Preemptive Nation (Part 2)

The United States has never been one of those “attack first, ask questions later” kind of countries. Somehow the events from 3 years ago have caused us more fear than we can remember. So much in fact, that we have been willing to throw away 227 years of growth just so that we could get revenge for something that hasn’t happened yet. That causes me more fear than anything else that could have happened.

1898 – The United States decides that we want Cuba to be an independent country from Spain. Congress passes an Act that declares Cuba independent, and authorizes the president to use military force if necessary to make sure that Cuba gets their independence. Of course, Spain tells us to buzz off. We declare war, Spain declares war, we go at it. War was formally declared, nothing was done preemptively.

That’s the closest we came to preemptive military force, and if you sat down with enough people, you would more than likely find some that believed it was in fact preemptive anyway. Either way, both sides declared war, both sides knew what was happening, and the definition of preemptive military force was not met.

Fast-forward.

1962 – There are missiles in Cuba. Soviet missiles are in Cuba. I wasn’t alive, so I have no idea what fear must have been involved, but I get scared trying to imagine it. There were actually missiles off the coast of the United States that were within easy range of the eastern seaboard.

Crap.

So, even though the fear is rippling through the nation, what do we do?

Kennedy had to choose and choose quickly. Whether to respond immediately and attack inside Cuba, attempting to destroy all of the Soviet missiles before they were launched, or come to a diplomatic solution.

How scary would that be?

And how did he handle it? Peacefully, diplomatically, amazingly. Somehow, even though we were struck with fear, we were able to talk our way out of the situation without everybody losing.

Fast-forward.

September 11th, 2001 – One of the most horrible days in our country’s history. The President again is faced with a hard decision. He is backed up by most of the nation when he decides to go after the terrorist group that has claimed responsibility for the attacks on American soil.

Even to those who may understand why the attacks happened in the first place, and may be against the use of force over diplomacy in any situation, this one was hard to argue. It is something inevitable that comes with somebody invading your country and killing your citizens.
We were struck with fear again, except this time it was fear directed towards an act that had actually taken place.

2003 – All of a sudden, it becomes important that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. All of a sudden, even without concrete proof, Iraq is responsible for attacks on America. All of a sudden that fear that everyone felt 2 years prior is being used against them in order to try and build a case for attacking Iraq PREEMPTIVELY.

The world is interested in working things out, we have people on our side. Instead, we ditch them completely, changing the attitudes of world citizens towards America forever.

We attack Iraq, we Shock and Awe the hell out of them. We kill thousands and thousands of Iraqi citizens, combative and non-combative. We don’t find any weapons of mass destruction.

Seriously, how much can possibly be wrong with this picture. Take our primary goal and toss it to the side for a while. Take a country that hasn’t attacked us EVER and make it our primary goal to establish a democracy and rid the world of their leader.

Is that what fear has made us become? A force to be reckoned with, a society of people only interested in revenge for things that may or may not happen in the future?

Come on people! That’s not the country I grew up in. That’s definitely not the country that I love. That’s nowhere close to the country that people across the world at one time respected and admired.

How is it logical for a nation to have laws for it’s citizens, but then at the same time throw those laws to the side when it comes to the actions of the nation itself.

Consider the story in the post below. If you were on a 12-person jury deliberating my fate for the actions I carried out against the “man with a gun”, what would you think. Should I go? Should I be punished?

Of course punishment would be in order. I killed a man, not in self defense, but in blind fear that I might have to use self-defense at a later point. In the meantime, I caused total destruction to the things and people around and close to him.

I would be locked up for life.

And what did the United States do? Helped Saddam get weapons of mass destruction. Let him use them against people in his country and outside of his country. Then years later, go back and demand that he destroy the weapons of mass destruction that he obtained with our assistance in the first place.

When Saddam refused to cooperate with our requests, we attacked his country and his people. We did this even though the rest of the world thought more time was appropriate. Everybody else agreed that he was not an imminent danger because realistically, we knew everything he was doing anyway.

That’s where my fear sets in. Anybody that pisses us off could now be subject to a preemptive strike, another campaign of Shock and Awe. How many times do we get pissed off before World War III and then World War IV begins.

Total fear. I’m scared of my own country.

Iran – we don’t like them.
Syria – we don’t like them.
Saudi Arabia – we love their oil.

Now that it’s happened once, how many times will it happen in the future? And why has this now become a campaign issue?

