Fan Friday—How to Vote in the Presidential Election

I’m certainly not going to tell you for whom to cast your vote, and I’m not going into the logistics of how to actually go and vote. What I’m trying to do here is narrow down the reasons to vote for a candidate. Or not.

In order to serve in the position of President of the United States, a person must meet certain constitutional requirements. Let’s assume that both qualify here, since they do.

*Note: third-party or fourth-party candidates will not be included here, only because we all know that any will be unlikely to win. It’s not impossible, just unlikely.

Here are the qualities that I think are necessary:

Leadership ability

Good character

Sound morals

Hmmm. Maybe I SHOULD consider third- and fourth-party candidates . . .

These are my top three. Should I have a dilemma in choosing, I would consider other issues as well. Please read on. It certainly looks as though it’s coming to that.

A good leader oversees the big picture, the whole enchilada; a good leader doesn’t need to know how to do every job, but does need to know how those jobs work in order to ensure that everything is achieved. A good leader must know when to ask questions and be willing to learn; a good leader must be able to delegate to competent people, but be willing to step in when things go south. A good leader must be of good character, or all his or her good intentions will fall by the wayside and nothing will ever be accomplished.

Qualities that show good character are honesty, integrity, humility, and respect. Many others could be added to this list, others that I’d consider secondary because, if one has these, one would exhibit those. Things like kindness and tolerance go hand in hand with respect.

Sound morals are often laughed at these days, but are still important, even if one doesn’t quite realize what morals are. I wouldn’t vote for a candidate simply because of his or her professed religion or piety, but morals are, after all, based on religion—yes, whether or not you believe this. Read the Ten Commandments. Pretend it’s merely literature, if that makes you feel better, and spend some time thinking about them.

Pay particular attention to these:

Do not murder

Do not commit adultery

Do not steal

Do not lie

Most people believe these, yes? These are morals; these are part of one’s character. These are things to which a good leader ascribes.

[insert brief lesson on Christianity] A Christian is forgiven. Most candidates claim Christianity at one time or another. However, being a Christian means asking God for forgiveness and repenting. Repenting means you will try your best not to do [insert sin] ever again.

And sin itself means this is impossible—you might well commit this sin again. But because you are a Christian, you will try as hard as you can NOT to do it again.

Think of it like this: you are on a diet, which makes you a dieter. As a dieter, you are not allowed to eat a dozen cookies, but you do it anyway. Does this mean the diet failed? No. You failed, but you vow to avoid eating a dozen cookies the next day. Some days you succeed, on others you fail, but it doesn’t mean you’ve stopped dieting.

So when a candidate claims Christianity yet shows no or loose or questionable morals, you wonder about his or her morals and, by extension, his or her character. And this is where it gets tricky, because a Christian will strive to be, well, perfect, even though it’s impossible because of sin.

This is where you must examine your candidate of choice and determine his or her motivation and contrition. No one is going to have perfect morals (or character, or leadership). This doesn’t mean you would choose the least objectionable candidate, but it might mean exactly that if you’re unable to determine if your choice possesses these three traits: leadership, character, morals.

Now that we know what we’re looking for, how do you decide if the candidates possess these three basic qualities?

You look at their leadership records—no, it doesn’t have to be in politics, but there should be some leadership experience. Scroll back up and look at the definition of a good leader.

You look at their character. Read that again too.

You look at their morals. Ditto.

Where do you find the information? You read between the lines that the media feeds us. All the media, not only the major networks. And not only the rabble-rousing sites. You have to look at both, and you have to think. You can’t just have a knee-jerk reaction to whatever sensational story of the day is trending.

Has Clinton or Trump been in a good leader in their chosen field?

Has Clinton or Trump shown good character?

Do Clinton or Trump possess morals?

These may or may not be yes or no questions—you have to research, and you have to think.

Look at their platforms. Don’t worry about the details—what the candidate has actually done, to the minute detail; exactly what he has promised during a campaign? Look at the top three, leadership, character, and morals, in respect to this.

For instance, Clinton’s top three issues on the list are fair tax, addiction and substance abuse, and a workable economy. Has she shown leadership, character, and morals as they relate to these?

Trump’s top three positions on the list are cybersecurity, veterans’ affairs, and trade. Has he shown leadership, character, and morals as they relate to these?

Let’s go a bit further down the lists:




Campaign finance reform

Campus sexual assault

Climate change



Tax plan


National defense



Foreign policy/ISIS

Do you see a recurring theme? Aside from the fact that Clinton’s list is in alphabetical order, her issues are more personal; Trump’s seem to have a national, or big picture, theme.

That, it seems to me, is one of the key differences between parties. Democrats want to fix people on the micro level, Republicans want to fix the country and the people will sort out the rest.

On that basis, and those who know me won’t be surprised, I’d go with the Republican candidate.

And then we’re back to those top three qualities . . .

I did go to the candidates’ websites and found some interesting things.

Both seem to want many of the same things and actually hold the same opinions on the issues, but differ in how to achieve these things.

The websites themselves are arranged similarly, but here’s a big difference I found:

While Trump’s page on his tax plan give a list of changes, Clinton’s tax plan reads more like a blog post/media announcement with links to interviews or speeches she’s given. I’m not sure if it’s the male/female dynamic or party differences. I just found it interesting, either way.

So I’m not going to tell you how to vote, or which way to lean, but I do think it all comes back to those three qualities: leadership, character, morals. And of course, either candidate may possess or have done or be pushing for something that is a deal-breaker either way, regardless of anything else.

