Archive for election

Your Civic Duty

Posted in current events with tags , , , , , on November 1, 2010 by Kyle Fleming

In case you haven’t been able to tell by the influx of political ads and media coverage, tomorrow is Election Day. Seats for the House and the Senate, as well as many local and state seats, are up for grabs. Tea Party candidates have completely shaken up the election scene, and for some seats, the only way to predict who will win is to wait for all of the votes to be counted.

It is your civic duty to vote tomorrow. While, ideally, I would have the readership to encourage everyone to vote Democrat, the main idea here is to just vote. But don’t vote for just anyone. Take the time to read the issues, examine the candidates, and vote for common sense.

There are plenty of crazy politicians out there (and Keith Olbermann in his Special Comment on Wednesday [two links] exposes the crazies in the Tea Party), and they come from all over. They are running simply because they want to oust the incumbents, but they don’t exactly have the best interests of the people in mind. Many times the stances they take have no ideological support; they are simply taking those stances because they think that’s what the people want.

It’s frustrating, especially in these last few months, to watch these ads and to listen to the debates and wonder why people this stupid are running for Congress. This frustration is a main reason why updates have been spotty at best–I would love to comment on everything stupid and inane that’s been going on in this election cycle, but there is so much going on that it’s hard to know where to start.

And sometimes, the stupidity is just so obvious that all I would need to do is post what was said, possibly with a string of personal attacks and curse words. As fun as that would be, I’m above that, and choose not to comment rather than get myself in trouble.

It is always important to vote, but never has it been more important than this cycle. President Obama, the Senate, the House, and all politicians should be working for the people, but it seems that when the politicians aren’t fighting with each other and filibustering and never getting anything done, they are campaigning.

Politicians say that they have your best interests in mind, but really, seriously, take a look at it. If your incumbent doesn’t appear to have your interests in mind, take them out. But replace them with someone who DOES have your best interests in mind. Look at the issues, look at the voting records, look at everything you can about the candidate. If you like what you see, get out and vote.

If you don’t like what you see, still vote. Other than candidates, there are plenty of things to vote on. In California, Proposition 19 will decide whether or not marijuana will be legalized. Referred Law 12 in South Dakota is the smoking ban law. Vote, and have your voice heard.

P.J. O’Rourke, Libertarian and political satirist, said Saturday on NPR, “The Government represents the will of the People, not the whim of the People.” If these Tea Party candidates get into office, what will they do once they accomplish their single issue? What is left for the Tea Party once they repeal “Obamacare” (a term that I’d be more than happy to have removed from our lexicon)?

Nothing. There will be two years of people with little to no political experience doing whatever they can to keep things moving in Washington.

Get out and vote on Tuesday. Vote for common sense. Vote for what you feel is the best option for your state and for your nation. Just don’t vote out of frustration. Vote for the betterment of all.

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Rand Paul: Tea Partier, but no Libertarian

Posted in politics with tags , , , , , , , on May 21, 2010 by Kyle Fleming

The midterm elections are the big thing to watch for in November. Many are predicting that the frustration and the hatred of the Democrats will be the driving force for people voting Republican in the polls. And what’s even more interesting is that many Tea Party people are backing certain candidates for Senate seats. The atmosphere is as exciting as it was prior to the 2008 election: people who aren’t normally involved in politics are now rallying behind their favorite candidate that they hope will make the world a better place.

One of these Tea Party candidates is one Dr. Rand Paul from Kentucky. Dr. Paul recently won the Kentucky primaries and has a real shot at winning a Senate seat. He’s being vehemently backed by the Tea Party, even when he mentions things about the Civil Rights Movement that could possibly be considered racist. (Keith Olbermann flipped out on Twitter about the quote: “I think at one time, people used to think of golf and golf clubs and golf courses as being exclusive…. I think Tiger Woods has helped to broaden that… and so now I don’t think it’s nearly as exclusive as people once considered it to be.”)

But I recently found an open letter to Rand Paul, asking him questions that a true Libertarian would have no problem answering. But before that can make any sense, the question becomes: what exactly is a Libertarian? Libertarianism is a political theory that basically says that government needs to remain small, and that we should practice individual liberty. Libertarians believe that the people are more than perfectly able to manage themselves, and it is not the government’s place to intervene at all.

That being said, Rand Paul isn’t really a Libertarian, according to Mel M., writing to the Baltimore Sun. The most pivotal part of the letter follows:

If he is such a supporter of private rights, does he support the private right of a woman to get an abortion? Additionally, did he support the private right of Terry Schiavo’s husband to make the gut wrenching private decision on whether to pull the plug on his brain dead wife? Does he oppose the recently enacted Arizona law requiring papers of people in Arizona if the officer has merely a “reasonable suspicion” the person is here illegally?

Looking at how he stands on the issues, it is obvious that he feels the opposite. “Life,” he says under the Abortion heading, “begins at conception,” and interestingly enough, claims that “the most basic function of government is to protect life.” Being for smaller government, to me, doesn’t mean that you sic the government into the private lives of its citizens.

And while he doesn’t mention anything about the right to die on his website, under the Illegal Immigration heading, he says, “I support local solutions to illegal immigration as protected by the 10th amendment.” This apparently includes what many people claim to be one of the most racist piece of legislation since the Jim Crowe Laws.

Many are glad that Rand Paul is the Tea Party nominee, because he will be easy to tear down, with his many “gaffes,” the fact that the GOP isn’t supporting him, and the fact that he is proud to say that he’s not a politician. The Tea Party people are excited that one of their own, someone beyond sound bites and party politics, has a real chance of winning. But given the atmosphere, and the great amount of people that are against him, I wouldn’t hold your breath.

One final note: Doesn’t it seem odd that someone that is so against President Obama would take the layout of the President’s website?:

Rand Paul website
Obama website

Strange, isn’t it?