How should I vote? Who’s best for America? We’ve all asked ourselves these questions but after 45 years of watching the political scene, I’ve learned there’s no single answer that will satisfy everyone. The only thing I can do here is describe what I consider to be a common sense approach when looking at the 2008 political battlefield.
I start by considering America’s current and long term issues viewed against a solid backdrop of our traditional values and principles. While the Constitution defines our national principles and provided the foundation for establishing our traditional values, how might or should the candidates address the concerns facing us in a way that’s rooted in common sense while upholding our Constitutional framework?
Let’s look at three major issues currently confronting America and view them through the eyes of our own good sense rather than just hearing about them from the poll-driven mouths of politicians spreading campaign compost all over the countryside.
Security: We’ve been attacked on our own soil by people that shouldn’t have even been in this country. We’re at war with Islamic terrorists as they themselves have declared for years now. Even so, our borders remain wide open and thousands upon thousands are crossing unimpeded and uncontrolled. We have no idea who’s coming into this country and for what purpose. In a post 9/11 world, this is nothing less than criminal negligence leading to national suicide. The solution as I see it is simple—one based on common sense and doesn’t require a genius to comprehend. Close down the borders with physical barriers and armed troops, stringently prosecute employers who hire illegals, cut off ALL aid and benefits to those here illicitly and don’t grant citizenship to children born of those who came here without proper documentation. Doesn’t that sound like steps any reasonable person would take to secure their country from this border incursion? Essentially, the role of government here is to get the hell out of the way of those honestly trying to enforce the law and get directly in the way of those breaking it. Politicians that won’t even consider such common sense steps to secure America are clearly aiding and abetting the invasion and therefore unworthy to hold any office wherein they’re constitutionally bound to provide for the common defense.
Energy: In the 1970’s, our dependence on foreign oil was 35%, minor compared to today and even that put us over a barrel. After all the talk since then of our need to be energy independent coupled with the push of environmentalism, what’s the level of oil imports today? 65%! We haven’t built a refinery in 30 years, our oil shale lands were put off limits by a Clinton executive order, we are prohibited from drilling off our own shores or in ANWAR, coal is “too dirty” say many environmentalists and federal regulation virtually prohibits expanded use of nuclear power. Now given the current foreign oil barrel over which we find ourselves, the common sense solution as I see it is for us to unleash that time-tested American initiative and ingenuity—develop and exploit our own resources so we can literally tell OPEC to go pound sand. Government should lift current restrictions so we can drill wherever we have oil, make use of our vast coal reserves, build new refineries, develop practical solar, wind and water energy sources and construct nuclear power plants. The French are safely providing 85% of their power needs with nuclear generators so is Washington really implying that Americans are too stupid to do the same thing? Essentially, the role of government here is to get the hell out of the way. The common sense evaluation of politicians to me then would be anyone opposing such fundamental actions is simply an enemy within and should be run out of office on a rail.
Economy: Increasingly, economists are saying the US may be headed for a recession. I don’t know if that’s true but what I do know is that when I see oil reaching $100 a barrel, gold threatening $1000 per ounce, gasoline at all time highs thus pushing up the cost of all consumer goods that are delivered by petroleum powered vehicles, housing prices slumping, credit troubles among the folks as well as large financial institutions, the stock market losing significant ground and the dollar falling to all time lows, I’d say we were in need of an economic shot in the arm. So what’s part and parcel of a common sense solution as I see it? We need to emphasize and pursue those actions and policies which will create a business friendly environment so the economy can expand rather than contract thus enhancing everyone’s financial opportunities. I’m a firm believer in good old American capitalism and I’ve seen where private industry can take us IF they’re not hindered by oppressive government regulation and burdensome taxation. Again, the role of government here is to get the hell out of the way. We need a government led by someone who’s experienced with and an advocate of old fashioned American free-enterprise—someone who will encourage capital investment and vigorously impede government intervention rather than impede economic growth through higher taxes and increased government control. You simply cannot tax and regulate your way to prosperity. Who then would you rather have leading our government? Tax, spend and regulating socialists or a business savvy, free-enterprise capitalist? Given our need for that economic shot in the arm, I’ll take the capitalist every time.
So when looking at any candidate, I rely on my own common sense and bounce that against what they actually did in the past not what they’re saying today about what they’ll do tomorrow. Your sense of what makes sense is just as sharp as anyones, so never accept at face value what politicians or the media hand you. If what they say doesn’t pass the common sense test and what they’ve actually done doesn’t adhere to what you know is best for America, don’t give them the time of day. Move on until you find that person your judgment and sense of Constitutional principle says you can support.
“OK Colonel, suppose no candidate passes the common sense test. Then what”? You have three choices. First, you can hold your nose and vote for the one that comes closest to passing the test. Second, you can vote your principles even if that means a write-in candidate. Lastly, you can stay home and not vote at all—an option I wouldn’t recommend.
the view from my saddle…
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