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Tag Archives: voting
The quote below from this blog caught my attention because it expresses a common sentiment with which I am not in agreement. It is essentially that voting for voting’s sake is to be encouraged. Anything that gets people to vote is therefore considered good. I disagree. I’m all for convenience. I would very much like to be able to go online
and cast my vote at an accessible web site, but not at the cost of
opening the door to the rampant voter fraud such a system would invite.
My wife and I did use mail-in ballots one year. Obviously anything that makes it easier to commit fraud is not good. I do wonder if that plays a role in Obama’s lead, but that isn’t the issue I’m interested in here. The point is that if what it takes to get someone to vote is just to make it convenient enough for them, I am not at all sure I want them voting. If our goal in making it easier to vote is to attract those who won’t bother unless we make it that easy then our goal harms the society rather than helping. Voting should be undertaken with diligence and forethought. That’s not the kind of voter that will do it just because it’s easy. If you think voting is too much trouble, please do stay home. I’m not for making it any easier for you.
Some have suggested that early voting should be curtailed because it doesn’t give the voter a chance to change their mind if circumstances are altered. This may be true, but if it gets people to vote, it’s hard to argue against it.
I wish I had taken the time to write down my experiences sooner, but I feel like I’m still catching up on everything I didn’t do that weekend. Life goes on and doesn’t stop to let you catch up. I went to the Republican Party of Texas state convention as a delegate from my district for the first time a couple of weeks ago. It was an interesting experience. As expected I did lots of voting, but I think I did a lot more learning. I have a lot more to learn, and I look forward to the opportunity to do so.
I don’t think i know anyone who loves to go to meetings. I’ve had a theory for some time that there comes a point at which adding participants to a meeting begins to decrease the effectiveness of that meeting inversely as more are added. Being in a meeting with over 6,000 people hasn’t done much to challenge my theory. There’s no intelligence test before someone takes a microphone, and there’s no test of parliamentary procedure knowledge. I have to credit our chairman, Steve Munisteri, for handling the madness well. I’ve heard it was actually better than in previous years. Maybe there is something our local chapters could do to educate delegates a little better before they hit the floor.
Another thing I learned is that the real decision making happens in the committees. That’s true at both the state and local levels. It is the local resolutions committee who decides what makes it to the district level conventions, and it is the platform committee who decides how much of that ends up the platform that we all end up voting on. Though anyone can submit changes from the floor, there are practical limits to how much of what is presented can be changed.
We have a very good platform. I would have changed a few things, but there’s nothing there that I can’t abide. Therefore, I am not bothered much by the way things went, but I suspect a lot of others might be. By the time we got to the platform we were in a late session. I didn’t check the time but I figure it was around 10:00 p.m. before we even got started. We fussed over the immigration plank changes for most of the remaining session time, then someone moved we accept the whole thing as written, including the changes we just made. The motion was seconded and and overwhelmingly affirmed. Thus, what the committee did went largely unchallenged.
The caucuses were interesting for other reasons. We elected various people to represent us in different ways. The positions are fuzzy to me now, but I remember thinking that sometimes the reasons given by people who spoke for a particular nominee were specious. I suppose I understand rewarding the party faithful. I’m glad they are thought of as nice people. I would certainly appreciate testaments to their character. If the job carries some prestige and doesn’t require much else, I can even support sending someone to do it out of appreciation or good will. However, if they are being asked to represent me, I want more relevant information. I want some assurance that they are going to vote the way I would vote. That’s the idea of representation. Some of those were committee picks. Others were nominated on the spot, though not necessarily without forethought.
There again I see the importance of the committees. A delegate selection committee at the district level was responsible for naming the slate of delegates in the first place, though again anyone could have applied at our local convention and I seem to recall that a couple did. at that level all that is required is that you breathe and vote Republican, but this should be our first line of defense against influences that are contrary to what we say we stand for.
I found the whole process intriguing. Unless they decide to run me off I’ll be back again next time and hopefully take a greater roll. If you have the time and the will, what has come to be called the “grass roots” is the place to be. We complain about the intrenched party leadership, particularly at the national level. If all we do is complain we are going to continue to be disappointed. Texas is a pretty conservative state. We’re probably never going to be entirely satisfied with what comes out at the national level, but if we don’t work to change it, we never will.
