Or, Debate Yourself
Polls indicate there are many undecided voters even at this late date. That’s understandable. Far too much of the information received from party partisans, the internet, talk shows and even the Main Stream Media tends to be unsupported, distorted, misleading, downright contradictory or even outright wrong. (Examples of complete falsehoods amazingly still circulating include claims that Obama is or was a Muslim and McCain is or was a racist.)
So, for those still puzzling, perhaps they should forget what they have heard or read over the last 20 months from others. Perhaps they should forget the questions deliberately evaded by the candidates on the so-called “debates.” Perhaps instead they should ask themselves a number of common sense questions which are good in any election and which only they themselves can truly answer.
Here are a Joe-the-Baker's Dozen to start.
1. Are you better off today than at the last change of administrations?
2. If not, which individuals, industries, institutions or agencies do you see as having contributed the most toward causing that unfortunate situation? And, which party or party members own, dominate or most strongly control most of those problem entities?
3. Certainly if there was a problem, it must then be asked next who hires, fires, funds and directs policy for any regulators of such entities?
4. Which party seems to you most likely to not only generate or attract new jobs and business for the country, but good wage jobs and business which create things? Perhaps more importantly, which party seems most likely in this era to keep them in this country once created or attracted?
5. Which party seems most genuinely interested overall in protecting your own job and your family’s investments, home, safety, education, and health?
6. Pick an issue to which general knowledge and common sense can apply. Take oil for instance. We all know petroleum is not only a fossil fuel (which means once it’s burnt and dumped in the atmosphere, it’s gone forever), most reserves of it are in countries that seem to prefer to do us harm. If so and those are deemed undesirable, which party is most likely to want to wean us from oil dependence?
7. Are you embarrassed, angered or frightened by any of the recent decisions of the two parties and are they likely to continue those policies if put or kept in office? An example of a major decision, to mention but one of several possibilities, would be going to war. If that is a decision that you feel deserves close consideration, then you ought to then ask were the justifications for the most recent war both good enough and credible, how was the war conducted and what were the results? Other examples of major decisions where such self analysis might be applied include trade, environment, food inspection, social issues or anything else you deem critical to your well being and/or the country’s future. On average, how to those comparative decisions stack up between the parties?
8. Do you perceive there to be competing countries outside the Middle East to which Washington ought to be paying more attention such as China, India, Russia, or South American ones? Assuming you believe other international interests have been neglected, ask yourself if we are really in a position today to do anything about those if they fester and swell up? If not, which party has the most responsibility for that condition? You don’t need to have a master’s degree in foreign policy to ask yourself these questions. At a minimum, you at least know whether or not you feel comfortable about whether those in charge are asking the right questions themselves.
9. A corollary is if you believe we need any allies in today’s world, who do our most important ones seem to prefer head this country? Which party has a candidate most likely to ease their concerns and obtain their full cooperation when and if needed?
10. Although perhaps not as important as some other questions, since it remains these days a distinct possibility that the President could die or be killed, what do you think of the abilities of the Vice Presidential choices of each party?
11. Probably more revealing than politicians and pundits endorsing their own party’s candidate would be whether there are any high profile defectors from the parties endorsing the other candidate? If so, who are they, what are they saying, why have they done so and do you respect their opinions?
12. You’ve seen rallies of each party on tv and listened to the crowds. Which crowd and which attitudes of such crowds would make you most proud and happy to be identified as a member? Who in those audiences is the candidate appealing most to and why? Whatever his or her talents in firing up a crowd of loyalists, is he or she genuinely a uniter or a divider of this whole country after being elected assuming you believe that matters in the long run?
13. Maybe most important of all, what will your children and their grandchildren think of your choice?