All you need to know for this Presidential election

All you need to know to vote for President: Every US voter — Republican, Democrat, and independent — can now make an informed decision by listening, with open minds, to only two speeches and really caring about the results of the election. Because now it really comes down to a contest between the two major candidates, each with some good points, and each with some flaws. The system doesn’t have a viable 3rd candidate. This is what we have — a system of compromises and choices.

You can stop reading this if you fall into one of several (hopefully, small) groups:

  • If you’re dead-set on voting based on one or two single issues, then you don’t have an open mind, and this won’t make a difference — you might as well stop now and move to a country where that single issue is supported (or not, as your biases dictate).  So, if everything you decide is based on whether the government can tell women what to do with their bodies or you hate homosexuals, you could (for instance) move to Iran where they also ban women’s choices and execute gay people, and voila!  Against government funded health care?  Move to Somalia  where even private healthcare is hard to find. Want strict border control?  Move to North Korea, where approaching the border from either side is a nearly certain death. Problems solved and you have a home for your one-issue biases!
  • If you always vote for the same political party no matter how incoherent or venal the candidates (e.g., you think Herman Cain  or Anthony Weiner are appropriate leadership material) then you really don’t care what happens to the country, so don’t bother reading further. Maybe move to China or Cuba, where there is only one party and everyone votes for it.  You’d be happier not being faced with a decision you don’t choose to consider.
  • If you’ve already decided you’re going to “Vote against the Mormon” or “Vote against the black Muslim,” then you’re an uninformed bigot. It doesn’t matter if you think you’re open minded or fair, you’re quite simply a bigot. Do the country a favor and get therapy; especially don’t pass it along to any children you might have.
  • If you are pathetically uninformed — you think New Mexico is not in the US, you ask questions like this in public, you believe that there is something called “legitimate rape,” you think evolution is false and shouldn’t be taught in schools, you think you can see Russia from your front porch, or anything else pathetically ignorant, then you are a danger to yourself and others.  You probably gave up reading this far, but please take advantage of any remedial education opportunities available to you.  And don’t vote — you are likely to hurt others, if not yourself.
  • If you are convinced it doesn’t matter because the world is secretly run by the Illuminati or extraterrestrials, or that a UN one-world government will soon send in the black helicopters to put us in FEMA-run death camps, then you might want to talk to a health professional about your convictions.  There are medications that will help you feel less isolated and threatened, and can actually make those nasty threats go away.  And please, please, we beg you, stop voting for Michele Bachmann!

But if you read this far (especially if you understood words like “pathetically” and “venal”), and you really care about the future of the USA, then this may help. (If you don’t like either candidate for various reasons, you are not alone.  We don’t have a “none of the above” in our elections.  But don’t stay away from voting because of this: not voting is the same as giving a partial endorsement to the eventual winner…who you may think is more odious than the other candidate.)

First of all, be sure you are registered to vote on November 6. Call or visit your elections board — especially if you are a member of a minority group or a naturalized citizen (in some states, there has been a concerted effort to disenfranchise your vote in the guise of preventing “election fraud”).  If you have any concerns or questions at all, contact the non-partisan League of Women’s Voters.  DO IT TODAY!  Some states have deadlines to register or protest not being on the voter rolls — don’t be left out!  Find out what ID (if any) your state requires to vote, and get it.  Again, call the League for assistance and details.  Get your friends and family to do the same.

Now to the part about helping you decide.

Think for a moment — who can provide deep insight about the office of President?  Who can talk to the challenges, the stresses, the tradeoffs, the incredible demands made in that office?  Who can provide the perspective of handling domestic and foreign pressures?  Well, if you want to know what it is like to be a pilot, you ask a pilot.  If you want to know what is involved in fixing a car, you ask someone who is (or was) a mechanic.  If you want to understand organic chemistry, you ask a chemist.

And if you want to know the minutiae about what it takes to be President, ask a former President.

Luckily, we have two former 2-term Presidents on hand.  Each served 8 years in office, with great approval and support of their respective political parties.  Each gained a lot of insight about what is needed to be an effective President.

