Monday, November 9, 2009

Voting and Vetting.

I wanted to take a few minutes to speak quickly to a statement posted on a previous blog post of mine by an anonymous commenter:

A vote for a Democrat or a vote for a Republican doesn't necessarily mean the voter is in support of EVERYTHING that candidate espouses.

Well, yes it is.

We live in a Democratic Republic. Our Founding Fathers knew that We the People did not have time, nor interest, in showing up at the polls every week to vote on every little law, bill, resolution or proclamation that comes up. So they set up a system of government in which We the People would choose those that we feel would best represent our positions to make those decisions on our behalf.

We choose, from a pool of candidates, those that espouse the ideals that we stand behind, believe in, feel is best, etc..... to put up for election to those offices. Just because you know what GOOD that person will do, does not mean you cannot also distance yourself from what kind of BAD that person intends to do on your behalf. If you vote for that person, you are giving them license - you are telling them that if they run on that platform - you agree with that platform - all aspects of it.

This is why getting involved in the pre-primary level is so important, regardless of party. I don't care what letter you have listed on your voter card...but if you do not get involved and look into the entire platform someone is standing on....well... it's the primary that gives you the opportunity to put forth, or prevent, them from being put forward. This is the pool of candidates that you will have to chose from, because after the primaries, it becomes all about the partisanship. D vs. R. (vs. L, G, etc...but let's not kid ourselves here).

Which brings up my second point I plan on making: In electing this person to represent you (that is why it is called the House of REPRESENTATIVES), you must take a look at the good AND the bad in their platform. Why do we have a two party system? Why do we classify ourselves into two basic categories? Because ultimately, (IMHO) there are two ways to decide who to put into office:

The One Who Will Do The Good You Want.

The One Who Will Not Do The Bad You Do Not Want.

When a voter choses to vote for the person who will do the good that the voter wants done, yet ignore the damage that person will also do - and then sit back and say they have no responsibility in the 'bad', it's is foolishness. You elected them in to represent you. You gave them your blessing, with your vote, to make the choices ALL OF THEM that they said they were going to make. To sit back and say "I am pro-life (or pick your topic du-jour) and don't agree with Rep. X on abortion, even though I voted for them" is a failure of you, as a citizen.

It is our duty, our obligation to get involved on some level in the process. It is our duty to vet the candidate of your choice. And then, if they do not pass the primary, to make the next best choice... and to look then at those candidates and ask yourself two very important questions:

"How much good will this person do?"

"How much damage will the person do?"

And then accept what they do, ON YOUR BEHALF, while they are in office, both the good and the bad. You voted for them. You put them in that seat. You gave them the power to do all that they said they were going to do. You take responsibility for your actions, namely, who you voted for. You take responsiblity for the damage those elected officials have done while in office.

This goes for both parties, before you think I am going to do the "all D's are bad and all R's are good".

I vote primarily along Republican lines because as a conservative, (you know, someone who wants to conserve the status quo...i.e. constitutionality, bill of rights, etc) my primary concern is what do I NOT agree on with this candidate. We will never find someone we agree with on 100% of the time. So I look at those items that I consider important, and ignore those that I do not - and when that candidate is elected - accept their votes AS MY OWN on those items.

Anonymous asked why Republicans put so much emphasis on abortion as a topic? Why do Christians put so much emphasis on voting Republican? Because we consider that topic to be very important. Plain and simple. If I choose to elect someone into office that has stated they plan on extending the pro-choice agenda, it means one of two things - I agree with the agenda, and hence choose this person as my representative, or I consider that item to be unimportant to me. So for a Christian to stand up and give credence to a Party that has chosen to stand on the Pro-Choice side of the argument again means one of two things: I agree with the agenda, and hence choose this person as my representative, or I consider that item to be unimportant to me. If you, as a Christian, find abortion to be unimportant - I suggest speaking to your Pastor.

So again, as we move past the local elections, and head full steam to this mid-term election - get involved now. Find your candidate now. Vote in the primaries. Once they are in elected into office, it's too late. (yes, i know you can recall them, but if you have ever looked into the process, it's damn near impossible)

P.S. since it is my blog - and I have the right to at least receive some respect due to the point of commenters - I have changed my settings. No more anonymous. Sorry, but my name goes by my posts. You should have the decency to do as well.


