By Josh Gagnier We are not special and we are not...
By Mr. Twisted
As we are rapidly approaching the presidential election that will most assuredly result in a tremendous, cataclysmic event if you don’t vote for that one guy and certainly create a venerable utopia if you do vote for the other one, I think it’s time to put a couple things in perspective.
Namely, that everyone is lying to you.
Seriously, what many people fail to grasp is that it isn’t just “the other side” that lies – it’s everyone. It is endemic of the nature of politics to twist and manipulate any and every message, and to do so in hopes of securing a win on election night. The machinery that exists behind the scenes of every candidate is running full steam ahead to try and paint the best possible image of their candidate and to rip the other one to shreds.
Most voters fall under the myth that their guy is different; that the party they normally vote with has taken the moral high ground more often than not. This is, by and large, a complete fallacy. Let’s take a look at some historical facts.
In 1801, Thomas Jefferson took the oath of the Presidency. He touted himself as a liberty-minded individual intent on cutting back the spending of the United States government. He did this by…making the largest land-purchase in our nation’s history (that was in no way provided for by the Constitution) and being the first to commit troops to battle on foreign soil. Jefferson later asked Congress to pass the Embargo Act of 1807, which was about as effective for economic growth as the Veterans Administration is for speedy processing.
John Tyler, elected to the office of President in 1841 (famously known for “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too”), was a senator who advocated strongly for states’ rights and was opposed to a national bank. After sitting in the White House for about five minutes, he basically said “on second thought…” and changed course quicker than Lindsay Lohan can get arrested.
1921 saw the beginning of the Warren G. Harding Presidency, which apparently consisted of a lot of drunken golf, poker, mistresses, and not much else. And lest you think that those are not qualities that diminish a Presidency, keep in mind that ol’ Warren himself didn’t think too highly of his work: “I am not fit for this office and should never have been here.” If you think he was just being modest, even his dad didn’t think he was all that great.
The presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, despite being applauded by many Keynesian-leaning historians, promised a lot but did very little to help that little thing we call “The Great Depression.” It wasn’t until some dude named Adolph decided to ransack most of Europe that the country had a cause to rally behind that lead us out of an economic situation furthered by government meddling.
Lyndon Johnson gets special mention for promising not to send any of our boys to foreign wars and then, well… You have heard of that whole Vietnam thing, right?
Ronald Reagan promised to abolish the Department of Education. Bill Clinton promised “the most ethical administration in history.” George H. W. Bush promised “no new taxes.” The Presidents who followed them are not even worth going into because it could turn into an entirely different topic.
So, what’s the point? Why vote for any of them if they are just going to turn around and make up their own rules?
I offer simply this: study issues, not people. If you want to understand who you should vote for and, perhaps more importantly, who not to vote for, dive into what are the most important topics of the world we live in. The interesting thing about this way of looking at things is that it prevents a voter from becoming attached to any one person as a candidate while simultaneously showing that, as strange as this seems, the biggest issues of our time are remarkably similar to those of 200 years ago.
Politics is simply the adjudication of power. Who has it and what are they going to do with it? That is up to the voter, but the context that must remain important is that of what issues should be the primary focus of those elected to represent the population our country. Is a thriving economy important to you, or would you rather have a law protecting a triple-striped and endangered man-bear-pig? Knowing the issues inside and out prevents you from being swayed by erroneous arguments and gives historical context for what is important and what will most likely be a flash-in-the-pan of interest.
Right now, the topic of the economy is at the top of most people’s list of concerns. Should it be? After all, we still have a significant force involved in daily combat operations, and I don’t see a lot of focus on that topic. Should there be a spotlight on foreign policy that isn’t there now?
We are the .45%. As such, it is incumbent upon us to not only be informed, but to be more educated than the rest of society because, when push comes to shove, our stake in this fight is a rather important one. The two people vying for the role of Commander in Chief right now are just that – people. They have flaws; they have shortcomings; and they will ultimately fail at a number of their promises. Knowing what is most important to our country as a whole reduces that human factor by showing that issues – not human beings – are, in fact, what decides who the educated voter will support come election time.
Don’t be one of those who get fooled by empty promises. Understand the issues and how they shape our nation. Otherwise you may get fooled by a man-bear-pig who elects to sell Oregon to the Chinese so we can save spotted owls.