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.

Comments

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  • R Kerns

    Sounds like a candidate that we need. Sensible and reasonable.

  • ShoreBudMike

    I would, indeed, vote for such a candidate.

  • Joanne Fleming

    Yes, I would, were they to actually exist.

  • Brightwater

    Yes, I would; are you going to run?

  • TheTimesTheyAreAchanging

    I would vote for this candidate. Sounds like the sort of “moderate” candidate that this country needs.

  • Nope. First off, a lot of this is typical political doublespeak. Fixing tax loopholes is something every politician calls for but ultimately it is nothing but a meaningless campaign slogan. Same with cutting abuse from welfare. A lot of times this looks like an attempt to hit the middle – we should be concerned about climate change, but not *too* concerned – and politicians love the middle, because it’s a place from which you can pretend to be on two sides at once.

    Some of this is good – gay rights, campaign finance – some bad, English as the legal language, support for the patriot act – some silly (a patch for voting against VA benefits? How about a pay cut instead?).

    Wouldn’t vote for this candidate, don’t respect this candidate.

    • Theo Darling

      THIS.

  • Neal Camerlengo

    Even if this person becomes President he or she would still have to deal with the Legislative Branch and the risk of possible obstruction.

  • Vicki G

    I certainly would!

  • Howard Matthews

    I would because of course these are all very sensible points to endorse. . . The candidate would of course never be elected, because the corporations that run elections would not pay for him to be seen by the public and if you dont see the candidate, they don’t get elected. It’s a lovely dream though.

  • Cis

    Would I vote for him? Probably. Do I agree with all of his stances? Nope. Rocky Anderson is still better than this one but since he won’t run as a party that will actually get him votes, I can’t really do much about it.

  • Gizzy N

    Theoretically, yes, I would vote for this candidate… but as another respondent alluded to below, I would want to see a more fleshed out plan for taxes, welfare and education.

    I agree, on the surface, with their goals and positions… but the “devil is in the details,” and so it is in the details I’d be looking for information to base my decision upon.

    Overall, however, this is certainly a candidate I would pay a great deal of attention to… and very likely vote for, barring any truly outrageous revelations in the aforementioned details.

  • Paul Peterson

    I would definitely vote for this candidate. With minor adjustments to the wording in the abortion section, the tax cut section, and the Education section, this is exactly what I believe. Where is such candidate???

  • Victoria Gutshall

    While I don’t agree with him/her on EVERY point, (I’m far more liberal than this candidate!) I would vote for him/her. Overall this candidate has a good platform, and makes some damn sense.

  • Cathy McManus

    absolutely!

  • Dee

    Absolutely. I may not agree 100% but it sounds like someone who looks at all sides of an issue and does not simply regurgitate traditional bipartisan catchphrases, but uses (gasp!) his/her brain.

  • Stanley

    I’d like to know who this person is.

  • Keith Welnicke

    I would vote for them if they got rid of the corporate welfare queens. Why does the candidate have to be a “He”?

    • Jer

      Why does the gender even matter?

      • Keith Welnicke

        Thats my point it says “he” what does it matter what gender it is.

  • Nikki

    I’d vote for this candidate, but I’d like to see their details in the education, taxes, and welfare sections.

  • David B

    Yes. I agree with more than 50%, which is better than I can say about other candidates. I especially agree with the education platform.

  • This hypothetical candidate has a reasonable sounding platform and is someone I could live with having voted for as a compromise. I do disagree with enough points here I would look at other candidates first.

  • J-Way

    With the exception of 2 points, it’s as if you wrote this to describe me. I’m not running, but assuming the details work out and the candidate is competent he/she would get my vote.

  • John

    I would. I hold a huge chunk of those detailed views.

  • Theo Darling

    No, I don’t think so. Their positions on some of the above issues are nuanced enough for me to make some concessions (although in some instances I’d like to see MORE nuance–instead of teaching kids the “dangers of” debt and credit, why not teach them how the systems work and the safest ways to navigate them, as it’s pretty damn unlikely they’ll be able to go their whole lives paying cash up front for everything). Some positions are too alienating for me though. I can’t vote for politicians who support, even theoretically, a 20-week limit on abortions, or making English the official language (especially for such a fucking stupid reason. Bilingual job applicants tend to be most sought after in areas with diverse populations in order to provide services to ethnic minorities who would be completely disenfranchised without special effort to meet their needs).

  • Drew D.

    Yes, without question.

  • Andrew James

    If that candidate existed, I would give every single cent I made for the rest of my life trying to get them elected. I do ask how they feel about term limits in Congress? Career Politicians are ruining this country we need more Public Servants!!!

  • suburbancuurmudgeon

    For the most part, yes. But s/he would never get elected.

  • anarchitek

    If ONLY there WERE candidates who spoke like this! Although you certainly STUBBED your toe, when you came to endorsing the Patriot Act, the single most egregious violation of personal liberties in more than 200 years, I agree with the rest of your “slate”. However, there doesn’t seem to be any candidates walking this particular line. There are those, like Elizabeth Warren, and Wendy Davis, who are speaking out, they are the minority, not the mainstream. We need MORE people, of either sex, any religion, all backgrounds, to step forward. We need to STOP pulling the lever, to vote STRAIGHT tickets, and especially to STOP sending bad politicians BACK to Washington, or the statehouse, or to a HIGHER office! Then we will BEGIN to see a trend in the right direction, and not until!

  • USMC9298

    I would. Some things I might disagree with in the details, but I would certainly be open to listening to what they have to say. The only major disagreement is with: 1) The Patriot Act – This was a piece of legislation created in a moment of panic and fear caused by a single act of terror, which has become the cornerstone of our move towards a police state. Its total revocation is the only real option. 2) The war in Afghanistan was equally useless, a measured response was what was called for. 3) Any option where we engage another country in a violent manner in retaliation for acts of violence they committed against us must be immediate, brutal, all encompassing, and brief. By brief I mean go in, do the killing that is necessary to make your point and leave. No rebuilding, no aid, no instruction, kill and leave period. Thus your message is sent until the next idiot forgets what happened to the last one. It is much cheaper, and much more effective.

    • Nesta

      Actually, the Patriot Act was written way before 9/11. A terrorist attact was just the perfect excuse to push it through. Seriously, look it up.

  • I “pretty much” agree with this candidate.. “pretty much”. I’m not going to go point by point and describe what I agree with and what I don’t agree with. I MIGHT support this candidate.. Yes, I’m hedging.

    However, I would not support this candidate if he/she were a Republican. Because the Republicans as a party have endorsed so many retrograde, racist, and cruel positions.. and so many Republicans individually have made retrograde, racist, cruel, and anti-human statements (and espoused such positions) .. without the Republican Party as an institution loudly and firmly denouncing these racist, cruel, inhuman, and basically ignorant positions.

    When and if the Republicans make it clear that they do not think that people who need help from the government are lazy loafers, that corporations are people, that child labor laws and minimum wage laws should be overturned, that the Affordable Health Care act should be repealed, etc. etc., then and only then will I consider voting for a Republican candidate, no matter what he or she believes as an individual candidate. I don’t think that will happen during the rest of my lifetime.