I see the format of the Republican debates, and the types of questions being asked, as a very serious threat to even the possibility of having fair and honest elections that elect fair and honest people, who will truly do what is needed to turn things around, and who can win the election. I have great faith in the American people, but they must be told the unvarnished truth if they're ever going to elect people that will truly solve our problems of unemployment and a sluggish economy.
To win the election, we'll need one tool. It is both powerful, and painful, painfull if it exposes your own shorcomings: the truth. Have no doubt, it will need to be terribly powerful to defeat what it will be up against. The Democrats will use every propaganda and mob oriented psychological technique ever discovered or developed, and every dirty trick out of Saul Alinsky's “Rules for Radicals” that they can. They'll appeal to the mob instinct of the voters in the campaign, and they'll have a billion dollars to do it with! Think about that for a second, or two. Or three.
“By the fruits of their labors shall ye know them.” In many ways, this is not a contest of different philosophies, and their debatable merits, but rather a choice of good vs. evil. Plain and simple. We need to fight back. This election is critical, but we need to treat the root cause of what got us to this point. Right now we're fighting 100 years of progressive propaganda, via the Public Education Monopoly.
Can't we produce made for TV movies that highlight how various rich people lived the American dream? Show how they truly deal with their success, and how much they support worthy causes, and how much more real good that, and the jobs their companies produce, accomplishes than comperable government programs could ever do for the price? Teach them how rewarding using wealth wisely for the benefit of your neighbors is, and how it can best and only be done by individuals, possibly working together, but never in any government form.
Teach them why capitalism made America great. Duh, use the truth against them. There is no defense for that attack. The blind will begin to see. Slam them with the historical facts. When those facts find our predcessors, or even ourselves guilty, admit the error and show how we've either reformed, or now see the light and will reform. All the worst abuses of wealth have been done with the help of elected officials. Solyndra is a case in point, but plenty of examples could be found on the other side of the fence, too. We must burn our own bridges to nowhere.
What we'll need to counter their dirty, lying appeal to the mob, is the truth, and the knowledge of how to use it against the coming attack, and the most likely form of that attack. If you haven't read “Rules for Radicals”, you should. You should memorize it. It's a playbook of most of what the Democrats are, and have been, doing. We unwittingly give them a powerfil weapon, in that there is plenty of corruption in the Republican party, as well. That, to me, is the “elepant in the room” that nobody wants to talk about. Solyndra is bad, but doesn't anybody else remember $400 toilet seats for airplanes? When have Republicans, including Lincoln, ever been perfect? How is the campaign business this season? We must not pretend to be perfect, but we must dedicate ourselves to becoming so, at least as far as strictly sticking to the Constitution, as soon as we can get there, or we can kiss the America you and I grew up with, and hoped to pass on to our children goodbye. It's truly that serious.
There are several causes for our problems, but the most serious and easily reformed of them are all caused by corruption of public officials. They make promises, or at least show favoritism, to special interests that give them campaign money. They represent the special interests, rather than their constituents. Those constituents sense the deception and hypocracy, and protest, both on the left and right. My first question would expose any hint of corruption, and be a step in the direction of “government of the people, by the people, and for the people”, and a step away from “governmnt of the political hacks, by the special interests, and for the special interests”. In that one point, the OWS protesters and the TEA Party can agree. Otherwise, the worst of the OWS protesters are openly stating the communistic desires that the majority of Democrats have secretly, perhaps even unconciously held for years.
What they forget is that propaganda only works if you don't recognize it as such! We need to cite chapter and verse to explain to the voters why they'll be saying the things they'll be saying in advance! Spoil the joke! Blurt out the punch line! Expose their techniques for what they are, and what they are is evil manipulation. Counter any wild claims with hard truth. Truth has a certain ring to it that our media has mostly forgotten. Even the deaf can be made to hear it. Not so with lies. They have to be hammered in. But don't ignore nature's lessons: even granite can be worn away by water, eventually. They've been playing Robin Hood with our society since 1913 and the 16th Amendment, and teaching children that was the proper thing to be doing, the whole time. Have you ever asked yourself what Thomas Jefferson would have thought of a progressive income tax rate?
What we forget is that we've mostly bought some of our own propaganda. Too many of us have drunk the tainted kool-aid. President Obama has exposed himself as an out-and-out socialist by his class warfare. That's talk, but what has he done? He mostly just took what Bush had done, and doubled down on it! If Obama is a socialist, what does that make Bush, half a socialist? A typical Republican today is where JFK was in 1962. We need to talk about that.
Can a fair and honest person ever hope to get elected, when to even dream of actually being elected, one must sell out one's future votes to special interests to get that money to buy the ads that are an absolute necessity to winning?
