How to decide – Obama or McCain

I am trying, very, very hard NOT to write any more until after the election.  I really want to just let everything sit and simmer; to not think about, talk about it, or write about it anymore.  But I can’t.

How do you decide for whom to vote for President?

First, if you are a political junkie and you are voracious in your appetite for all things politics, of all persuasions, including the web, newspapers, magazines, and television, then you are probably well versed and informed and have already made your decision.  Other than that, I believe there are a few questions you need to ask yourself.

What do you know about each candidate and from where did I learn it?  Was it a friend or family member.  Was it one particular medium that you gravitate towards?  For example, if you only watch Fox News or if you only watch MSNBC, then your viewpoint is going to be skewed, assuming you believe everything you have heard.  Maybe there is a particular blog like the Huffington Post or The Drudge Report; same thing there, these are one-sided opinion mediums the often skew the facts in a certain direction.

Have you ever taken one particular news item that is pro or con for a candidate and conducted your own investigation to see if it was true or not.  If not, then you haven’t done your homework.

I believe that each of us has a responsibility to be our own private investigators.  We need to stop listening solely to Sean Hannity or CNN.  Go to reliable, nonpartisan sources.  They are out there; go find them.

Next, check your gut.  See what makes sense.  For example, does it really make sense that someone running for President is a terrorist, or is secretly hiding his religious beliefs.  Chances are if you heard an outrageous claim about a candidate, that claim has either stretched the facts beyond all recognition or is a complete fabrication.  Watch the candidates themselves.  Take note of how they conduct themselves, how the speak, their body language.  You can tell a lot about a person by simply picking up on clues.

Also, keep an eye on political tactics and weigh what their impact is.  Barack Obama said he would talk to John McCain about using public financing for his campaign and come to an agreement.  He never did.  On the other hand, bogus fliers were distributed (by McCain supports) to college campuses in Pennsylvania and Virginia saying that the State recognized there would be such a high turnout for Election day that they split it into two days; Republicans should vote on November 4th, and Democrats on November 5th.  This was all on State letterhead, and it was all a fake.  Voter suppression tactics from the Republicans are not new.

So which one is worse in your mind.

What does each candidate really stand for.  What is his platform?  If, god forbid, he died on day one, who would fill his shoes?  It is maudlin to say the least to think about the President’s death but at some point you need to be realistic.

As much as I don’t want to give my own opinion to anyone reading this on how to decide who to pick for President, I will say this.  John McCain, like most republicans, will spend a lot of time telling you what’s wrong with the other candidate and will tell you what they are against.  However, how often do you hear them talk what’s right about themselves and what they are for.

It is a simple equation, really.  Do I want someone who is AGAINST things, or do I want someone who is FOR things?  Do I want a President who I can have a beer with, or a President that is WAY smarter than I am?  Do I want a President who really cares about our standing in the world and intends to correct it?  Or do I want President with a bully attitude and doesn’t care what the rest of the world thinks about us?

What exactly is your candidate FOR?  And into which candidates face can you look and see the quiet, calm passion that pushes him to lead this country to better places?  Which candidate did not squander the time he has to convince America to elect him trying to convince YOU what was wrong with the other guy, rather than what was RIGHT about himself.

Do your homework, do your research, make smart, well-informed decisions.  And thanks again, for stopping by.  Hopefully, I can keep my mouth (and my keyboard quiet) until we get the results on November 4th.


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