Considering where we are in our country, the division that exists, it’s more important now than ever before to carefully question our candidates to see who they are and what they believe in.
Most of the time, candidate forums and debates are centered around specific questions about policies. There’s nothing wrong with that, but the answers to these questions can be carefully crafted to say exactly what the candidate thinks the people want to hear. That’s why many carry note cards and talking points. There’s nothing wrong with that and being prepared, but it doesn’t allow the voter to get to know the candidate.
And that’s why I have TWO questions for EVERY candidate, Republican or Democrat, incumbent or challenger, young or old.
Question One: Will you protect children? How? (I know it is technically two, but bear with me.)
Question Two: Will you defend the Constitutional Rights of every citizen? How?
That’s it. The first part of each question is an easy yes or no answer. They either will or they won’t. There’s no halfway here.
The second part of the question is harder. This is the part of the question that will reveal the honesty and nature of the candidate. The answer to this question is one that could possibly be read off a note card or recited from memory.
The voter asking the question has to pay attention. We need to “read” the candidate. Does he/she really believe what he/she is saying or is it just a rehearsed response? Does he/she have real passion for their ideas? Or is he/he appeasing us or worse, lying.
To me, that is extremely important. I’ve watched so many politicians on both sides say one carefully crafted thing to get elected and then do things that completely go against their stated opinions. The skilled politician can do this with ease, but it is extremely important to see through the facade. Never take your eyes off them!
This can be difficult. So often we see what we want to see and hear what we want to hear. Think of that salesman that sold you something you didn’t really want but bought anyway.
Think of all those weight loss programs. People want to lose weight so badly, they will believe in that the magic potion, pill or diet that will help them do it with zero effort.
We are just as desperate in our country right now. We want the division to end. We want our children to be educated, happy, safe and learning. We want families to be able to support themselves without government help. And we want the Constitutional rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness supported and followed. So, we might be willing to believe in the Magic Candidate who will do that while requiring very little of us.
That person does not exist.
But candidates DO EXIST who believe in protecting children and our rights. They have ideas, ideas they have built on their values throughout their lives. We need to hear what they have to say.
It doesn’t mean their answers will please us or align with our ideas. It doesn’t mean that we will vote for them. In fact, I’m sure that we won’t vote for some of them. The mismatch will be too severe.
And that’s okay. Thats how Representative Republics are supposed to work.
In the end, when I walk into that voting booth, I need to know that I am voting for a person who I feel will do the best job, will follow his/her principles, will respect the rights of the people, will solve problems, and will be honest. It’s the only way we get out of this mess.
Two simple questions, but so very important.