  1. I had a response entirely typed out and then clicked over screens and it was entirely deleted. So, here it goes again.The statement that you base your post around was either misinterpreted or I did not do an adequate job explaining. That statement expresses the same sentiment or at least was intended to express the same sentiment that you did when you said, "We will never find someone we agree with 100% of the time." I look at platforms and I see candidates on both sides who will do good and those on both sides who will do bad. I have to vote my conscience as does every voter. To imply that after "vetting" each candidate, the only logical or non foolish choice is by default Republican is not something I agree with. Abortion is an important issue, but my point was what has a Republican candidate done to truly change any of the abortion laws once in office. That was the point in pondering why the GOP is usually a one or two party issue, not that abortion is unimportant, but that each time a GOP is in office, the laws don't change. It would be one thing if when in office the laws did change, then it becomes a huge issue. It's like if one candidate ran on a pro-death penalty platform and the other ran on anti-death penalty promising to outlaw it, yet once in office that never happened. It becomes a non-issue if the result is the same regardless of who is in office. Simply saying you are against abortion yet doing nothing to outlaw it makes the issue obsolete. The other part of that is so many GOPers say, "I'm pro-life except..." Where does this exception come into play? Who made these arbitrary lines and why? So, is it abortion you are opposed to or the circumstances that led to the need for an abortion? I guess I don't understand how one reconciles the belief that abortion is THE issue, condemning all others who would even consider voting for a pro-choice candidate, all the while putting someone in office who a)never changes the laws and b)technically believes in abortion if the circumstances surrounding the pregnancy are "right." To suggest that my criticism of Republicans on this issue or my need for clarification on the justification for those reasons someone means abortion is unimportant to me or that it warrants a meeting with my pastor is beyond juvenile and a clear indication that you missed the point. I hope this clarifies. I'm not interested in a battle. You seem to have enough of those going these days. I normally don't even comment on your page or blog and if each comment is going to be taken so personally i'll refrain from commenting in the future because i have no interest in antagonizing you.

  2. First of are not antagonizing me, nor did I take anything personally. I encourage debate and discussion...heck, I relish it... Conversation in the spice of life, so please, comment! If I didn't want people to comment, or didn't want to cause a stir, I would never bother to post my feelings so openly or publically.

    To answer your questions you posed:

    No, I don't ALWAYS vote Republican...sometimes I vote for the Independant, sometimes for the Libertarian. It's whomever I see is going to be closest to my beliefs, WITHOUT also performing actions that I disagree with. I also look at who has a good chance of winning the election, and decide (again) who is not going to do the evil things I do not want done with my vote. When it comes down to a Democrat vs. Rebulican... I default to Republican because I KNOW that the Democrat is going to have a pro-choice agenda, amongst others.

    I am pro-life. Period. No exceptions. No rape, incest, or the like. God giveth, and God taketh away. When faced with two, possibly three candidates who have a stance all different from each other... you must take into consideration the "how much bad can they do" Now, if Candidate A says he(she) will push through any pro-choice legislation he(she) will come upon, while candidate B says that he(she) won't support any pro-choice, even though they may not aggressively pursue a pro-life stance - then this is where the "who will not do the bad" comes in. In this case...obviously the candidate that will do nothing, will at least not further the problem, until a stronger, pro-life candidate can surface.

    The Republican part of the post is because, ultimately, I find myself voting mostly along Republican lines. If you want to consider your self an Independent that votes for the person, (rather than with a particular party) then you are doing exactly what I recommended to do: vet the candidate, make your choice based on who you agree with, and who will represent you.

    As far as being "beyond juvenile" to recommend seeing a Pastor regarding the sanctity of the life of an unborn... if you honestly think that you can at any level support abortion, or those that will further a pro-life agenda, see your Pastor. I really mean that. Pray about it. You cannot hand a gun to a three year old, and claim no responsibility when the child shoots someone else. You cannot give your car keys to a 12 year old, and when they hit somebody claim no responsibility. Same here: you give your candidate the power to make a law- you must take responsibility for handing them the power to do so on your behalf.

    If you are not a part of the solution, you are a part of the problem.

    Like I said, doesn't antagonize me...feel free to comment all you want. Also, if that feels disjointed, I hate these small comment windows - I tend to ramble because I forgot what I said above...