So, listen, with an open mind, to Bill Clinton’s speech at the DNC last night (9/5), about President Obama. The press described it in quite positive terms (e.g., the NY Times article).  What I’ve seen so far from Politifact and other fact-checking sites give Bill Clinton’s statements a mostly thumbs-up (unlike the large number of less-than-candid statements in Paul Ryan’s RNC speech, for instance, which even Fox News labeled as deceiving). If you don’t want to listen to the speech (which is really quite good) then at least read the transcript.  It’s full of good information and facts — definitely food for thought.

For comparison, we should contrast President Clinton’s remarks against those of his successor, President George W. Bush.

Unfortunately, I was occupied last week and didn’t get to watch the Republican National Convention.  However, Im sure that with George W. Bush a two-term former President (same as Clinton), who the GOP enthusiastically supported, he must have had a prominent place front-and-center at the Convention. I expect he must have given a spirited defense of the Romney platform — which would reinstate his own administration’s polices on taxes, regulation, trickle down economics, cutting support for public programs, and overseas military intervention. With those policies, President Bush helped turn a budget surplus into a $1 trillion deficit, got us into two wars with hundreds of thousands of casualties, and presided over a major economic downturn that led to millions losing their jobs. I’m sure he has compelling insights to share in support of why the country should bring those policies back, and he shared those with the rest of the GOP and nation.  And of course the proud GOP leadership would want to remind the world about the accomplishments of their party’s last President.  Right?

However, I didn’t watch all of the televised RNC, and I can’t seem to find anything archived of when President Bush spoke there to defend his policies and show his enthusiasm for Mr Romney. I’m sure it’s an oversight — the GOP couldn’t possibly be ashamed of their record and hiding one of their stars.   Maybe they had a rousing endorsement speech by Dick Cheney at the convention, too?  If so, I can’t seem to find that, either.

Hmm, maybe you’re better than I am at this Internet thing.  So, once you find President Bush’s speech about Romney at the convention — about how bringing back his policies will help the nation — please send us the URL.  I’m sure when we compare the two speeches, the conclusion about how to vote will be crystal clear.

(PS. It’s worth noting that the majority of Congressional candidates fall into line, generally, behind one candidate or the other, so this comparison can also help inform your decisions on them, but you should get more info about your specific candidates rather than vote a party line. But be informed — for instance,  about the Senate Republicans’ principal goal so important to them  in helping the nation during times of trouble should build strong opinions.)

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9 Responses to “All you need to know for this Presidential election”

  1. An Immigrant from another 1st-World Western Nation Says:

    I completely disagree with this. Yes, vote, but this posting comes aross as “accept your fate America, get onboard with the 2-party corporatist establishment and vote for one of the 2 major party candidates”. This is what is wrong with America. The consitituion did not enshrine the “2-party system”. Both sides lie, obstruct, are selfish and have only their corporate benefactors interests at heart.

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    Sapf sez:
    I didn’t write what you are imputing. I know what the Constitution says. I wrote that the contest is down to one of the major party candidates. That does not suggest that there can’t be viable 3rd parties, or that there shouldn’t be such parties. I didn’t write that you had to vote for either of those two candidates, either.

    I wrote that the contest comes down to those two major candidates now, and there is no viable third party. Everything else is your own projection onto what I wrote.

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  2. An Immigrant from another 1st-World Western Nation Says:

    Whether you realize it or not, you imply it with this sentence “This is what we have — a system of compromises and choices.” We DO NOT have to compromise, but alas, the marority of the sheeple do. Who cares if there are no viable 3rd party candidates. The fact that the sheeple don’t realize the power they actually have to organize and vote for someone more honest and deserving for the highest office in the land is the travesty here. And respectfully sir, postings like yours (where the majority of folks will “misinterpret” your prose just like I did) are part of the problem, not the solution.

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    Spaf sez — I chose my words carefully to mean what they said. Our system is, indeed, one of compromises and choices. The only way there would be no compromises is if each of us was a candidate for office — anything else will be a compromise, and even that might be one. And anything with a vote implies choice. One of the big problems we have right now is that there are too many people at the extremes who refuse to consider any compromise, so nothing happens.

    If there are people with biases who interpret my words to be something other than what they say, that is their problem. That you saw an implication is your projection, and not my intent.

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    • Dorothy Fritch Richey Says:

      At this point in time, a third candidate vote would be wasted..The two major parties would pull in possibly two thirds of the votes or more and as long as the majority wins, most likely a new party would not win. Maybe at some time in the future and it is made public that a strong third party run and is in the front line, it could be discussed and voted on.

