Guides for Choosing Who Gets Your Vote
By: Sheila S

     I spend a lot of time questioning how seemingly normal, intelligent people can choose to vote for certain candidates.  Actually, I am gobsmacked, to put it mildly, how others cannot reach the same conclusions that I have about who should be elected. 

     The other day, as I was railing about the ignorance of those who are “drinking the Kool-Aid” once again, a memory came to mind.

     Over ten years ago, I attended a Rotary speech contest for youth that was held at Wittenberg.  I hadn’t thought about it since then until several weeks ago.

     The students wrote and presented their speeches based on a four- way test: “Of the things we say, think or do:  

1. Is it the truth?

2. Is it fair to all concerned?

3. Will it build goodwill?  

4.  Is it beneficial to all concerned?”

     Why this came to me, I’ll never know.  What I do know is, however, that it seems to me to be a perfect way to look at what candidates say in their platform, in articles, in the media and then use these four tests to determine if they deserve your vote.

     I thought since my mind was going down this path that I would seek out other thoughts about how to intelligently select candidates and found some interesting quotes.  Here are a few.

     Jose Marti: “The first duty of a man is to think for himself.”

     Sharon Salzberg: “Voting is an expression of our commitment to ourselves, one another, this country, this world.”

     John F. Kennedy: “The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all.”

     Michele Obama: “Wouldn’t you want to be absolutely positive that the folks elected to make those decisions about our daily lives, decisions that range from when we send our troops to war, to how victims of sexual assault are treated are for us? Wouldn’t you want to be sure that those elected officials were thinking about all of us, not just a small percentage of us?”

     It would be wonderful if I had a magic wand to insert the wisdom of discerning what candidates deserve to be elected in everyone’s minds.

This would not be to take away free will or to make everyone vote for only one party.  Instead, like many things, it just makes sense to measure candidates by their truthfulness, their ability to treat all fairly, their commitment to showing goodwill to all, and their dedication to governing so that it benefits all. 

League of Women Voters is an excellent source of information to help one learn more about voting