Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Count Yourself IN!

We live in a Representational Democracy. Your preferences are only represented if you, the registered voter, participate by exercising your right and civic duty to vote.

Hopefully, we have all done our homework and know what it means if we vote "yes" or "no" on propositions. Hopefully, we are clear that the people we are voting into office are people who will do what they have said they would do, and that they have clearly, during their campaigns, stated their platform.

I leave you with some food for thought; a few quotes from Barry Goldwater (1909-1998), who lost to Lyndon Johnson in the 1964 presidential election. A Republican senator from Arizona, Goldwater was called "Mr. Conservative" for a reason. However, he was much more Libertarian in his politics than his party was willing to accept: he believed that abortion was a valid personal choice; he decried the grip the "religious right" placed on the GOP and its platforms and policies; he was for legalization of medical marijuana; and he was against banning gays from the military. A few years before he died, he told right wing leadership not to associate his name with anything they were doing because "You are extremists, and you've hurt the Republican Party more than the Democrats have."

Political wisdom from Barry Goldwater:
"How did it happen? How did our national government grow from a servant with sharply limited powers into a master with virtually unlimited power? In part, we were swindled. There are occasions when we have elevated men and political parties to power that promised to restore limited government and then proceeded, after their election, to expand the activities of government. But let us be honest with ourselves. Broken promises are not the major causes of our trouble. Kept promises are. All too often we have put men in office who have suggested spending a little more on this, a little more on that, who have proposed a new welfare program, who have thought of another variety of 'security.' We have taken the bait, preferring to put off to another day the recapture of freedom and the restoration of our constitutional system. We have gone the way of many a democratic society that has lost its freedom by persuading itself that if 'the people' rule, all is well."
“Remember that a government big enough to give you everything you want is also big enough to take away everything you have.”
“Equality, rightly understood as our founding fathers understood it, leads to liberty and to the emancipation of creative differences; wrongly understood, as it has been so tragically in our time, it leads first to conformity and then to despotism.”
“Where is the politician who has not promised to fight to the death for lower taxes—and  who has not proceeded to vote for the very spending projects that make tax cuts impossible?”
The point I make by highlighting the statements of a conservative politician whom I would not have voted for, had I been of voting age during the Presidential election in 1964, is that policy is bigger than the spin our parties generate about it.

Policy is most frequently about money, who gets to havekeep or spend it and who does not; no party is averse to money or clean from the taint of it.

This election has been driven by big money and corporate interests. Candidates have tried to buy their offices. Communities, mine and perhaps yours, too, have been tortured with spurious campaign mailers, robo-calls, fake surveys and push polls.

Big money is behind that. Don't wonder why. It is about parting you "soon, and often", from your hard earned wage.

This is unthinkable. But I want you to think on it, as you head to the polls to cast your vote today.

Goldwater also said, "To disagree, one doesn't need to be disagreeable."

He was right. We need to wonder at all that has been disagreeable during this campaign, and be concerned about our choices, as they have bearing not just on our rights and liberties, but also those of others.

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