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  3. Jeremy Rasmussen Says:

    Spaf, I recommend two books: “The Amateur” by Ed Klein, and “Obama’s America” by D’Souza. In the former, we find an incredibly inept, unready candidate full of naïveté and hubris, as evidenced by such dumb quotes as: “If I don’t have this done in three years, then there’s going to be a one-term proposition.” (Which I think we should hold him to, by the way). It is clear from this that he was elected only for being a symbol (i.e., a stand against racism), rather than for any experience or skills he had to offer for the position. This is perfectly reflected by the Nobel Peace Prize he received for doing, well, nothing. In the latter book, D’Souza proffers a theory that Obama was reared and inculcated with anti-colonialist doctrine, which seems plausible given Obama’s own writings in “Dreams From My Fathers” and in his actions in office that tend to weaken America’s standing in the world and revile prosperity.

    I fully concur that the Republicans were culpable in running up debt themselves, but their errors pale in comparison to the current regime’s financial irresponsibility, as reflected by our $16 trillion in debt. The candidates the GOP is offering aren’t perfect either, but I do believe them when they say they will focus on lowering debt and fixing the economy. I am in the majority for believing Romney/Ryan are the more apt ticket to do this. Given that the president and Senate have failed to pass a single budget in three years, there is no credible reason to believe they plan to address these issues whatsoever. We are at a net loss of about 1.8 million jobs since Obama took office, and today’s unemployment numbers don’t look much better. I believe that people leaning toward Obama are doing so based solely on emotion and not logic.

    ==========
    spaf sez — I don’t agree with some of your conclusion in the first paragraph. However, I’m not going to respond to the first paragraph because I don’t think it is relevant to any of my post.

    As to the bit about the deficit, non-partisan studies have concluded (repeatedly) that the bulk of the current deficit has arisen from the Bush tax cuts and the two wars started by Dubbya. (See, for example, http://snipurl.com/24xkp6r) It is also not surprising that it has not come down during a major economic recession. In fact, general economic theory says that debt reduction during a recession is not the best policy — what is happening in Greece, Spain, and England (among others in Europe) is what happens when that is the priority. But that’s a longer and more nuanced discussion than can fit in here, either.

    As far as failing to pass a budget, that is a problem with Congress, and particularly the House. They’ve passed a highly-partisan budget that cut health care and social services, included riders they knew were unacceptable, and have repeatedly failed to seek any compromise. In the Senate, the GOP has exercised more filibusters than any time in history, with McConnell’s statement that their first priority was to keep Obama from being reelected, rather than to help the country. Congress has historically been able to pass budgets when compromise to the middle is made, but there are too many demagogues involved now (Tea Party types, especially).

    As for job losses, the biggest loss was in the months leading up to the election, and it didn’t stop instantaneously, but it couldn’t as there were fundamental structural issues in play that took some time to fix. There have been steady job increases for years. Not as fast as anyone would like, but not losses.

    There are other issues in your response I could quibble with, but this is not the venue to do that. I will point out that
    a) your comment that “..the majority for believing Romney/Ryan are the more apt…” is rather questionable. I have seen no reliable poll that shows that the majority believes this. And even if so, the majority believe a number of false things. Heck, Romney won’t even disclose the specifics of his economic policy so it can be evaluated! The only things stated are to revert to the Bush policies that put us in this hole and caused the problems.
    b) “…people leaning toward Obama are doing so based solely on emotion…” is demonstrably false. A great many people favoring Obama are well informed, follow what is going on in DC, understand issues of economics and civics, and are not operating primarily on emotion.

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  4. Jeremy Rasmussen Says:

    I meant to say “The Roots of Obama’s Rage” by D’Souza, the book which is the basis for the film “2016: Obama’s America.”

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  5. Sunday Morning Musings: Space Shuttle Route, -Stan, Yelp, Vegas History, Porn, and More Politics « Observations Along the Road Says:

    […] it looking to be put on a pedestal… he’s hoping that one day his plinth will come). Gene posted a link recently to his blog, where he wrote about all you need to know for this Presiden…. Well worth reading… and worth asking yourselves why the Republicans didn’t trot out a […]

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  6. Jay Heiser Says:

    I agree, with you, and with many Republicans, that the GOP seems to be going crazy. Ignoring their last 8 years in the White House is certainly not a show of strength on their part. But you are suggesting that a vote for a 3rd party is a vote that is thrown away, and I have to push back on that.

