Tuesday, June 12, 2012


One of the things Ive learned over many years as a candidate for office and an observer of politics is that sometimes people choose how to vote for the weirdest reasons. I recall one of my colleagues in the House of Representative once telling me he was amazed at some of the reasons people gave him for their support. One, he said, voted for him because he had been her paperboy when he was 12 years old. Sounds a little weak, but Ive found that its maybe a better reason than many people have given over the years. 
It is my belief there are at least four critical factors to be considered when choosing to bestow your vote on a candidate for public office. 
The four reasons, in my opinion, are:
1. The history of the candidate or the party to whose philosophy he/she ascribes.  
2. What are the things that are important to you as major issues of concern that affect your personal life? Do you and the candidate share goals or other things in common?
3. If the candidate has a history of voting, or belongs to a group publicly announcing goals in an area of interest, what things appear to be the most important to the candidate or the candidates party?
4. The basic honesty of the candidate and the candidates public pronouncements, or those statements contained in the candidates promotional material.

Keeping in mind the above criteria, it boggles my mind to see everyday working folks, folks who live payday to payday, supporting Republicans at any level. People living on less than $200,000 a year should find it easy to see that the Republican philosophy, political history and honesty in campaign statements fail all four tests.

The Republican Party has little, if any, of their own political history which they put forward in campaigns. On the contrary, about the only name Republicans dare to mention of their past presidents is Ronald Reagan. He is about all they have. Ive yet to see a Republican run for office wanting to associate themselves with Herbert Hoover, author of the Great Depression; Richard Nixon, or his vice-president, Spiro Agnew; or even George W. Bush.  Republicans even ignore Dwight Eisenhower who warned America to be wary of the military-industrial complex.

Rick Perry gave us his take on what was important during the last legislative session. It wasnt improving education, or making higher education more accessible to young Texans. In fact, the items Perry listed as the most important issues of our time for Texas were voter identification, forced sonograms for women, and outlawing so-called sanctuary cities.

According to recent reports, billionaires such as the Koch brothers (net worth: $50 billion) have provided approximately $300 million to Republican candidates. Similarly, other millionaires and billionairesa home builder in Texas, the owner of a hospital chain, and several oil and gas billionaireshave contributed multiples of millions to support candidates of their choicealmost always Republicanseven down to the level of school board and state representative elections.  

Ask yourself how much you have in common with Harold Simmons of Dallas, who has spent over $10 million to elect candidates of his choice. He is a billionaire at least ten times over and makes a large part of his money by importing radioactive waste into Texas for storage.

The final factor is whether or not the promises or statements contained in election material are fair and honest.  Particularly at the national level, the Republican strategy and campaign rhetoric is replete with pure hypocrisy, if not out-and-out lies.  Republicans nationally accused our president of job killing strategies, yet these particular strategies happen to come primarily from the national effort to protect our environment for future generations. 

And Republicans like to point to the slow growth of the number of jobs since our president took office in the United States. Again, the fact of the matter is we lost jobs the last year of George W. Bushs administration at the rate of 7,000 per month. But, every month Obama has been president we have gained jobs, although not as many as George Bush was losing each month.  

Republicans insist on accusing Democrats of being job killers.  But nobody seems to dwell on the fact that, in Texas alone, the policies of the Republican Legislature that shortchanged our children $4 billion in public education have caused the layoff of over 100,000 peopleand that's just in the field of education! To me, that fact states very clearly who the real job killers are in todays economy, and where their priorities lie.

Today's Republicans appear to wring their hands over spiraling national debt, but they uttered not a word when George W. plunged us into two needless wars.  They issued no protest when the Iraq War was done off the books, on credit, and millions were wasted on Vice-President Cheneys company.  Where was the Republican outcry then?  Clearly, Republican administrations have a history of phoniness and hypocrisy.  

Consider the important factors of voting selection and vote based your own interestsnot based on the million-dollar TV ads produced by professional hucksters.

1 comment:

  1. One conservative PAC is even pouring tens of thousands of dollars (more than the two candidates together have raised and spent) into a Travis County Constable race in an effort to unseat a former client of Parker's and mine. It's nauseating.

    We are poised to experience our first $3 billion presidential election. Maybe THAT will spur economic growth. (At the very least it's a good reason to buy broadcasting stocks.)


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