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My Voting Message

     Shortly after my 18th birthday, I registered to vote.  The first time I went to vote was in a primary later that year.  Since that time, I have never missed voting in a primary or an election.

     Too many people in this country (The United States of America) choose not to vote.  Do not get my message wrong.  One of the great things about freedom in the United States is the right to choose to vote or not to vote.  It is just as much your right to choose not to vote as it is to choose to vote.  

     Several things do concern me though.  The first concern is hearing people who whine about the government all of the time but do not vote. Like I said above, if you choose not to vote, that is also your right, but I do not want to hear you whining about the government when you took no action to change what you are crying about.  

     My second concern is those who vote on one issue only.  When you are voting for an individual in any position in the government (local, state, national) you should find out what their overall past record is on all of the issues.  Once you know that, you look at the position they are running for and which of those issues they actually could effect by holding that government position. The following is just a hypothetical example:  A person decides to run for sheriff in your area. That person was asked their position on abortion at some point in the past.  Their position on the issue is not the same as your position.  The person may not agree on your position on this one issue but agrees on your positions on how the laws in your area should be enforced.  By winning the position of sheriff in your area they in no way will affect future legislation on the abortion issue.  The individuals who decide to vote against that person because of that one issue concerns me.  The candidate might be the best qualified candidate but certain individuals prevented him/her from holding that position due to an issue that the candidate would not have any power to affect when legislative decisions are being made.  When voting for any person in any government position, first find out what powers that position holds and what the candidates position is on those issues they will have the power to affect.  If they do not have powers affecting a certain position do not dismiss them based on that one issue only.

     My third concern is when people vote based on what they hear a candidate say on commercials, speeches, etc. Too many times candidates say whatever is needed to be said to get the most people to vote for them.  Where a candidate actually stands on issues can be seen in their history in various political offices.  For the candidates running for President of the United States, do not vote based on what their party says about them, what the other party says about them, what the media says about them (liberal AND conservative media), what promises they make, what any Political Action Committee (PAC) says, what any "one issue" group says, etc.  We have had too many promises broken by the two parties in control at various points throughout our lifetimes.  They also sit on legislation to hurt the other party or delay a vote to try and take credit for it sometime in the future.  They also waste a lot of time passing lame legislation to create "National" months.  Instead of passing legislation to help solve current important issues, they spend time making it National <insert lame item here> Month.  Look up their voting record.  Look at what legislation they wrote, what they signed their name (approval) to, what legislation they have held up in committee indefinitely.  This is easy to do.  The Library of Congress online shows all legislation currently happening in Congress and where it is currently at in the process of being enacted.  You may look up the legislation of the current Congress and also also look up all of the past Congressional Sessions.  The most important part is that you can look up every piece of legislation your Senators and Representative in the House of Representatives are (or were) involved in and how they voted.  This is the only information that will tell you where they truly stand on issues.  In the case of the Vice President, please remember that they are the ones who cast the deciding vote when there is a tie in the Senate, so the Vice President IS ALSO important.

     Library of Congress online:
     Click on Congressional Record to lookup your Senators or Representative.

     My fourth concern is that too many people focus on the President of the United States but not Congress.  The President of the United States has the power to sign or veto legislation but it is Congress that creates laws.  Those 535 members of Congress (435 in the House of Representatives, 100 in the Senate) create laws that can either help the country or hurt it.  Unfortunately most of the time they hurt it.  Every time there is legislation proposed, members of Congress add amendments that have nothing to do with the legislation itself.  Most times it is to funnel money to some project that benefits their own state using national taxes.  If they don't add pork project amendments to a piece of legislation then they add something ridiculous to it knowing that it will never get signed.  They deliberately kill bills so the other side (which should not be the other side since they are supposed to work TOGETHER) cannot take credit if it works or if the legislation is opposite of what they think is the only thing that will work.  I'm open to suggestions on how to force the United States Congress to pass an Amendment to the Constitution that forbids adding amendments to legislation that are not directly connected to the specific intent of the legislation.  This has to happen at a grassroots level and grow until Congress can no longer ignore it.