This election is so tense, so acrimonious, so _____ [pick any negative word], that nearly everyone has severed some kind of relationship over it. But in just a few days, it’ll all be over but the shouting. And shouting there will be, on one side or another. Maybe both. Is it really worse than any other election since the advent of social media? Hard to tell. And I’m not willing to do the research on that!





Fan Friday—Politics

Yes, I’m going there. I’m going to break a cardinal rule regarding talk of religion, politics, and money.

Okay, not the religion or money, but still . . .

I’m really, really tired of people bashing politicians—particularly the GOP. Yes, I said that. I’m a Republican. Surprised?

See, I’m a child of a mixed marriage: Democrat and Republican. As a teen, I was swayed toward the liberal side and now that I look back, I think it was just an act of teen defiance. Made for some fun times around the dinner table, since I lived with the GOP side.

At any rate, I’d like to set a few things straight, based on my perhaps limited understanding.

Republicans believe in small government. That means that we think less is better: less regulation, fewer offices and rules and bureaucracy. We believe in being conservative with money and are mostly traditional in morals and values. We believe in personal responsibility.

Now, you may say the GOP has strayed from these principles and I won’t argue. You can say that they spend too much on defense, give tax breaks to corporations, pollute with impunity.

Some of them do.

And this is my point:

Individuals are not the party. A politician, or several of them, are not the party. When you bash the GOP and say “all” of them are [fill in the blank], you are bashing ME. And that pisses me off.

For example, the GOP didn’t poison Flint’s water; a series of idiot events, presided over by idiots, did that. They happen to be Republicans? THAT DOESN’T MEAN IT WAS THE PARTY, or even ALL REPUBLICANS.

Get a freakin’ grip.

But as a Republican, what do I see on the “other” side?

Bloated bureaucracy. Regulated everything. Feelings.

A government, or an executive board of an organization, or a business, needs to be workable. Fewer chiefs, more Indians, to use a probably politically incorrect phrase. When there are departments of EVERYTHING, those everythings get confusing and expensive. Look at some of the ridiculous things that the US government spends money on—and please don’t point fingers at one party or the other. They ALL DO IT.

Pork. This is why so many beneficial, sensible laws do not get passed. It isn’t because the GOP is against feeding children, for example, it’s the added crap someone—anyone—put into that bill.

Compare that to an executive board: fifteen people all trying to agree and all voting on everything little thing instead of letting the committee responsible do its job.

Or a business. A mom and pop business, at the beginning, has mom and pop in charge of EVERYTHING; if they’re going to be viable, they share the duties or split them. The company grows, and so mom and pop simply can’t keep up with EVERYTHING, so they appoint or hire say, vice presidents. Twenty of them. All the employees are now executives, making decisions.

End of business.

Conversely, they have maybe ten VPs. And each one keeps hiring assistants or admins or whatever. No one is doing the work, because everyone has a “position.”

End of business.

Regulations and rules can certainly be good things. Christians have the Ten Commandments as a base, and even many of my atheist friends have adopted those, although maybe not in so many words or don’t claim them as such. But they certainly live good, moral lives.

No, I won’t go into morality and all that—my point is that a civilized society MUST have rules. Some. A lot fewer than we have now. We’ve all read articles about silly laws still on the books from way back in the old days. Makes me laugh to think how, in the future, we’ll all laugh about some of the current ones.

Kids pointing fingers and shouting “bang,” for example, as being grounds for suspension or expulsion from school.

And no, I’m not saying Democrats think this is okay—some do; some Republicans do too. These people are idiots. My point, again, is that SOME THINK THIS IS OKAY. Both parties.

Here’s a personal example:

When we had the bookstore, I noticed an odd charge on my sewer bill so I called and asked about it.

Here, in STLCO, all businesses are charged a fee IN CASE they are flushing chemicals down the toilet or allowing run-off into a stream or wherever.

This is not a fair or just regulation. This is an example of government gone wrong. I have no idea who came up with this or to which party he belonged.

Let’s talk about feelings.

You cannot legislate feelings. For myself, yes, I have them; I just don’t believe that everything sad that I read “breaks my heart.” My heart has been broken; whose has not? But by a person, an individual, someone I actually know—and I’m speaking in general, to compare a sad story or article to an actual experience.

Many claim that Republicans have no feelings because—may as well let it all out—for example, those same people claim that the GOP doesn’t want to feed or take care of children unless they are still in the womb.


Go back and read again about pork. And continue:

Republicans believe in personal responsibility—have children or not, but if you do, take care of them. It’s your job. Your responsibility. It is not the job of the government to take care of you or your children. Be a freakin’ adult.

And speaking of adults, either a person is a child or an adult. In most states, 18 is the age of majority. At that point, you aren’t a teen, per se, you aren’t a child, you are an ADULT. Prior to that, as a parent, you’re darn right I’m making the decisions.

From what I see, Democrats think kids should call the shots—get an abortion, no problem; have sex, go for it. If it feels good, it’s okay, do it; it’s YOUR body.

Wait, see what I did there?

I just said that DEMOCRATS believe these things, and that sentence immediately implies that ALL OF THEM believe these things!

And that, my friends, is just plain wrong.

I have many friends on both sides. I’m quite sure we disagree on many things. But very few of them will post or talk about how ALL REPUBLICANS or ALL DEMOCRATS or conservative or liberal or whatever word you want to use are evil and moronic.

And those that do, piss me off no end. They aren’t fair. They aren’t right. They merely show that they are not capable of thinking clearly or critically.