I have no patience with people who will spend hours digesting sports statistics or studying video game reviews, but won’t bother going beyond 30-second sound bites and cockamamie ads to examine and analyze the positions of presidential candidates. Engage in due diligence, then follow through and cast an intelligent vote. This is about the future of this country. How can that not be worth a few hours of your time? Ask yourself…
1. Does the ticket have a reservoir of wisdom, reasoning, and judgment to take to the White House? What is the type and quality of the experience they have? Does each member of the ticket have new and important skills, education, and experience that are complementary to their running mate’s?
2. Does the ticket’s public message reflect their proposed policies? Are these policies adequately elucidated on their campaign web site to allow me to determine if they are realistic and address what I feel are important issues for the country and myself? Are they sufficiently detailed so that I can make a sound evaluation, and compare them to the other ticket’s proposals?
3. Has the ticket presented a clear and consistent view of their mission, policies, and positions? Has it stayed on message?
4. How does the ticket present itself to the public? Are the speeches, interviews, and ads based on fact? Or is the information presented to the public vague, unfair, inaccurate, or negative? Has it avoided messages based on fear, stereotypes, and cultural divisiveness?
5. No matter how cynical I have become, have I reflected up how fortunate I am to be a citizen of the United States? Have I made an effort in this election to acquire civil literacy, and taken the time to carefully appraise each ticket, their backgrounds, their records, their behavior, and their policies? Am I ready to cast my vote based on thought and honest deliberation?
Find your polling place here. Those “These colors don’t run” and “Buy American” bumper stickers mean nothing. This is what patriotism and democracy is all about.
Graphic by Andrew McFarlane under a Creative Commons License.