Let us first start this post out with making this very clear: We are NOT going to tell you which presidential candidate to vote for. That should be your first indicator this post is worth a couple minutes of your time. Everywhere you turn, there is a campaign ad. Every news channel or news program you watch has an agenda. Make no mistake, everyone is choosing sides and their intent is to convince you they are the right side. The purpose of this post is to give you some things to think about in regards to who you vote for, IF you decide to vote….that’s right, we even leave that up to you…personal responsibility and all.
Be Honest About the Impact of Your Choice
Perhaps an unpopular opinion but let’s get real. Not only does the President have a limited individual impact on your life but your vote may have even less of an impact on the election. Remember, elections are won via the Electoral College and depending on where you live, your vote may mean very little. Unless you are in a critical swing state, it is likely the election is already decided even before Election Day. Arizona, Georgia, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, I am talking to you….if you care, you may want to strongly consider voting.
There Are More Than 2 Options
Look, the majority of the country would lead you to believe there are only 2 political parties in the US. However, that is untrue. There are other options and as a matter of fact, there is a large portion of society that would likely side with the ideals, policies and values of an alternate party but they side with Democrat or Republican because they assume (correctly) the other candidate has no chance in hell. But, in your local elections, it may not be the case and the independent candidate may have a shot.
Turn Off the TV and Stop Reading the Bullshit Articles
Too much of this country makes its living off of your fear and from trying to convince you one side is evil and the other good. Turn it off. Turn it all off. Every bit of information you consume is the opinion of someone else. There is bias in every news segment, in every article and in every “post” your friends share. This does not mean you cannot research the candidates but you need to be careful about where you get your info.
Research the Candidates and the Policies
Do your own independent research and come to your own conclusions. Find truly independent websites that address the issues and the policies and explain how the candidates align on them. Fact check everything you see. Read the policies and understand what the big ticket items are in YOUR mind. Not everyone prioritizes issues the same. We tend to hear about big ticket social issues like gay marriage and abortion but there are a plethora of other massively important policy issues out there besides just the social issues that make the nightly news.
Who Funds the Candidates?
Not hard to figure out where the money is coming from. There are several websites dedicated to showing you the dirty secrets about who is funding your favorite candidate. You may not be surprised or, you may find your guy (or girl) is funded by the very people you despise. Look into it.
Prioritize Your Issues and Then Think About Your Neighbor
What do you feel the most strongly about? This is such a personal question that rarely do 2 people answer it the same. However, it is also at the root of so many problems. George Carlin had a great bit about “NIMBY.” Not In My Backyard. People want power plants but not in their backyard. People want public transportation but not in their backyard. People vote in the way so many act, selfishly. They think about what they care about, what they want and the rest of the population are a bit of an afterthought. And this goes in all ways so please do not mistake this for only talking about one side or the other. Socially minded people who think they should eat the rich are just as guilty as the elite who turn their cheek at anyone struggling. So yes, think about what is important to you but also think about society as a whole. There are positive examples on all sides for you to consider.
Realize the President’s Power is Limited
Getting back to another point we made earlier, the President of the United States is VERY powerful but, not all powerful. That person’s ability to legislate and rule is directly impacted by those elected officials around them. It is perhaps the most important position in the known universe but even still, it has its limitations. Bigger picture, do not just think about the singular person but think about the political party, the cronies who may be put in places of power, the ethos of their strategy. One person is one person but often, the President is a symbol and a spokesman for a much larger pool of voices.
Do Not Rely On the Government
Maybe the most important point we can make in this post. Do not rely on a politician or a political party for your well-being. Safety, food, wealth. These are all things you should be working on independently of the Government. You are entitled to the freedom to pursue these things, not entitled to them and whether you believe that or not, that is the decree of the land. You need to become self-reliant and we are not implying you should quit your job and go off the grid but, you should have some safety net of independence. If the bottom falls out for you, no president or party will be there for you. You are going to need to figure it out largely on your own. You make your own luck. You are in control of your own life and you are the one your loved ones will look to if things go wrong.