Would You Vote For This Candidate?

question-mark-faceI come from an increasingly dying breed of political activists.  I’m someone who urges compromise while it seems much of the country has allowed the words to be a symbol for “weakness” and “defeat.”

We claim that we want a functioning government, yet continue to elect more partisan politicians than ever before.  While I see this far more often from Republicans, Democrats are not innocent of this either.

These days it seems people look to be told what they want to hear rather than what they need to hear.  I can’t count the times I attempt to find a compromised solution on an issue, only to be blasted by both sides as somehow being both a radical liberal (by conservatives) and a conservative sympathizer (by liberals) at the same time.

Then I met a candidate who had strong aspirations for a political future, but believes their centrist and compromised views on issues would be their downfall.  They feel the only way they could have any chance at a political career would be to pander to either the right or left and sell short their true values.

And sadly, I had to agree.

But I thought I’d take down a few positions they took on “mainstream issues” just to see how people would react to them.

So I ask you, would you vote for the following candidate based on where they stand on these issues?

Abortion

They’re pro-choice, yet they don’t morally agree with abortion, they don’t feel it’s their place to make that call for someone else.  Though they support a 20-week limit on abortions, they feel the health of the mother is paramount to anything else.  If after 20 weeks the health of her, or the baby, is a question mark an abortion is still available as an option.  And they believe wholeheartedly in exemptions being given to those victims of rape or incest.

Death Penalty

They support the death penalty, but feel if there’s evidence that might prove innocence (such as DNA testing) it should never be denied into evidence for the defense of the person facing death.  If there’s even a slight doubt of guilt, capital punishment should instantly be stricken from consideration.  And in reality, only in cases where there’s indisputable evidence that links the accused to the crime should it be considered.  (An example they use is video, direct witnesses or overwhelming finger print/DNA evidence.)  However,  they also believe the death penalty should be extended to include repeat offenders of rape and child molestation.

Gay Rights

Simple.  Give homosexuals the same rights as heterosexuals–period.  Our First Amendment clearly defines the freedom of religion and believes that faith should be kept completely out of politics.  If God should happen to oppose same-sex marriage, that’s for God to decide, not us.  They believe homosexuals are born that way and should be given the same rights as everyone else.

Gun Rights

Supports our Second Amendment, but believes in universal background checks on all gun purchases.  Despises the NRA as a “group of clowns manipulating Americans to believe they’re a group for Constitutional rights, when all they are is a shrill for gun manufacturers to increase their profits.”

Campaign Finance Reform

Believes we should set strict limits on how much individuals can donate to a particular campaign.  Believes corporations aren’t people and the sooner we get big money out of politics, the sooner we can get the United States back on track.  All donations should be made public and PAC’s should be illegal.  Campaigns should be run with full transparency of where the money is coming from and only the money that comes from these donations should be allowed for political activities.  “Donations” such as event halls, dinners and other things such as this are not allowed.  Everything in a campaign must be paid for from monetary donations.

They believe anyone who gripes about the inefficiencies in government, while opposing laws which could prevent millions of dollars funneled into campaigns by people trying to buy politicians, is a fool.

Media

Doesn’t care for either MSNBC, Fox News or any “mainstream media.”  Believes our news should be publicly funded, without influence from ratings or advertisers.  Believes our nightly news should report actual news.  Not the name of Kim Kardashian’s baby or which celebrity is getting a divorce.

Immigration 

Believes it’s a ridiculous notion to think we can deport 12 million people.  Also believes it’s equally as ridiculous to want to deport people who were brought here as children, know nothing about whichever country they were born in, and believe themselves to be American citizens—because that’s how they’ve been raised.  Feels we need sensible immigration reform to deal with the immigrants who have been here and are solid members of the community but does believe we need to work on securing our borders from future illegal immigration and we need to do a better job patrolling our borders from crime that can spill over from Mexico into the United States.

Welfare

Strongly believes in programs that help the poor, but believes we have too many loopholes and poor oversight within these programs which opens them up for continued abuse.  We don’t need to cut funding for these programs if we focused on curbing the abuse within the system.  These programs need to be geared to help those who need them, not those who abuse them.  But blanket spending cuts targeting these programs which could hurt those who need them is irresponsible and foolish.

Tax Cuts 

Believes you simply can’t have an economic plan built solely on “tax cuts to create jobs” nor can your plan for deficit reduction only be “tax the rich.”  We do need to simplify the tax code, but a flat tax only benefits the rich and puts the burden on the poor and middle class.  We need to fix tax loopholes that allow the ultra rich and big corporations to pay a lower tax rate than most middle class Americans.  But we also need to fix loopholes lower income Americans and some in the middle class use to pay no income tax whatsoever.  He proposed a “minimum” income tax charge of $50 for every American who gets a refund that didn’t pay any income tax after their taxes were finalized.

Education 

Believes teachers are vastly underpaid (thinks they should start around $50-55k and have much larger annual raises with bonuses for number of passing students).   Thinks it’s ridiculous that we want “quality education” yet continue to increase the burden we place on teachers, while paying them less and providing them fewer resources.  Believes education should be earned, not just handed out.  If we have low graduation rates, that’s a sign we need to increase the quality of our educators with better pay instead of pandering our curriculum to just “pass as many people as possible.”  For our education system to work, not everyone is going to graduate.  We can’t sacrifice the quality of the information being taught in our schools simply to hand out diplomas because what’s the value of the diploma if it wasn’t earned?

Feels what we teach in our schools needs to be completely redone.  We need to teach finance, economics, psychology, politics, government, math, science, history, critical thinking and writing as mandatory classes, not “electives” (which many of these classes are).  Students should learn about the dangers of credit before they’re old enough to get a credit card, and we need to teach young people about the dangers of getting into debt.

But with an increased level of pay they feel teachers must be held more accountable for the quality of their work.  They feel too many bad teachers continue to stay employed because in many states it’s often incredibly difficult to fire a teacher for poor performance.

Climate Change

Strongly believes in climate change, though they feel too many people trying to prove it’s real go way too over the top with their claims, which then gives ammunition to the “climate change deniers” when their outlandish claims fall short.  They believe it does a disservice to the science to use “worst case scenario” numbers when presenting their arguments because moderates or people on the fence get turned off when the message seems every bit as radical as those who deny climate change is happening.  Believes “climate change deniers” are borderline insane.

Some other issues they support:

  • Making English the official language.  It’s the language the vast majority of Americans speak and doesn’t think it’s fair people are denied jobs seeking “bilingual applicants” simply because they might not speak Spanish. 
  • Any politician who openly endorses using religion to craft public policy should be forced to resign their office as this is a direct violation of the First Amendment.
  • The fact that fracking continues to be legal is one of the biggest travesties this world might ever see.
  • Supports the Patriot Act, though believes there needs to be more transparency as it relates to surveillance of Americans.
  • Supported the war in Afghanistan but strongly opposed the war in Iraq.
  • Believes war should always be an option, but also believes it should only be used as a last resort when every other possible option has been exhausted, and it’s supported by the majority of our key allies.
  • If we want to honor our troops, their treatment once they come home should be top-notch, not bottom of the barrel.  Any politician who votes for any bill which reduces VA benefits should be forced to wear a patch every time they’re in Congress to let the American people know they voted to cut veteran’s benefits.
  • There’s nothing wrong with being a proud Christian, but there is something wrong when people think everyone else should be one as well.
  • Many of the people who built this nation from its foundation were Christians, but that doesn’t mean we’re a “Christian nation.”

I’ll end it there.  There are a bunch more, but this has already gone on long enough.

So what’s the verdict, would you vote for this candidate?

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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