We know what Bush’s stance is on using preemptive force against our “enemies”, but what is Kerry’s? He has come out and said that he would use force against terrorists and if necessary, he would authorize the use of preemptive military action.

I don’t want to have to deal with choosing between 2 gun toting individuals that are willing to strike any country that gets in the way of our free market and democratic policy before that country even tries attacking us. That scares me.

I don’t want it to be a bad thing to believe in a pre-9/11 foreign policy where we tried to solve issues with our minds and our words, not with our superior military might. If we are supposed to be a nation of resolve, why did we not have the resolve to stay the course of peace.

I want to world to respect us again. I have always believed that the United States is in a great position as a young and powerful country to lead the process in making the world a better place. I never imagined it would be through tactics usually used by the playground bully in grade school.

Preemptive Nation (Part 1)

I sold a gun last month. It wasn’t really necessary, but this guy’s neighbor had just put up “Alan Keyes” posters in his front lawn and was refusing to take them down. He came to me for advise, because as we all know, Alan Keyes should not be helping to run this country. So I told him, take this gun, use it on your neighbor. Everything will work out for the better.

He took it from me, ended up shooting his neighbor. I was going to go over and help him pick up the signs, but I didn’t want to be attached to it in any way, so I kind of ignored him for a little while. I called him up a few weeks later to remind him that I didn’t want to have anything to do with him, but he laughed and hung up the phone.

Anyhow, I decided that I didn’t think he should have that gun anymore. I mean, he lives 20 miles away and doesn’t own a car, it’s not like he could really shoot me with it. But I don’t want him finding somebody with a car to get it over here so that he could kill me. I mean, he actually tried to fool me by saying he got rid of the evidence after killing that guy. Right, like anybody would get think about getting rid of a gun that easy.

So I called up all my friends and told them:

“There is this guy several towns away that has a gun, right…. and I don’t think he likes me. In fact, I’m 100% sure that he’s going to shoot me or maybe even one of you guys when we least expect it.”

Now, most of them couldn’t handle the situation. Bob and I had to take care of it. We decided that we didn’t need anybody helping us anyway. All we had to do was drive a semi-truck into his house while he was sleeping so that he would be completely amazed at our method of destruction and instantly drop his gun.

So Bob and I drove over to this guy’s house, parked outside in the front lawn and hooked up a PA system. We explained to the rest of the neighborhood that we were about to drive a semi through his house and if we didn’t run him over, we were going to tie him up. The neighbors looked perturbed, but we didn’t care. We just kept on announcing it over and over again. Making sure that everybody knew we were about to drive a SEMI THROUGH THIS MAN’S HOUSE.

Night-fall came, we started up the engine. We had seen the guy a few times during the day. He came out in the morning to get the paper, then in the afternoon to pick up the mail. Yeah, I probably could have gone up and talked to him, maybe work some things out, but I was too busy announcing over the PA what I was going to do to him when he went to sleep that night.

“I’M GOING TO DRIVE A SEMI THROUGH YOUR FRIGGIN FRONT DOOR YOU GUN CARRYING BASTARD!!!”

“12:00AM, he’s gotta be sleeping by now.”

Bob started up the truck, I started up the laughter.

The truck started shaking back and forth as Bob revved the engine up to redline… we were giddy with excitement knowing that we were about to get that gun back. How could he have not given it back sooner, that pisses me off SO MUCH!!!

SLAM the gas, drop the clutch, we’re cruising.
Right through the porch, into the hallway, through the kitchen….

SLAM it in reverse, don’t even look behind…
Back through the living room, into the kids bedroom….

“damn, well their dad should have given that gun back, they’ll be better off.”

SLAM into first, damn, hit the kids again….
Into his bedroom, back and forth over the rubble…….

“Where is he?”

“There’s his gun….ohh… no, that’s an empty box of bullets. HA, that means he still has that gun, that little bastard…..”

“Wait, there’s his gun… oh, damn, that’s a knife. Well, he only left the knife out here to make us think there was no more gun…..”

“Oh well, let’s find him, we don’t want him getting away so that he can shoot me next year.”

Bob and I dug through the rubble all night and all the next day. In the meantime we tricked the neighbor kid in the house behind his to drive the truck for us back and forth over the remaining parts of the house. If this guy even thinks he’s going to live in this house again, he’s got another thing coming.

Finally.

We find him. Huddled down in a corner of the basement. Surrounded by the millions of pieces destroyed from his own house.

WE WON!!!

“Ha, You didn’t shoot me BASTARD!!! Oh, you wanted to, but you couldn’t get your chance, we were too quick for you…. What do you think about that evil man!?!?”