     My fifth concern is when any one political party has too much power.  A little recent history.  Under Jimmy Carter, we had one party controlling the White House and Congress.  We had the worst inflation of all time and it was the start of our trillion dollar deficits.  Don't get me wrong, every combination of President and Congress since that time just made it worse.  However we had two examples of things being turned around, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton.  Ronald Reagan had to work with a Democrat run Congress for most of his presidency.  Because of this, Ronald Reagan kept Congress from going too liberal and Congress kept Reagan from being too conservative.  In Bill Clinton's first year he introduced and signed off on the biggest tax increase in United States history (including the biggest tax increase on Social Security recipients).  So what happened next?  The next year Congress was turned over to the Republicans because of the tax increase.  Once again, because of this balance of power, no one side had too much control or the ability to get out of control.  Bill Clinton was kept from creating ridiculous amounts of social programs, raising taxes more, and forced to reform welfare by Congress.  Bill Clinton kept Congress from going too far on various conservative issues.  They kept each other in check.  Then we went downhill again.  We are still not as bad off as when Jimmy Carter was President but we are getting there.  We let the Republican Party take full control for 6 years. Unfortunately when they tasted the uncontrolled power that the Democrats had in the late 1970's, they became just as bad.  Take, take, take without controlling their spending.  Unfortunately this uncontrolled spending was continually signed into law.

     Unfortunately the two party system has had too much taste of uncontrolled power so instead of working together, they do everything to undermine each others jobs at the expense of the taxpayers and the entire country.  I was honestly hoping that with a Republican President and Democrat Congress that the two sides would put each other back in line. They have become so bitter that one side is holding up important legislation while passing "National Month" legislation left and right and the other side is still signing off on uncontrolled spending.  We cannot even count on the other side to keep them in line because the only stuff passing is this lame legislation and bills and budgets that are still out of control. There are no conservatives left (I DID NOT SAY REPUBLICANS, because based on what I've seen lately, they lost the conservative title) to reign Congress in.

     My sixth concern is that too many people do not pay attention to their state and local elections.  Most states require that a ballot for an election is finalized at least 30 days before an election or primary.  PLEASE, if you plan to vote in an election for a President, make sure you find out who is on the ballot in the exact location you are required to show up to cast your vote.  Your ballot for your area will usually be listed under a city location, borough location, or township location.  Find out from your local county where, when, and how you can get a copy of the ballot and how soon you can get a copy of it.  Then spend that 30 days or more and find out where these people stand on issues that affect you, your community, and/or your country.  I have a link to this information for my entire county on the home page of this web site. Find the ballot for your area TODAY.  Please do not wait and then blindly vote in candidates.

     My seventh concern is the publics right to know.  Practically every elected official (local, state, and national) has a web site or space set aside on a web site for their own personal information.  It is very simple.  They need to put their staff to work and post each piece of legislation they are involved with, where they stand on each piece of legislation, and how they plan to vote AND why. Pennsylvania had a wake up call when many legislators were voted out, but the ones who were not voted out did not learn their lesson.  Give the taxpayers full disclosure or get out of office.  The people are having a hard enough time getting by without having to spend so much additional time trying to find out what elected officials are doing.  If politicians push too far the policy of not informing the public of everything they do, the entire clean sweep type campaign of voting everyone currently in office out and replacing them might actually succeed someday at the local, state, and federal level ALL AT THE SAME TIME.

     My eighth concern is that the major parties have too much control over what we the people get to hear.  Any party in any state that is able to get a candidate on the ballot for an election or primary should have the right to be part of EVERY political debate.  Any major party that stops another from participating should be heavily fined.  A second offense and their candidate gets kicked out of the debates.  It should be that everyone is heard or NOBODY gets to be heard.  This is also where the news media, universities, etc. need to step in.  If you host a debate, you should not allow bigger parties to decide who can show up and who cannot show up to a debate and participate in the debate.  I find the media and universities to be the biggest hypocrites on his issue.  They both claim to be there to inform the people yet allow only select groups to have their say in these debates that they host.

     My final message.  You do not have to do massive in-depth research, but at least do enough research to know where your candidate really stands.  Don't vote based on sound bites, political ads, feel good with no actual specific answer speeches, what one issue groups feed you, or straight down a party line just because you don't like the other party.  There are some, though very few, good candidates in each group.  Remember to also look into all groups, not just the two parties that currently dominate our country.  After the election is over, find out who your local representatives, state representatives, and federal representatives are.  Find out how to get regular updates on what every single one of them is doing for you (or to hurt you).  Write them, call them, and do whatever it takes to make sure what they are doing is to help you and everyone in your area instead of helping themselves.

     When the people sit back and let their elected officials gain too much control, they lose their freedom first and eventually the country their forefathers founded.  My final message is that once an election is over, do not wait until the candidate is up for reelection to find out what they did in office.  Once in a while, check up on what they are doing. If they are not doing what you voted them into office to do, write, call, and bug them until they do what they promised or are forced to publicly explain themselves.

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