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Choosing the best candidate

February 23, 2012

Choosing the best candidate for election

Choosing a good candidate for any job, position, or political office should be more than a popularity contest. Too often people find themselves asking who to vote for when only a matter of hours separates them from the time when they will cast their ballots. Or, they wait until the night before the election and ask a friend whom they should vote for. This approach is completely inexcusable and is a contributor to many of the problems we have in America today.
While I realize most of us can’t put huge amounts of time into research into each election, we should have at least a rudimentary knowledge of the candidates we can expect to vote on and their moral and character qualifications. Once we begin to understand how a candidate’s values compare to our own, we can begin to make informed choices in our voting.

Why choose the best candidate?

I’ve heard many people say that it doesn’t really matter how we vote, our system of government is “terminally flawed.”  While I will agree that there are flaws in our system, I don’t believe that they have to be terminal.  In fact, changing the way we view the voting priviledge (and responsibility) is a major step in correcting those very visible flaws.  It is because of the inability to choose or lack of interest in choosing the best available candidate on the part of so many that we have elected to public office those who do not truly represent us.  This has happened not just once or twice, but routinely over the course of several decades.  This is a trend that NEEDS to be reversed.

How does one recognize the best candidate?

In order to pick the best candidate in any election, we must first examine ourselves.  We need to know which issues are truly important to us.  It is very easy to let candidates define the issues if we don’t have some idea of what is important before we get ready to make our decisions.  In fact, it is easy to get side-tracked even if we do know what is important.

What is important to you?  Is it important to you that your government is spending more than it earns?  Does it matter to you whether or not Social Security dies?  Do you care about government programs for the needy in your area?  All these are matters that tie in closely to a candidate’s fiscal policies.  If these are your main concerns, the you should be watching candidate’s views

    on financial responsibility.

    Do you care about the size of our military, military funding, our role in the “civilized” world, immigration, or trade status and benefits?  Do you find that moral issues such as abortion, gay marriage, capital punishment, medical marijuana, and euthanasia are important to you?   Most candidates have views and voting records that relate to these and many more issues, if we really want to look.

    Do you believe that morals will shape character or that the two are unrelated?  Does it matter to you whether a candidates past reflects the values he now claims to hold?  Does religion play any role in government?  Should it?

    When you figure out which issues are truly important to you, you start to look for the candidate that most nearly reflects the values that you hold dear.

    Is there a perfect candidate?

    In most cases, there will probably NOT be what one would consider a “perfect candidate.”  I am not referring to an electable candidate.  Actually, the “electable” candidate is rarely the best one.  However, we should know which issues are absolute necessities and which are personal preferences.  Hold true to those that are absolute – don’t compromise just for a popular candidate – or for your checkbook.  Anyone can promise change, know how a candidate likes to persue those changes.

    At the end of the day,  we should be able to choose a good candidate.  By examining the issues we care about, and comparing our views to those of the available candidates, I believe it is possible to choose the best candidate.  As more and more Americans engage responsibly in this part of American citizenship, our government can return to a reflection of the values that America holds.

    Reminder:  There are more candidates to choose than just Presidential ones this year.

    Often, in the midst of a Presidential election, many people forget that local and state elections are important too.  Those elections have more immediate impact on our daily lives in many cases.  Let us do our duty in these elections as well.


From → Politics

  1. Right Minded permalink

    Fantastic article here.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Do Morals Matter? « deliberatingdave
  2. Pride and Prejudice « deliberatingdave

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