His puzzled look said it all. He was a lying scheming bastard who had no intention of giving me back his gun.

We grabbed him by the arms and walked out of the rubble. Off to my house to keep you in the basement until we figure out what to do with you.

disclaimer: if for some reason any of you thought that was a true story, I’m surprised. But anyhow, just to be safe, that was fiction, see part 2 above for the non-fiction accompaniment…..

To Everyone (Who Should Still Be Concerned)

Don’t be scared.

I try to keep most of this site non-politically aligned, but I’m going to have to make this exception to be able to explain my point. Here’s my original dilemma…..

I can’t vote for Kerry. When I finally realized that, I was scared at first. What if Bush wins? But then I realized if I voted for Kerry just to keep Bush from winning, then I wasn’t following what I believed in, and that’s not what is supposed to happen. It’s almost as if Bush wins either way then. He gets me to vote for somebody I don’t believe in.

That brings me back to the first sentence. Don’t be scared.

Don’t be scared to vote for somebody that doesn’t have the best chance of winning.

Now, enter the horrible analogy of roulette. It won’t make sense at first, but bear with me.

For those of you who haven’t cared enough to pay attention to your common casino games, roulette is the spinning wheel with the ball. 18 black numbers, 18 red numbers, 0 and 00. Bets on the inside are for the ball landing on the specific number itself. Bets on the outside are for black/red, 1st/2nd/3rd row, 1st/2nd/3rd third, 1-18/19-36, and odd/even.

So…. Let’s say you walk into a casino and decide to sit down at the roulette table. You have the outside bets and the inside bets. We’ll concentrate on the black/red for the outside bets. Payout is 2 for 1 if you win. So you bet red because those seem like the easiest odds to deal with, all you have to keep on doing is betting red over and over again, it’ll hit sooner or later and you’ll have your moment of happiness. You think the other people are crazy for putting all their money down on the numbers, hoping for that 35 to 1 payout.

What you don’t realize right away is that it’s all the same. You may be making the easiest bet, but you aren’t necessarily making the smartest bet. Either way over time, you’re going to lose, the house will always come out 5.26% ahead, that’s by design.

But, if you’re only there for a few spins of the wheel, why not play the numbers anyway… sure the chance is slimmer, but the payout is much greater.

Now.

Compare that to your vote. I know it’s not the best analogy, but work with me on this. I’ll concentrate on the presidential election, just because that’s the most important one right now.

The average life expectancy in the US is 77.43 years. You can start voting when you’re 18. That leaves about 60 years for voting. Which means you will vote for president (if you’re a good citizen) about 15 times.

Now, if I walked up to a roulette table with $150, I am faced with two main choices. Bet black/red 15 times or bet on the numbers 15 times. Let’s not go into splitting your bet up among different numbers, we’ll stick with lucky 13 vs. red. And maximum bet is $10, you don’t get more than one vote, so we’ll stick with that.

Now, I bet red 15 times in a row. What will happen? If I win 1/15 times, I lose $130. If I win 8/15, I bring home $10. If I win 15/15 times, I walk away with $300.

Now,I bet on 13 fifteen times in a row. What will happen? If I win 1/15 times, I walk out with $360. If I win 8/15, I bring home $2880. If I defy all odds and hit 13 every time, then I’m really happy with $5400.

So, it’s not exactly the same. But if I rely on the Democrat/Republican voting system for the rest of my life, I may come out a little ahead in the end. They might do some things for me, maybe change a couple things for better or worse. But there is that chance where they go against everything and everybody ends up losing.

But…

If I vote for my lucky number, the people that are going to keep my best interests in mind all the time, and I win, then life is good. There’s no, “yeah, that’ll work I guess”, it ends up being somebody that will follow all of what I believe in, not some of it. And if they win 15 times in a row, that’s even more that they can do in my best interest.

I know politics isn’t as clear cut as roulette, but there are a lot of similarities when you think about it that way. It’s just another analogy to keep in mind the next time that somebody is complaining about “so and so stealing a vote from a certain candidate”. There’s no reason for that phrase to be included in our political process, it makes absolutely no sense at all.

Now, don’t take this as a “you must vote for a third party candidate”, it’s not that at all. This can apply completely if you think Kerry or Bush is acting in your best interest. Just don’t be scared to vote for the person you think is best, not the person you think has the best chance of winning. Life is either all, nothing, or mediocre… take your pick.

