Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Time to Choose a Candidate for President

Well, the Sarah Palin frenzy is dying down and time is ticking until we have to choose a candidate. No matter what your politics, it generally boils down to a choice of the big two. Yep, there are the minor party candidates including Bob Barr and Ralph Nader. But most will choose between McCain and Obama.

So, what’s the view of this New Libertarian Socialist on the candidates?

It’s time to dedicate a few blogs to looking at the issues, positions, experience and my expectations of the candidates.

So here’s my method:
  • Look at the major issues of international and national importance, with emphasis on the preservation of liberty at home.

  • Look at the candidate’s baggage (their party’s advisors, platform positions, campaign contributors, and others with an insider’s influence)

  • Look at the candidate’s experience in and our of office:

    o How competent is the candidate as a decision maker?
    o Have the candidate’s actions in office been consistent with the campaign promises?
    o Does the candidate work “across the aisle” to get things done?

  • Think about what it would be like to have this candidate in office.

On this last point, I’ve used the example of buying a dress. See (Sorry, guys, if you don’t understand this example, but it’s not the same for guys buying a suit.)

Even after you’ve thought about what you’d like to buy (style, color, length, etc.) and you’re lucky enough to find a dress that you think you’d like, you may try it on you say “I’m not going out in public in this!” Then, you might stumble upon a dress you didn’t expect, and try it on and like it.

It’s the same with a candidate. They may say everything you want them to say and you might like their record. But when you take all this together with their personality, judgment, and interactions with others, you realize “I don’t want this person as President representing my nation to the world.”

How many Presidents have acted differently in office compared to their campaign promises and rhetoric? Who would have expected the anti-communist Nixon to open up normal relations with China? Who would believe that Bill Clinton was perhaps the most fiscally conservative President of the last 20 years? The office of President can produce surprising results. This is why the final and deciding factor needs to be this unquantifiable quality.

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