    However bad the choices we are confronted with this time around, we should have every reason to believe it will be worse the next time around, if we are stuck with the same two parties. Obama hasn’t really done a great job, and the fact that Romney is doing so poorly against such a weak candidate is more than enough evidence that most people are treating this as a choice of the lesser of two undesirable candidates.

    I would submit that a vote for either the GOP or Dems is a vote for the continuation of a party-based system that is becoming increasingly counter-productive and unsustainable. Mickey Edwards makes a very compelling case in his new book, “The Parties Versus the People,” that the system which has evolved in America is almost not a democracy right now. It seems the case that both of these candidates is more concerned with the success of their party, than they are with the success of me.

    I’ve given serious consideration to all the candidates. Splitting my time between OH and VA, I’ve been barraged with political advertisements from both sides that are clearly aimed at those that have already made up their mind (given that I may be the last undecided voter left in America, its understandable why neither party is using their promotional budget to reach out to me). Both parties are corrupt, and neither party fully represents my POV, so why should I have the least obligation to vote for either?

    Until Americans have the courage to walk away from these two parties, we will be stuck with the bastards.

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  7. The Road to a New Dark Age in the US « Spaf's Thoughts Says:

    […] All you need to know for this Presidential election […]

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  8. Anita Says:

    I totally agree with the need to vote. Unfortunately people have fallen into an Apathetic state. You need to vigorously communicate with your elected officials no matter what your opinion. As far as letting ideology usurp science I would like you to look at the curriculum that is currently mandated in NY State. At the 3rd grade level teachers are required to work with reading books that teach Taliban as vocabulary, show pictures of people getting shot with machine guns etc. How does this support anything but teaching hatred, bigotry and narrow mindedness. This I believe is done in the interest of improving education scores and measuring teacher effectiveness. Teachers are evaluated on the basis of improvements. Children that are scoring above grade level and in honors programs as saying “The teachers don’t want to teach us.” Those children are already at the highest level and the teachers don’t get “credit” for keeping those children at the highest level. Additionally, the children that are labeled as special needs, or developmentally challenged as subject to the same cirriculum,. How does that support science and education? Another “ideology” that has usurped science. When are they going to admit that everyone’s intellect, abilities and gifts are different? Education should enable everyone to get to their highest, best or happiest potential. We are not all the same. Just throwing money at education is not the answer. We need programs that allow teachers to teach their classes to get the best results for the students, not the administrators, the exams, or the courts. We need to inspire children to be excited about learning, provide a safe environment with accountability.
    As far as voting goes, Open your eyes, we now have more than 10 million more people on Food stamps than we did 4 years ago, We have a budget deficit MUCH larger that it was 4 years ago, we have many more people unemployed that we did 4 years ago, We have many many people working 2 and 3 part time jobs because they can’t find a full time job. We have people who have taken pay cuts and benefit cuts to keep their jobs than 4 years ago. We have fuel prices that have doubled. Grocery prices have skyrocketed, as the fuel costs permeate the cost of everything. We have parts of the US (New Mexico) that have been declared unsafe for US citizens due to the run away drug trafficking, and then the federal government sues NM and AZ for enforcing illegal immigration policies. We have illegal immigrants being granted drivers licenses, food stamps, medicaid and other subsidies while legal citizens go jobless and hungry. They say it is to much of an Inconvenience to require positive ID when voting, but you need to show ID to buy beer or wine, apply for a drivers license, or open a bank account. We have a secretary of state that is supporting a UN resolutions that states you cant state anything negative about Islam, (but you can say anything you want about any other religion). We have a housing market that have suffered from record foreclosures and collapse and not going to get better until people can get solid employment. We have a stock market that is not responding to the economic indicators. Who is controlling that? And our main stream news media? They present a narrow viewpoint that sells. Watch the BBC and you will find out more about our own country and the world.
    Almost all of these problems were created by our federal government through changing regulations (mandating very liberal loaning policies by banks), not enforcing laws and regulations (penalties that cost less that doing it legally) and inaction. VOTE!

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