Voting in a Perfect World

Primary elections are far more important than general elections, but most citizens don’t really wake up politically until a week before it’s time to go to the polls in November.  Then, they look at their choice and complain that there are no good candidates.  They choose between what they consider to be the lessor evil, or worse still, simply check the box beside  “incumbent,” whoever he or she is, and complain about how things never change.

This year, things are similar, but different: similar in that the primary turnout is low but the difference is in the intensity of those who are going to the polls.  That is a result of  the tea party movement, a group of independent-minded citizens who are determined to take back their government from career politicians, whom they consider have put this country on a path to economic collapse. 

These voters are beholden to no one and no political party.   They are unusually well informed.  They don’t need a scorecard from a political action committee or a list of preferred candidates from the local union boss.  They are capable of weighing the issues and the candidates on their own, thank you very much!

As a result, when the majority of our citizens wake up from their political slumber in late October, they will be surprised to see they have some real choices this year.  No more Tweedledum and Tweedledee.

In the old days, an incumbent could coast through the primary season.  Not anymore!

Much to the chagrin of the political bosses, the old play book isn’t working.    Three big-name incumbents have already been sent packing in the primaries.  (There surely will be more.)  Several others retired early rather than face a primary challenge.   They saw the handwriting on the wall and they didn’t like what they saw.

Many of the candidates who have  advanced in the primaries are more polarizing to be sure. They have gone way out there on a left or a right limb instead of clinging to the trunk in the mushy middle.

As a result, in many races, there will be a clear choice between the nanny state and self reliance; between bigger government or lower taxes, between insolvency and fiscal restraint, between law and order and chaos.

It may be a long time before the average voter is capable of making an independent choice but, for many, it may be the first time a clear choice is available.

In a perfect world voters would pay more attention to a candidate’s resume than his or her physical appearance.

In a perfect world voters would never give a candidate who has not run a successful business a chance to run their towns, states or country.

In a perfect world voters would care more about a candidate’s stand on the issues than his or her ability to deliver a stump speech or read a Teleprompter.

In a perfect world voters would examine the individual, not his or her political pedigree.

In a perfect world voters would never consider a candidate who has cheated on a spouse, knowing full well that if he or she cheats on a marriage pardner, that candidate likely will cheat on voters as well.

Likewise, in a perfect world, voters would reject anyone who has cheated on his or her taxes or anyone who appoints such a person to a position of authority.

In a perfect world voters would care more about practical experience than name recognition.

In a perfect world voters would value hard work in the private sector over political experience.

In a perfect world voters would take principles over promises.

In a perfect world voters examine the “Big Pig Book” put out annually by Citizens Against Government Waste and would reject pork barrel projects and the politicians who deliver them.

In a perfect world, voters would check the spending records of every incumbent with the National Taxpayer’s Union Foundation and would fire all the people who are adding to the national debt and running up bills their children and grandchildren will never be able to pay.

In a perfect world, voters would never be afraid to turn in a ballot without voting for every office.  If they were unfamiliar with the candidates for any office, they would leave those spaces blank instead of casting an uninformed vote.

In a perfect world, these voters would not feel guilty for leaving a few offices blank.   Instead, they would give themselves a pat on the back for every intelligent vote they were able to cast.

In a perfect world, we would have a government that works for, not against, us.

4 thoughts on “Voting in a Perfect World

  1. Jane,

    I take offense at only one sentence in this piece, that “in a perfect world voters would never give a candidate who has not run a successful business a chance to run their towns, states or country.”

    I truly hope you only meant that in a “fifty percent plus one” sense, and not a “one hundred percent, never deviating from the pure statement” sense.

    I would score pretty high on any conservative or libertarian ideology test, but due to Hatch Act restrictions, I can’t run for local office – and work to keep property tax increases down – unless my town runs non-partisan elections (unfortunately, it does not… but that change in town charter may be on the ballot this November).

