with the majority of their agenda. Supporting an ideal and working to achieve an outcome is something that requires action at the voting booth. Sometimes the two coincide. Sometimes they don’t. As in sports, you can support a team in general and completely disagree with a player or a coach. Support the team by wearing the jerseys or buying tickets to the games, but don’t hesitate to blog or comment on the stupid decisions made by individuals. Just because you criticize a player or coach, doesn’t mean you no longer support the team. Sometimes the team reputation transcends the reputation and actions of one participant… unfortunately sometimes it doesn’t. The GOP may experience that first hand next year.
Just to add a little confusion to an already complicated process, recent events have made it clear that party lines aren’t what they used to be. In some cases those lines appear more rigid, forcing members to abdicate party support because it no longer reflects their own convictions and goals. Sometimes it isn’t the candidate’s choice to leave the party.
As the Karen Kwiatkowski for Congress website states, “Virginia’s Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, and several other elected Republicans, were recently excommunicated by the Republican Party of Virginia for endorsing an Independent over the GOP-preferred Republican. That’s a serious crime around here, bucking the party.” The site also commented that, “The facts have not been kind to the Republican Party over the adult lifetimes of most Americans.”
So keep this in mind when it comes time to press the button, throw the switch, punch the chad, poke the hole, and mark the box or whatever action is necessary in your local district to cast your vote. You have options as a voter to support an individual because they reach to achieve objectives that match your own goals or to support a party which may or may not be cannibalizing its own candidates.
Or you can realize that we already have someone in office that leads with the following statements: “When middle-class families can no longer afford to buy the goods and services that businesses are selling, it drags down the entire economy, from top to bottom…” And, “This isn’t about class warfare. This is about the nation’s welfare. It’s about making choices that benefit not just the people who’ve done fantastically well over the last few decades, but that benefits the middle class, and those fighting to get to the middle class, and the economy as a whole.” Both of those statements were made by President Barak Obama earlier this month in Kansas. Personally, I wouldn’t care what “party” he was associated with if he could simply hold on to those ideas.
If you can relate to those statements, if you agree that the lower class needs a hand up instead of a hand out and that the economy is a delicate balance between consumers, producers and businesses, you need to realize that regardless of “party” affiliations, we have someone already in office that is working on our behalf. He might have to fight a bit harder to win for us, he is facing quite a bit of resistance, but he is at least attempting to do so. Can you say that about any of the other candidates and representatives either running or currently in office? If you can, then support them too! If you can’t say that about anyone else currently in office, you might reconsider letting them stay in office.