Voting Criteria Revisited  

Thursday, February 07, 2008


In my last post on Voting Criteria I listed five criteria for deciding on a candidate: Upholding the Constitution, Education, Civil Liberties, Health Care, and Immigration Reform. After reading the comments and thinking about it some more, I don't think I can narrow it down to just five criteria. It's just too narrow. So I'm going to add some more that are blatantly missing off the previous list. I'm not going to rank them because it's just too difficult. So consider them of equal importance.

The Economy
While I think the economy is much too complex for a President to have control over it, I do think the President does have an impact through policy. I'm not pointing fingers because I'm really pretty ignorant on this subject, but the national debt bothers me and I feel it's had a huge impact on our economy, from the value of the dollar, to the earning power of the average American. Originally I didn't add this one to the list because I don't think I'm educated enough on economic theory to be a good judge and I doubt I can really learn enough between now and November to know what I'm evaluating. So definitely don't take my word on my future ratings in this category.

Foreign Policy
I didn't add this one because I thought a President that addressed my five criteria would probably do well in improving our foreign relations. But maybe that's not a good assumption to make. Certainly diplomacy should be considered.

The Environment
Honestly, this one is important to me and I overlooked it. I think it's important for our government to encourage renewable energy research and raise the standards for MPG and CO2 emissions across the board. And there are many reasons to encourage Americans to conserve and move towards a less wasteful society.

So where is this all going? What I might do, if I can steal a page from Vistaluna and rate each candidate on a scale from 1 to 5. I think it'd be good to set a minimum in the beginning for someone to meet my requirements and then rate each candidate, add it all up, and see how the candidates score and if they meet my *ahem* high standards.

But really, the process isn't that easy for deciding, so I'll have to think about it some more. Anyone have any suggestions?

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Deciding on a Candidate
Voting Criteria

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15 comments: to “ Voting Criteria Revisited

  • the chaplain
    Thursday, February 7, 2008 at 6:46:00 PM CST  

    It's good that you didn't fall into the trap of thinking, "Okay, I've got my list, I'm ready to vote now." An awful lot is going to happen between now and November and all of us will probably have to review our priorities and options repeatedly.

  • The Exterminator
    Thursday, February 7, 2008 at 7:35:00 PM CST  

    I think you should wear that hat from the picture into the voting booth. See if anyone accuses you of being disrespectful.

    I grew up and lived much of my adulthood in New York City. I've seen that beautiful statue many times. But even now, the words on the pedestal give me the chills. I can actually recite the last part of the poem from memory:

    Give me your tired your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!


    Notice that there's nothing there about sending those pesky illegal immigrants back to their countries; or how this is a nation by, of, and for the Christians; or even about how sometimes you just gotta torture your enemies.

    I think I'd be impressed with any candidate who could quote that and seem like he or she meant it.

  • Vistaluna
    Friday, February 8, 2008 at 11:33:00 AM CST  

    Unfortunately, the list is getting narrowed for us. It would be more "fun" if it really was a tough decision and we had to weigh a lot of pros and cons and evaluate all the criteria.

    But in MY opinion, the Republicans are all falling over each other to prove who is the most conservative and who can keep us in Iraq the longest (with the exception of Ron Paul). They are all promising tax cuts and offering no plan to solve the impending social security or medicare crisis. Honestly, I think these Republicans WANT those programs to go bankrupt and die. And if that's what they want, they should just say so instead of doing this cowardly shit of setting things up so that these programs can't possibly succeed.

    If we want to have a discussion about whether this country should have Social Security at all, then lets have that discussion. Otherwise, we have to proceed forward with the commitments we have made.

    So, my decision has become easy. I'm voting for whichever democrat gets the nomination. Any negatives or concerns I have about Hillary or Barack just are never going to amount to the staggering concerns I have about McCain and Huckabee. :)

  • John Evo
    Friday, February 8, 2008 at 12:48:00 PM CST  

    Moonview - I totally agree. OG offers some great points on things to consider when looking at the 20 or so potential candidates in the two parties. But we are far beyond that... we are basically down to 3 candidates and it couldn't be clearer what is at stake in this election.

    What continues to bewilder me is - and maybe someone can explain this: why do lower income Republicans (Below $50,000 a year for a family of four) and are NOT particularly concerned with religious issues, continue to stick with these guys who do not in ANY SENSE represent their best interests?

    Don't get me wrong - I'm not a Democrat. But there really is no other choice that can beat these guys so I think you really have to vote Dem in this election.

  • Ordinary Girl
    Friday, February 8, 2008 at 12:50:00 PM CST  

    Vistaluna, I think that's the first time I've ever seen you curse. Now I can think of you as a proper heathen. Welcome to the club! ;)

    Evo, I'd rather keep my mind open for the time being. It's a long time until November, especially for political maneuvering.

  • Mamacita Chilena
    Friday, February 8, 2008 at 4:13:00 PM CST  

    I really know so little about economics and I have never really been able to grasp how much control politicians actually have on the way things are going. I mean, do any of them actually want the dollar to be crashing in value? I doubt it. But is there much they can? For some reason I assume there's not or they would've already done it. Maybe I'm wrong.

