This November, we will have a chance to exercise our freedom of choice at the polling places. Important principles will be identified on the left and on the right and our positions on those principles will determine our vote. In a true republic, contesting adversaries usually must compromise on some of their principles. This is only possible when the voter recognizes that all principles are not equal. Some cannot be compromised. Others can. The hard part is deciding where you stand.
I have thought my position through. I’m basically a right/center conservative who will, at times, chose to vote a split ticket. There is no perfect candidate for any office. Sorry about that. When Barack Obama was elected, I was proud of my country for electing a black man as president. Not that I voted for him. He did not fit my requirements for a president. I served in the White House under President Reagan and it is not a position where learning on the job is a viable option. Without significant leadership and management experience, no one can succeed as president. Experience as a community organizer, state senator, a two-year member of the Senate, and four years campaigning from the White House just does not prepare you for the job , no matter how intelligent you may be. Enough about that.
Back to the hard part. Where do you stand? Where can you compromise? What is your ranking of governing principles? Below are 20 questions I believe are worth considering before November 2012. There is nothing scientific about these questions or the order in which they are presented. They don’t even reflect my own order of political principles. Below I have presented the number of yes votes as a means for you to classify where you fit in the political spectrum from the far right to the far left. No scientific process here. It is all subjective and you can do your own scoring.
1. DO YOU BELIEVE THE FREE MARKET WITH LIMITED GOVERNMENT INVOLVEMENT IS PREFERABLE TO A GOVERNMENT MANAGED ECONOMY?
2. DO YOU BELIEVE OUR CURRENT DEBT IS A NATIONAL CRISES AND WE SHOULD TAKE IMMEDIATE STEPS TO END BORROWING AND PAY DOWN THE DEBT?
3. DO YOU BELIEVE THE CURRENT CORPORATE TAX RATE SHOULD BE LOWERED TO ENCOURAGE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND THE RENEWAL OF MANUFACTURING IN THE UNITED STATES?
4. DO YOU BELIEVE EVERY PERSON WITH AN INCOME ABOVE MINIMUM WAGE LEVELS SHOULD PAY SOME FEDERAL INCOME TAX?
5. DO YOU BELIEVE A VOTER I.D. REQUIREMENT SHOULD BE UP TO THE STATES?
6. DO YOU BELIEVE FREEDOM REQUIRES ETERNAL VIGILANCE AND BIG GOVERNMENT PRESENTS A BIGGER THREAT TO INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM THAN A MORE LIMITED GOVERNMENT?
7. DO YOU BELIEVE OUR CURRENT INCOME TAX CODE NEEDS TO BE REVISED?
8. DO YOU BELIEVE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES UNIONS SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO CONDUCT COLLECTIVE BARGAINING FOR SALARY AND BENEFITS?
9. DO YOU BELIEVE ENTITLEMENT PROGRAMS NEED TO BE REVISED TO ENSURE SOLVENCY FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS?
10. DO YOU BELIEVE COURTS SHOULD INTERPRET AND ADJUDICATE EXISTING LAW VERSUS MAKING LAW?
11. DO YOU BELIEVE TERM LIMITS FOR LEGISLATORS WOULD IMPROVE THEIR RESPONSIVENESS TO THEIR CONSTITUENCIES?
12. DO YOU BELIEVE IN MAINTAINING A STRONG MILITARY?
13. DO YOU BELIEVE WHILE ALL PEOPLE ARE EQUAL UNDER THE LAW, THEY HAVE VASTLY DIFFERENT LEVELS OF ABILITY?
14. DO YOU BELIEVE GOVERNMENT SPENDING IS THE WRONG WAY TO ENCOURAGE ECONOMIC GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT?
15. DO YOU BELIEVE THE RECENT LEVEL OF GOVERNMENT REGULATION ON INDUSTRY SLOWS ECONOMIC GROWTH?
16. DO YOU BELIEVE PUBLIC SCHOOLS, AT ANY LEVEL, SHOULD NOT EXCLUSIVELY TEACH PARTISAN VIEWS, EITHER LEFT OR RIGHT?
17. DO YOU BELIEVE THE RIGHTS OF STATES TO GOVERN SHOULD BE PROTECTED FROM FEDERAL INCURSIONS?
18. DO YOU BELIEVE OUR HEALTH CARE SYSTEM NEEDS TO BE IMPROVED FOR ALL CITIZENS?
19. DO YOU BELIEVE WE NEED TO HAVE AN ENERGY POLICY TO INCREASE FOSSIL FUEL DEVELOPMENT NOW WHIIE CONDUCTING BASIC RESEARCH TO FIND OTHER FORMS OF ENERGY?
20. DO YOU BELIEVE THE FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM SHOULD BE TRANSPARENT AND RESPONSIVE TO CONGRESSIONAL GUIDELINES?
If you have 16 to 20 yes answers, you are a strong conservative. I judge a score of 12 to 16 yes answers puts you in the right of center wing. If your yes answers are less than five I think you can call yourself far left. My guess is a score of 6 to 10 yes answers puts you in the political center. Remember, this process is subjective. If you don’t like the results change the range of numbers. The important thing is that you consider these principles and some I’ve missed before you vote. We must find a working center in the next administration. We have historically been a slightly right of center people. We can govern from there and let the political fringes have their say.