Politicians…Don’t Be Slimy!

At the risk of losing the few followers I have, I’m going to make a rare post on politics.  No, I’m not going to endorse a candidate.  I’m simply going to throw out some of my thoughts on the subject.

The most important qualities for me are honesty and character.  If I think a candidate is slimy, he’s got a huge hole to climb out of.  What do I find slimy?  Changing what you claim will be your highest priority, if elected, based on which group or state you’re speaking to is a big no-no.  That’s pandering and I don’t like it.  Making negative ads?  Slimy!  Run on your merits, not what you think I’ll find detracting about others.  Shoot straight.  Look at the camera and let me see that you actually believe what you’re saying.  Regurgitating what your fact finders and statisticians tell you is easy and we all know that data can be skewed any direction to prove a point.  Fortunately for most of the candidates, none of them are slime free.  Of the Republicans, Santorum probably comes across as less slimy than most of the other Republican hopefuls, which is likely why he’s currently one of the front runners.

Unfortunately for him, he has made some statements and has some positions that a lot of voters find troubling.  Most have and this leads into my second quality…don’t be a flake.  If you’ve got really extreme views, you’re probably not the best candidate for me.  If you think you have some way of “converting” gays to straight, or you’re in a religion that believes you can kill people with your mind, or, back in college, you thought it would be okay to join a radical group that used violence to try to achieve their goals…you’re a flake.  The exception to this rule is defending our country, our freedom, and our Constitution.  In these, I want a fanatic who understands that while we need to play nice with the other peaceable countries in the world and cooperate in most things, there are times when we need to act…unilaterally, if need be.  [For those out there who are skeptics on this, we have some of the best intelligence and surveillance ever.  We don’t act without cause.  The decision to take lives in return for those of our own isn’t made lightly.]

At this point, some of you are probably pegging me as a war monger.  Not so.  I believe war is horrible, but it has to be waged sometimes…yes, in the interest of peace.

So, where do my political allegiances lie?  On some issues, I’m more conservative.  On some issues, I’m more liberal.  On some, I don’t really know where I am…thank God I’m not running and have to have a here or there position on everything.  Why don’t I call my positions Republican or Democrat?  Because those aren’t positions.  They are political parties…of which we don’t have enough.  I know that we technically have a lot more than we ever hear about, but that’s part of the problem.

For all intents, we have a two party system.  There hasn’t been a real third party involved in an election since Ross Perot and years before him, John Anderson, but neither of them really had a shot at winning.  We’ve become so polarized and so label-happy in this country that rather than really learning where someone stands on all the issues, we make them pick a party and then we know…without having to learn anything about them.  Half the time, the Independents aren’t really Independent, rather they are Republicans or Democrats who are disgruntled because their own party doesn’t want them, but their quest for power is so great, I mean, they want so badly to serve the people of this great nation, that they abandon their party and run as an Independent, typically drawing votes away from their former party, ensuring a victory for the other party.

The other big failing of the “two party” system is that almost nothing gets passed…bills, budgets, etc…because too many of the politicians are afraid to break ranks with their party and vote what they really feel or think is right.  I don’t think I really need to go into all the backroom deals that take place to get support from members of the other party.

I’d love to see a really strong Independent who could actually vie for the Presidency.  I think our system could really benefit from that.  It would be fairly simple for such a candidate to catch my interest and get me to listen to what he has to say:  Be of strong moral character, honest, and don’t be a flake.  Let me know you’re going to defend our Nation and its principles, and then we’ll see where we match up on all the other issues.

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