    John Evo, do Republicans exist that are not concerned with religious issues??? I've never met one.

  • Mamacita Chilena
    Friday, February 8, 2008 at 4:18:00 PM CST  

    Oh yeah, and I should clarify that I mentioned the crashing dollar just as an example but it really has hit me hard. I work online so I'm paid in dollars, but then I take money out of my bank in pesos. The exchange that I used to get when I got here 3 years ago was 750 Chilean Pesos (CPS) to the dollar. Now I'm getting something like 450. I make $32,000 a year, so annually this is what I used to get:

    CPS $24,000,000.

    This is what I get now annually if the dollars stays where it is and doesn't continue to drop (or magically rise):

    CPS $14,400,000.

    That makes a HUGE difference in my standard of living here.

    For the first amount, I could buy a one bedroom apartment here. For the second amount I couldn't even afford to buy a studio apartment here.

    Just thought you guys might interested, because I know when you're in the U.S. when the dollar is declining you don't feel it as much.

  • PhillyChief
    Friday, February 8, 2008 at 11:47:00 PM CST  

    I'm starting to think they all suck. No one's going to fix the economy or improve foreign relations and if they were more green it wouldn't matter since China, Russia and others will continue to grossly pollute and overuse their resources. No, the only thing left is in whose hands will the Constitution be safest?

  • John Evo
    Saturday, February 9, 2008 at 1:27:00 AM CST  

    Mamacita asked me: John Evo, do Republicans exist that are not concerned with religious issues??? I've never met one.

    Well... hmmmm....

    I have to admit that the ones I know are all religious to a degree. But I HEAR that there is this phenomenon known as "economic conservatives".

    They are supposedly always in this shaky alliance with religious conservatives. They use each other to get what they want.

    Then there's the third group - national security conservatives (who are often related to the economic ones).

    I think the latter two groups pay a lot of lip service to the religious ones, don't really give a fuck about abortion or prayer or whether or not we teach evolution, but say the "right things" to keep the religious conservatives on-board and voting with them.

    If you notice, the latter two usually get their way once they get the leaders they want and nothing ever really changes for the religious conservatives. But they have no other place to go and are also too stupid to figure out that guys like Reagan and Bush 2 never really get their agenda passed so they keep right on voting for them!

    Anyway, I'm not a political junkie, so someone like Ex or Philly might correct me on my analysis.

  • Venjanz
    Saturday, February 9, 2008 at 3:22:00 AM CST  

    I think I can shed some light on conservative issues for you Evo, though I have always been registered as an Independent. Before anything else, it’s important to remember that Republican does not always equal conservative (just look at Arnold, for instance).

    Most conservatives consider themselves religious at some level, even if in practice they are not. I would even hazard to guess the same goes for the majority of liberals in America. Being a group of atheists, you may be tempted to think that Christian issues are the driving force behind conservatism-it’s not, really.

    Your “three groups” are not far off the mark, John. Here is a very blunt explanation:

    People (like my self) that consider Economic Conservatism the most important issue, and largely comprise the Center and Libertarian wing of the Republican Party, are the free-market capitalists, the Goldwater-Reagan Conservatives, or “The Base” as it is called.

    The National Security Conservatives are the “Neo-Cons,” i.e. the Bush Administration and supporters.

    The Christian Conservatives, or “Religious Right,” are die-hard Evangelical Christians, mostly in the Mid-West and South.

    It works like this: Both The Base and Neo-Cons want to court the Religious Right vote because they have a powerful voting block, say about 25-30% of the Party. These votes are guaranteed.

    The Base feels betrayed by the Neo-Cons because of their liberal economic policies, and authoritarian trampling of the Constitution.

    The RR, led by Hucklebuck, have decided to join forces with the Neo-Cons for some reason, and now the Neo-Con Republican candidate, John McCain, will get the nomination.

    If any of you listen to talk radio, (really listen to it, not just read what Media Matters says about them) the conservative hosts can classified this way:

    Rush, Savage, Boortz, Levin = The Base

    Hannity, O’Reilly = Neo-Cons

    Don’t be shocked if McCain chooses Huckabee as his running mate.

  • PhillyChief
    Saturday, February 9, 2008 at 9:09:00 AM CST  

    That's why Huckleberry isn't dropping out, right? To force himself as McCain's running mate.

    So you're telling me Rush isn't a neo-con as well?

  • Mamacita Chilena
    Saturday, February 9, 2008 at 9:22:00 PM CST  

    Interesting, glad I'm came back to read the responses. Thanks guys.

  • Venjanz
    Sunday, February 10, 2008 at 2:07:00 AM CST  

    No Philly, Rush is not a NeoCon. He is what is known as a Paleoconservative. This Wikipedia can explain his views and the views of The Base much better than I can:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paleoconservatism

  • the chaplain
    Sunday, February 10, 2008 at 1:58:00 PM CST  

    Venjanz - thanks for the breakdown of the conservative factions. I found it very helpful.

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