    That means I have to wait until I am eligible to retire at 55 (I can’t afford that drastic a reduction in money, so in reality I’m going to be older than that), when I could’ve been “kicking butt” for the past fifteen years I’ve lived in my town, serving on either the Town Council or School Committee, if only we had non-partisan elections.

    What does never having run a business have to do with holding the line on spending on either the municipal side or the school department side? It should be no different than running my own household, yes?

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  2. Jane,

    In a perfect world there would be no Marxist or far left candidates such as Barack Obama in U.S. elections, and both candidates would be at least right of center. 1960 was the last time that this occurred in a U.S. presidential election. Kennedy defeated Nixon, but he ended up lowering the tax rate from 90% to 70%, and he also proportionately spent more on national defense than even Ronald Reagan would as president twenty years later. In addition, Kennedy named a conservative justice to the Supreme Court in Byron White. On January 22,1973 Byron White was only one of two Supreme Court justices to vote against Roe v. Wade. Today in U.S. elections if both candidates are at least right of center, then this greatly helps, but at the same time, if the “conservative” Democrat wins but then votes with Obama, Reid, and Pelosi, then they are not really conservative. So as long as the leadership of the Democratic Party is far left, it is definitely much better to elect the conservative Republican rather than the “conservative” Democrat.

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  3. Ms Chastain:
    Would the best possible candidate in a perfect world do everything you wanted done? Probably not. I am thinking that if we are right 90% of the time we are wrong 10% of the time. That is enough to meet opposition. The best candidate would have convictions and try to please his conscious rather than please the public. That is having his convictions based on righteousness. I am thinking of a church conference I attended many years ago. There was a certain technical gadget in controversy. There was no doubt that it had remarkable benefits but there were questions if the church should allow it or reject it. I was initially in favor of allowing but then someone pointed out how it would open an uncontrollable door to pride and thus it was rejected. We face those kinds of decisions almost every day in the spiritual kingdom. We have to strive — put out effort — to stay on course or we find we have drifted into dangerous waters.

    Take poverty, for instance. How much poverty is the result of our appatites? We have a Wal-Mart superstore. Moving down the isles there are row on row of soft drinks and diet drinks that are designed to quench our thirst for satisfaction. Most of them are too sweet whether naturally or artificially sweetened and none of them are essential to our wellbeing, They are there solly for our indulgence and rather expensive and everyone could just leave them setting on the shelves but we don’t. That is why there are so many on the shelves. If we left them sit we might have more money for the essentials like our medical needs.
    Our appatites can gobble us a sizeable chunk of our income at the expense of our prosperity.

    No, I don’t begrudge anyone buying one of these drinks, that is not what I am talking about. When we get into the food and meat isles we have wide choices in our diet. If you are on a tight budget you tend
    to economize and buy what you need rather than what you only want.
    For those who can afford it let them buy gourmet, that helps pay for my hamburger. If I prosper I can celebrate but by keeping my spending on a strict diet I can pay for those things I really want. A home, a field to plant or a place to pasture the cattle.

    We need candidates that can live without root beer or coke or
    whatever that doesn’t nourish the body. We need candidates who see the
    need to secure our fields first and then build our house. We need candidates to lead in the concept of working with our hands to supply our own needs and have a little left over to help those in need of help. Instead we have candidates that want to take from the productive and provide for the non productive. I think we are beginning to see that change take place but it is not all that politically popular.

    As usual you may post any or all of this email if you wish.
    Richard L. Whitford

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  4. Very good as usual and of course the just one week before bit is just why citizens must organize all year..keep in contact with weekly meetings,mailings etc and publish in the local paper how you feel about any current item..make up a name.like ‘concerned citizens for integrity in gov” etc print up a newsletter with officers and that way you gradualy during the year create an audience so that when a vote ,say at the school board comes up,you publish a pro or con statement and thus have a better chance of positive action..I have found the average person gets bored and decides to make up his/her mind a week before elections ..so its too late to change them by that time..so organize,have press releases,only have upstanding citizens on the comm..and fight for the right …..Nino

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