How to Vote in the Next Election – and All Future Ones!
Evan Bayh is retiring as Senator from Indiana. He makes the fifth Democrat retiring this year. This is, of course, good for the Republicans. There are also, however, Six Republicans getting out of office while the getting is good, which is, all things considered, good for the Democrats. BOTH sets of news are good for the general population, however. And they contribute to the two guiding principles we should all take into the upcoming election. And the next one, and the next…
Vote for the New Guy
Old timers in government will vote to raise your taxes and spend your money. Newbies vote for less spending and taxes. This is a better predictor of a politician’s voting pattern than party affiliation. The reason is simple – the new guy still thinks he is working for his constituents, while the veteran has had time to pick up the affections of various special interest groups. This is the reason people who want to limit the government support term limits.
But you don’t need to have term limits on the ballot to vote for them – just vote against anyone who has held office for more than two terms and let your friends and family know why you are doing so. This way you support limited government in a practical and consistent way.
Vote for Gridlock
Politicians are ALWAYS complaining about gridlock. They HATE not being able to do anything! However, doing nothing is more often than not exactly what is best for this country. Don’t believe me? Consider the last few times a president has had a supportive congress for more than 2 years:
- JFK (The bay of Pigs fiasco, the cuban missile crisis, the start of Vietnam and the assassination),
- LBJ (nearly destroyed the Democratic party – chose not to run in an effort to salvage something),
- Jimmy Carter (the worst recession since 1933, the term “stagflation” was invented here, Gasoline price caps created huge lines at the pump and, of course, the hostage crisis) and
- George W. Bush (Yes, he IS responsible for starting off our current depression AND for enabling Obama to make it insanely worse in less than six months in office. Oh, and it is also his fault that foreign relations fell apart so badly – Iraq is all his as is Afghanistan. And, while I won’t blame the 9/11 attacks solely on his policies, I do believe they exacerbated the situation).
Contrast that with Reagan and Clinton, which were relatively stable and prosperous, Bush Senior, (who didn’t hurt anything, but went along with Congress to raise taxes and so self destruct) and Nixon (again relatively non disasterous save for abject stupidity on the president’s part, which led to him resigning, but no serious other effects). From this it’s pretty clear that the more bound up our politicians are, the more prosperous and safe our country is.
Suffice it to say that if you have the chance to vote the opposition into office, that’s usually a good way to go.
Now sometimes you have contrasting goals – the opposing party candidate is a long term incumbent. In this case, I recommend voting against the incumbent simply for punitive purposes – anyone who has been in office long enough to sell us out to special interests NEEDS to be punished – but if the president seems to need the check more than the house, go with the opposition party.
All this is, of course, assuming you vote – you can make a pretty strong case against even participating in the first place.