Don’t Forget to Study Before the Final!by Stephen Littau
I just received my mail-in ballot a week or so ago. The ballot, with multiple choices with arrows to be filled out next to each choice, reminds me of taking standardized tests back in the day. Some tests were easier than others but I knew that if I did not study, one of two things could happen: (1) I could get lucky and answer enough of the questions correctly to pass or (2) I could possibly fail.
In a way, the general election is a final exam. Whether one “passes” the exam or not depends on whether s/he votes according to his or her principles. In order to increase your chances of voting according to your principles, you must study.
I am disgusted with the Republican and Democrat parties. When going over my ballot, my first instinct was to vote Libertarian in every race with a Libertarian candidate. I had studied all of the ballot measures and was satisfied that I could make intelligent choices there, but I hadn’t researched the candidates below the presidential level*. In the U.S. House race, I found three choices: the incumbent Diana DeGette (D), George Lilly (R), and Martin Buchanan (L). I knew that DeGette supported the bailout so she was never an option. Buchanan is a Libertarian and his positions he posted on his website are indeed Libertarian.
So why not just support the Libertarian you ask?
Regardless of how much I despise the Republican and Democrat parties, I make an effort to learn about the individual candidates and their positions before making a choice. Much to my delight and surprise, I found the Republican, George Lilly to be a “Ron Paul Republican.” I knew that there were such individuals running in this election but I never thought I would have had an opportunity to vote for one!
Now, I know that an endorsement from Ron Paul is not necessarily all it’s cracked up to be but take a look at Lilly’s positions posted on his website:
Please join me in RESTORING the Constitution, and together, let’s:
1. RESTORE the economy — free up business from onerous outdated regulations.
2. RESTORE proper use of the military (136 nations have U.S. military presence.)
3. RESTORE integrity to the treaty process to protect America’s interests first.
4. RESTORE individual privacy and say “no” to the Real I.D. Act.
5. RESTORE high quality medical care at affordable prices.
6. RESTORE checks & balances — the executive branch has gotten too powerful.
7. RESTORE integrity in the campaign financing process.
8. RESTORE integrity to the dollar — re-institute the gold standard. Watch this YouTube video!
9. RESTORE integrity to the tax system — rein in the I.R.S.
10. RESTORE and retain rights to unregulated health supplements & the Internet.
The following will be my top priorities in Congress:
1. Create a level playing field for Americans who receive the benefit of Workmen’s Compensation, mandatory health insurance, retirement benefits, taxes, OSHA, EPA etc. and calculate that into the cost of the products manufactured so that any foreign country not providing the same benefits to their employees would have to pay a tariff on their imported products to equal that amount.
2. Support a bill that calls for a single subject on all spending bills.
3. Oppose unconstitutional spending in the form of corporate subsidies.
4. Oppose unconstitutional spending in the area of education so that “No (every) Child Left Behind” is abolished.
5. Hold the Federal Reserve to account for their corruption of the dollar which has driven up the price of everything way beyond what any normal person can even consider affording!
While I have some concern about his #1 priority being a little on the protectionist side, I certainly applaud his willingness to stand up for the Constitution and against big government**. He’s not purely libertarian but in my estimation, he’s at least as libertarian as Ron Paul.
Having learned about George Lilly’s positions, most of which I agree with, I am very glad I had taken the time to make an informed choice. Now my choice was between the Ron Paul Republican and the Libertarian. Who should I choose?
Most things being equal, I decided to support Lilly. As a practical matter, the Republican Lilly would have a much better chance of unseating DeGette than the Libertarian Buchanan. I have not seen any polls regarding the District 1 race, but I suspect that in a district which seems to worship the ground Barack Obama walks on, DeGette will be difficult if not impossible to beat. If most of the libertarian vote goes to Buchanan, we’ll almost certainly re-elect a tax and spend Democrat to another term.
This is why I urge everyone to study each race before casting a vote***. Put emotions aside and “think the vote.” Though the electorate as a whole may fail the exam, we should each make the effort to pass individually.
*Isn’t it interesting that the office which our votes will have the least impact is the office we pay the most attention to?
**Principles most Republicans as of late don’t even pretend to stand for.
***Unfortunately, in many of the other races I was unable to find information about the candidates. In the races where I found no information about the candidates, I chose not to vote one way or the other. I think it’s better not to vote than cast an uninformed vote based only on party affiliation.