  3. And I do agree that we will NEVER find someone whom we agree with 100% of the time. I completely understood that.

    My argument is this:

    Abortion is a big deal.

    Watch this video...sums it up better than I can:

    Yes, there are other things that are important, as well, don't get me wrong in the least bit on that...we could go into cap and trade, healthcare reform, welfare reform, immigration reform...and the list goes on.

    But for a Christian, the Right to Life has to be top of the list when it comes to how we decide whom to put our trust in. It has to...Life is a Precious Gift of God, and it is our duty to protect it as best as we possibly can, from the time of conception, to the time of death.

    What I was alluding to, was that if you feel you have an elected official that you voted for because they will do other good deeds - BUT NOT ACCEPT THE BAD THAT THEY HAVE's hypocritical to say the least.

    Yes, there are things that the Repblican's have done that I have voted for, that have done things I am less than happy with...

    Don't get me started on McCrotchity, er, McCain...or Bush Jr. Did a lot of good, but also, a lot of bad. I accept that. I will stand there and admit my support of their choices they made - because they represent me.

  4. and to answer your last to why the laws don't change? Because it has been years since it has been a Republican House, Senate and Presidency.

    You have to have all three in order to ram laws through.

    That is how the Founding Fathers set up the USofA to work, in order to make it as hard as possible to push through bad legislation that we will regret later - from both or all political parties, left and right.

    The House starts first. It represents the People, their wishes and whims.

    Then it goes to the Senate, which was MEANT to represent the States (but the 17th amendment changed that, and now the People elect them, too)

    Then finially to the President to give a Veto, thereby pushing it back on the Senate to have an ultra-majority (2/3) in order to force a law upon the People.

    The Founding Fathers never thought, in their wildest dreams, that the People would be stupid or ignorant of the workings of the government to ever allow one party /any party/ to have control at every level.

    That's why laws don't change.

    They were intended to be near impossible to change, in order to prevent the tyranny of the majority.

  5. My Dearest Peter,

    One question for you to ponder on the abortion debate -- if we criminalize it, what penalties should be in place for a woman who obtains an abortion illegally? Under our murder statues, we seek to punish accessories to murder -- would you want it to be the same way with abortion?

    Another question -- you say you would not allow for exceptions like rape or incest. What about saving the life of the mother? If I am not mistaken, the Catholic church does not object in this circumstance.

    My take (as an independent moderate with conservative fringes): I personally think our government is not capable of legislating our morality on this issue. I believe it's an issue of will and heart and faith in GOD, and the best way to end it is to instill a lot more respect for life than what we have now. I wish I had the smarts to give you all a game plan for that.

    Your Humble Servant,

  6. Chris -

    I fully do realize the improbability of ever legislating abortion to this level. I also agree, that you cannot criminalize an act w/o some sort of punishment, and what punishment do you place on this? I also agree that the underlying problem is just the loss of respect for Life in general - it is not seen as a gift from God anymore.

    Now, ideally, that is what I look for (among a whole range of other topics, but I picked this one out because if it's religious as well as civil implications) when it comes to vetting a candidate. To me, under a purely scientific stance - I understand the level and reasoning behind the point at which everyone seems to have "met in the middle" on the issue. Legislating it back would imply some sort of religious belief behind the reasoning (which I still stand firm to the belief that the Constitution was written with the intent to be operated under the watchful eye of religious morality/ judeo-christian ethics) and be difficult, if not impossible task to undertake in an ever increasing secular society.

    My emphasis, as much as I tried to make it, was more towards those that back a candidate, but will not accept the unmoral/unethical things that they push. It's one thing to find a candidate who will do nothing except maintain the status quo - but another to back someone who has shown an intention to broaden the scope on a subject - and then claim they had no part in that person's choice to do so. It would be akin to being a member of a church, but saying you don't agree with *all* of the teachings, just *most* of them. I was also trying to emphasize the idea that conservatives tend to look at their candidates from the "how much bad will this person might do" stance and then look at the good that person will accomplish, while liberals tend to look at the "good the person will do" and then the bad they might do.

  7. Peter,
    Discussion on the abortion issue always boils down to personal responsibility. No matter whether or not it is lawfully legal, we have to look at that last great day we stand before God and give an account for lives. I am totally against abortion also, but, Satan's evil influence on our leaders will probably allow that dreadful act to even get worse.
    Steve Poteet