Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Principle Based Decision Making in Representative Government

I have long believed that there is a process by which we can find solutions to even the very vexing problems we face now as a nation. It is based on using correct principles of truth to determine the correct and effective path to resolving the problem. It consists of three basic steps.

Analyze carefully and state the problem correctly.
   This requires setting aside politics and special interests. It requires intellectual honesty and being able to articulate accurately what the problem actually is, not what rhetoric makes it seem to be.

Discover and state clearly the principles of truth that pertain to the problem(s).
   Before trying to solve a problem, we must understand all of the principles that should be considered.

Apply the principles to the problem.
   Reject "knee-jerk" reactionary solutions and emotional appeals as a basis for decision making. More bad laws have been created because of emotional response to real problems than any other cause. If a solution does not hinge on the correct principles involved, it will not serve us well in the long run. The law of unintended consequences to "good-intentioned" decisions is one of the most common things that has gotten us into the mess we are in. If we instead choose to take the time to make decisions based on sound principles of truth, we have a good chance of not only solving today's problem, but not creating tomorrow's.

I am aware that there will be some disputation as to what the principles of truth are. However, I am confident if those principles are based on our unalienable rights and the U.S. Constitution, we can come to consensus among most people of good conscience. In the next while, I will be posting what I believe to be reasoned solutions created by this process to some of our more vexing problems and questions. Come along for the ride and comment freely so that we together can refine those solutions and more accurately observe and describe what the problems and principles are that should be considered.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Is Voting For a Third Party or Independent Candidate Wasting Your Vote?

That's what all the major party candidates tell you. Is it possible that they have an ulterior motive for saying such a thing? We have a societal problem in this country - we want to be on the "winning" team. For many, it has become more important than being on the "right" team - or perhaps even being the lone voice in the wilderness that speaks the truth, come what may. It seems that almost every person I respect has as one of their guiding principles some version of the following statement. "My responsibility is to do all I can to affect change for the better. Results are up to God."

I have come to understand that, if no one will step forward and take a chance or take a stand, God will not do anything for us. If we will do what we know or even feel is right, he can help us make a difference. Sometimes that means that an unlikely candidate may be elected through happenstance or intervention by God (or luck if you would rather). More often, it means that a person who does all he or she can will affect the debate, encourage people who are tired of the status quo, or help people realize there is a better way than what we have been doing.

The old maxim that "insanity consists of doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results" applies. For at least 100 years we have been sending people as our representatives to Washington D.C. who either believe the government should be bigger, stronger and more intrusive in our lives or soon allow the seductive influences of power, prestige and wealth to destroy the idealism that gave them the courage to run for office. The two major political parties and their manipulation of our representatives is a major reason for this cynicism and infidelity to the principles of the Declaration and Constitution. If you vote for anyone controlled by either of the two major parties, you are continuing to support this particular brand of insanity. There are notable exceptions that seem to be able to stand up for themselves, even as they attempt to steer their party away from the course of destruction that we are on, but they are few and far between and are often in office only one term because their own parties work against them because they are not "team" players.

I propose that voting for anyone who is to any extent under the control of either major party is a vote for the destruction of our liberty and our economy. To me, that is truly "wasting your vote". How much better to vote for someone who actually believes in and will work for liberty and a restoration of freedoms. Voting for the lesser of two evils is actually voting for the evil of two lessers. Voting for either of two groups driving us over the cliff is remarkably self-destructive, even if one of them is driving slower than the other. We need to change course and we need to do it now.

In recent history, every so called "cut" in the federal budget was actually a cut in the amount of increase. The debt keeps increasing as does the intrusion of government into our lives and businesses. The last president to actually try to cut some of the waste and inordinate use of power by the federal government was Ronald Reagan, but both parties would have none of it. They did all they could to limit his effectiveness and his desires to actually do away with unnecessary or unconstitutional segments of the bureaucracy.

We need to send truly independent and constitutionally based representatives to Washington. Even if we only send a few, they could become the fulcrum in swing votes, using their leverage to make changes. Furthermore, they would give courage to others who would like to do something better but don't see many succeeding at it.

If Washington and Jefferson and Adams and Franklin had looked at the odds of their little rebellion conquering the most powerful army and navy on the planet, we would not have our country or our republic. If Lincoln had accepted the two parties that then existed instead of helping start a new one he probably could not have done what he did. Each of us can make a difference, but only if we actually vote for those we believe in. Even if we lose, we send a message that we will no longer support tyranny and excess from either party and we give courage to those of like mind and strike fear into those who would betray our freedoms. Stop wasting your vote!