As the looming federal election down in the U.S. crawls into the very near future and campaigning begins here in Canada, it occurs to me that there are probably a lot of people out there like me, who feel that voting is important, aren’t decided on who they will vote for and also feel that all politicians are full of shit. Agendas, parties and policies can be a minefield to intellectually navigate, so here are a few things that I think about when I choose who deserves my vote.
1. When they share stories, speak publicly or debate, do they say “I” or “we”, when they talk about solving problems? Do they brag about past achievements and talk about how they will single handedly fix major issues, or do they talk about how colleagues, partnerships, bi-partisan projects, and public will work together to resolve issues and improve conditions for the people that they govern?
It’s my theory that a candidate that refers to the self and “I” more frequently than “we” my be motivated more by power, awards and accolades. They want bragging rights and to top the previous thing on thier list of achievements. Someone like that will devote little attention to solving the problems of the average person unless they can somehow leverage the situation to further benefit themselves. Conversely, someone who says “we” may have the wisdom and maturity to understand that there are oroblems and that it will take hard work and co-operation to make things better.
2. Any candidate that uses smear tactics, or tries to rally followers into violence and hate, is manipulating others for their own benefit. I don’t believe naturally occurs in humans. I certainly don’t believe hate organizes naturally on its own. If it did, we never would have survived this long. The variety of colors and races African and Eurasian continents would have all killed each other dead before anyone could have discovered the new world. Our ancestors had to have been tolerant of each other, or they wouldn’t have survived. Yes of course there was racism and war, but I don’t believe the sentiment that humans are naturally predisposed to war or that humanity has always been at war since the dawn of time. In order for someone to want to organize and create a group or movement based on hate, they must at least partially exist outside of that demographic psychologically before they can recognize it as a trait that they can use for their own benefit. If the organizer believed in the cause or had the same hate, they wouldn’t need to use someone else’s hate to advance their agenda, because they would use their own and they wouldn’t be afraid of speaking up independently. The person who organizes the hate group or hate rally has to have a mindset that recognizes the hate in others as an asset they don’t have, that’s why they need them. The organizer is a manipulator who need to take advantage of the actions of their followers because it will somehow benefit the organizer. It’s the actions of the followers that benefit the organizer when they purposely whip people up into foaming anger. No one who uses and manipulates people that way is looking out for the interests of others. Their behavior has already shown that they made the decision to put profit before morality or ideology. If you follow someone who preaches hate you are being duped. Don’t vote for someone who hates the same people as you, choose the person that you genuinely feel will work to make the quality of your daily life and that of your loved ones better.
3. Any candidate pushing a pro-military action is not to be trusted. War is real, war is serious and war costs people’s lives. Someone who fully understands the gravity of this does not use the gamble of those lives as a bargaining chip to win an election. The decision to go to war should be solemn and respectful, not a marketing campaign. I truly believe that humanity has come to the point where we are intelligent enough that any problems between countries, nations, groups, etc. can be resolved with negotiation and mediation. As long as both sides are willing to talk and voice grievances openly, communication and negotiation can always be used to solve a dispute. No more of this always having someone jump in and say “but what if they do this...” to try to undermine the point. We’re not five yars old any more. Clearly if one party demands the extermination, persecution or confinement of the other party, they aren’t being reasonable or negotiating in good faith. Yes, there will always be leaders who for one reason or another feel the need to prove status or be unreasonable, but when someone is like that, negotiations would stop and the issue would be forwarded to the U.N. There the nation members could make decisions about sanctions, aid relief, limiting trade, etc. as tactics to pressure the unreasonable party to reconsider and come back to the negotiation table with more reasonable demands. If not, only when all other options have been exhausted should the UN consider sending in military or peace keeping forces. This process should be respected and not condone direct nation-to-nation conflict and should never be used to weaken, take over, or otherwise take advantage of smaller or weaker countries, but only begin in the case of a dispute between two separate countries, a border issue or a human rights issue. With all that in mind, I don’t think any candidate pushing for war fully understands these things and just believes a military is a tool for them to bully others and take what they want. That’s also someone who doesn’t care about your well being.
So those are my thoughts anyway. Yadda yadda yadda, you may not agree and that’s okay.
Here’s some of my recent art:
Thanks for reading,