In 21st Century America, candidates sell themselves, and candidates and positions on public policy they later vote for are marketed to the voters as if they were new cars and starving children, respectively. Some women vote for a candidate strctly on looks. It's a proven fact. We must influence the thinkers, and they'll influence the others that can be won by rational argument.
To me, the really important questions to ask any presidential candidate are not being asked in any meaningful way. Do you want to elect on principles or sound bytes?
I believe that a deeper understanding of a candidate's character, beliefs and plans is the only thing that will enable the voters to make an informed, honest choice, and to elect, not a perfect President, for such does not exist, but the one that is most likely to carry out what our informed will is. The trick is to truly inform the voters of what the consequences of electing this or that person and their plan will be is not easy, because nobody can know for sure. The problem I see is that the current system only shows the voters what the candidate's positions are, or would be for this or that issue. The system never takes an in depth look at who the candidates are, what they believe in, and what their plan is. I think the candidates videotaped answers, in speech form, to these questions would show those things.
- Who were your top three contributors, and what promises did you make, or what tacit understandings did you have with them that caused them to give you that money? What, if any, is the quid pro quo? Did they like you enough to contribute because you promised to lower taxes, etc., and they support you on general principles, or are they a potential government contractor that would use the contribution as at least a “foot in the door” for getting government business ahead of their competitors?
- Just what are your ethics, and what is the basis for them? Is it religious, philosophical, or what? Specifically, do you believe in the God that our Declaration of Independence proclaims to have granted us the rights that are the basis for our desire for freedom, and is the authority the document cites as governing the principles that justify and necessitate the very existence of our country? Do you believe that to be a righteous question? If you do believe in God, do you aspire to be a righteous person? Do you believe it takes a righteous person to protect our God given rights? Why did the Constitution not make that a requirement, since the majority obviously believed in God?
- What do you believe the proper role of the Federal government should be, as that relates to the Constitution? How does that relate to protecting our God given rights? Part of that should be whether or not it's the Federal government's job is to be involved in any kind of safety net at all, and why, or why not. Another point would be the nature of that government provided, so called, “safety net” versus private charity, how much the government's role has grown lately, and why, and the ethical principles involved in having government, vs. private charity, provide the safety net.
- What do you believe the proper role of the States should be, as that relates to the Constitution? Where should they fit in, as far as the safety net goes, for example?
- How great a danger do you view the 14 trillion dollar national debt to be to us, and which, if either, party's policies have done the most to contribute to the growth of that debt? Were the Republican sponsored deficits really that much smaller?
- In clear and concise terms, what, exactly is your plan to fix things, if you are elected, starting with the debt.
I don't claim the list to be perfect, but at least they attempt to expose root principles, beliefs and plans, which are the undeniably best available predictors of what a person's position will be on this or that specific issue, much better than the present line of quick questions and answers. Must all Americans be presumed to have the attention span of a 12 year old?
Their answers to these questions should be recorded in the form of a speech. It would take at least an hour for a candidate to get through all that, but we would have the true gist of who they are, what they believe in, and what their plan is. They will have plenty of time to prepare. They'll need it, because the problems we're facing are rooted in misinformation that has been preached as gospel for over 100 years. Unfortunately, we're light years away from really following the Constitution. Unfortunately, most Americans of both parties refuse to see that.
My list of questions will expose their core principles better than those currently being asked, “as warp is to impulse”, and will also force the candidates to ask themselves some tough, hard, soul searching questions. Just ask yourself, how can they be honest with us, if they can't be honest with themselves?
They will need to have them ready at least two weeks before the primary elections, to be fair and give everybody who is motivated to vote a chance to view them, and to make a truly informed choice. We have too many citizens who are really more interested in other things than government, and wouldn't take the trouble to view them. Quite a few of them don't vote. Many vote from media ads, or water cooler talk. We should give them a much better source of information.
Things are bad, and the American people deserve and need the truth to be able to vote for a person who will really rein in the Monster our Federal government has become. If you don't believe it has become a Monster, we're in more trouble than I thought.
“Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.” – Thomas Paine
How can these video presentations of the candidates giving extended speeches be presented in a way that will enable the voting public to access them? Television isn't the answer to that.
The real anser is to have them recorded and accessible from the internet, as in YouTube. Most Americans have internet access, and for those who don't, even the homeless have access to the public libraries where it's available for free. The deaf would have access to the audio. Braille transcripts could be made available. Put these in the public libraries, and the American people would have no excuse not to be informed about the people they're being asked to trust with their future, and the future of their children.
If President Obama was a true believer in the causes he purports to support, and if the Republicans went to this system, he could do the same thing, and give his billion dollar war chest to worthy causes.
Maybe then we could have a fair and honest Presidential election for the first time in over a hundered years, instead of this repetitive three-ring-circus that dances around the real issues and in the end only lets us choose between political hacks that play the game well enough to get the money to run.
“A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned – this is the sum of good government.” – Thomas Jefferson