If you agree that our country is headed in the wrong direction both economically and socially and that we must turn around quickly and completely, I hope you’ll join me in the fight. I don’t know what form that will take even for me. I don’t believe many of our traditional methods work so I am reluctant to perpetuate them. I believe we’ve got to come up with ways to build relationships before our message will be heard. I don’t know about you, but calling me in the middle of dinner or interrupting any part of my day for that matter to give me a sales pitch makes me less likely to buy. That’s the opposite of what we want.
Now I speak to Christians specifically. We can’t fix this with politics. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do what we can in the political arena so that conditions are as favorable as possible for the triumph of good over evil, but it does mean we’ve got to do more. We live in a country that is governed (at least by design) by its citizens. If we are corrupt, then our government will be corrupt. It falls to the ones who know the Truth to share that Truth at every opportunity. If we hope to save our nation, then God must save its people first. We are His messengers. In all that we do, let us never lose sight of that commission. Otherwise, nothing else we do will matter.
This is not your typical Memorial Day article, but as I think about the men who have fought and died to preserve our country I ask myself this question. Most of us will never fight on a battle field, but we are equally responsible for defending our country against those who would destroy it from within as well as from without. If we will not take part in governing ourselves, we will be governed by those with the will to rule and the means to force that will upon us. If we refuse to manage well that which we have been given, then our brave men and women have died in vane.
No set of excuses can be more frustratingly self-righteous than those offered by individuals refusing to participate in our representative republic. You hear them all the time: “nothing is more corrupt than politics” or “every politician lies to your face.” A sadly misplaced sense of purity becomes an ill-considered excuse for being uninformed and disengaged.
For the last few months in my local TEA Party, we’ve been talking about the upcoming elections and how we should be involved in them. Though we are expressly non-partisan, our views are most closely represented by the Republican Party, so that is where our discussions have been focused. We were taught about how the process works, how voting is done, and how our precincts function among other things. Each time we met volunteers would be called for as various needs were brought up. I sat there taking it all in, not sure how or even if I wanted to get involved on the party level.
I have not always been happy with the Republicans, particularly at the national level. Yet when it comes time to vote, where else am I going to go? I believe there are more than enough principled people in the Republican Party that we can move it in the right direction rather than try to form something entirely new that doesn’t have any real power. We can only do that by participating in the process.
So when the call went out once more for delegates to participate in the local district convention and go to the state convention in June, I decided to at least investigate the possibility. This is the place where the party platform is created and where state party leaders are chosen. I began asking questions of people who had been involved. I looked at the online material provided by the Texas Republican Party. I watched a mock district convention video they have on the site. The only remaining concern I had was based on that video. They agreed not to read resolutions since they were visible on screen. What if something like that was done in my district? What if printed material was presented that I could not access? I wanted to be able to make informed decisions and I didn’t really want to put the hard-working organizers to more trouble making accommodations for me. I went ahead and asked the question. No definitive answer was forthcoming, but it turned out not to be a problem.
I was encouraged to come, so I filled out the delegate application sent to me via email and ended up at the district convention. Everything was read aloud, and I am sure I could have requested any clarification I needed. A couple of times I almost got up the nerve to speak out on something, but there was no need. I think next time I’ll be more likely to do that. From time to time proceedings would be interrupted by a candidate for office swinging through on his or her multi district convention campaign run. This is common and provides a way to get some exposure to lower level candidates you might not know anything about otherwise.
I will be involved at this level from now on, and I think I’d like to be part of the resolutions committee. That’s the first stop for anything that someone wants on the platform. In a couple of months I’ll be going to the state convention, and I’m looking forward to the experience. I think this is the right approach rather than trying to start something entirely new. If you haven’t read the platform, go here and do so. I can’t speak for other states, but in Texas we’re on the right track. When I read the platform I decided I wanted to be part of keeping it that strong.
Today: thoughts on the right to vote, the hot air about wind energy
If someone takes a Federal job should they retain the right to elect their own benefactors while suckling at the public teat? Should someone who is on welfare be allowed to vote on benefit increases or extensions? Should those that are consistently voting themselves largess be allowed to continue unimpeded? Should the takers have the tools to force the givers to fork over ever more staggering amounts of treasure or should that be a decision made by the givers? Those addicted to government largess have become infantilized. Would any sane parent give their children the unqualified right to set their own allowance? That’s in effect, what we have done.
Wind power has long been promoted as a viable form of clean energy in the U.S. and among world leaders. For unlike fossil fuels wind does not emit CO2, classified as a global warming gas by the Obama administration EPA, even though CO2 is essential for plant life and life itself.