Republican Party – http://www.georgewbush.com
Democratic Party – http://www.johnkerry.com
Green Party – http://www.votecobb.org/
Libertarian Party – http://www.badnarik.org/

and so many more – http://www.google.com

Inspired Wage Logic

You may like reading the article at this website:

“What if we doubled the minimum wage?”

Total pure explicit logic………  how can you argue?  This isn’t even one of those concepts that requires the government to step in and regulate.  All this requires is a couple creative thinkers at the top of Walmart or some other large company and everybody wins.  Just ask IKEA what happens when you treat people right….  Walmart would come out on top, they’re employees would come out on top, the rest of the country could follow, everybody is a lot happier…. 

Get college executives (Cutting Harvard Tuition by $5000) to follow suit and all of a sudden you have a happy and educated population that can afford to live and enjoy life.

There is absolutely no reason anybody needs to make as much money as some of these people do.  Honestly, what’s the difference between even $500,000/year and $30mil/year???

Absolutely nothing but $29,500,00 of waste.

“You’re telling me that you wouldn’t take 30mil/year?”  

Exactly. 

What am I going to do with that?  Sit on my ass all year and spend, spend, spend…  Sure, all that spending, as I walk down the aisles at the local store feeling like a total ass because the guy checking me out isn’t making enough to afford car insurance……. right…  I’d get kicks from that every day.

You may have noticed that all three of those links were to the same person’s website…  I would provide a wider variety of references, but what part of that didn’t make sense enough?  He also provides links to his original articles on each post, read as you wish……

And to top it off, it’s the creator of http://www.howstuffworks.com, you know he’s not going to get it wrong…..

Explicit Logic Defined – Part II (The Reason)

Why bother….  What’s the point of trying to define a philosophy to life with simple logic? 

Well, because I think it can be done, that’s all there is to it.  I’ve racked my brain over and over again trying to figure out reasons for this not to apply to everything that I do, and I can’t.  There’s only one thing that comes close to not fitting, and that’s love.  When it comes down to it though, the fact that it makes no sense is logical,  therefore it fits into the “follow your emotions and damn the consequences” category.

What’s so logical about that? 

Well, refer to example two below, “I want to have a happy life.  I only live once…..”

If we do what makes us happy, we’ll be happy.  If you’re busy damning the consequences and following your emotions, then you’re living life and that makes perfect sense.

Doesn’t this kind of take the fun out of life, if everything is the same as 1+1=2?

No, that’s what makes it fun.  Once you realize how to deal with everything that you run into, then it leaves more time for dealing with situations that you want to run into.  This isn’t a sterile, clean-cut, boring outlook on what’s to come.  Surprises are still around every corner.

In fact, if you give those three examples a shot, life starts to kick ass a lot more.  This isn’t about the standard “wake up, drive car to work, stay at work to afford car, drive car home, sleep” logic that just keeps you alive long enough to die. 

This is about the “wake up, look at the sky, drive to work while listening to your favorite band, work with people that you want to work with doing what you want to do, drive home with your hand out the window, sit on the porch enjoying the breeze and talking with friends, going to sleep to late” logic that keeps you alive long enough to enjoy living more.

Why bother….  What’s the point of blogging all your ramblings about “explicit logic”, who cares? 

Hmmm, who knows, what’s the point of writing down anything?  I figure that if I’m going to be writing it down anyway (it helps to sort out the thoughts), then why not post it so that everybody can read.  Good enough reason?

In reality, it’d be cool to find people that think the same way about things, or even people that think it’s completely wrong.  Conversation is one of my favorite things, so if nothing else, this could be an interesting topic.

What else is going to go here now that this is out of the way?

You can see the first two posts didn’t exactly fit the perfect mold of the second two… That’s because there is no perfect mold.  I’m going to try my best not to post anything based on solid opinion only.  Of course, most of the things I’ll put on here will be related to an opinion that I have, but I’ll try to explain it logically (in my mind) with facts so that it should make sense to both sides.

Explicit Logic Defined – Part I (The Philosophy)

The definition on the side bar sums it up pretty well:

explicitlogic = reasoned and reasonable judgement leaving nothing to implication

However, before I start tossing more ramblings onto this page, I figured that I should define my reasons behind it.

Explicitlogic started as a phrase that my friend wanted to put on a band t-shirt: “parental adversary: explicit logic.” That summed up everything that we were thinking in 4 words. The more I think about it, the harder I try to live life with explicit logic in mind.

What do you do if your child all of a sudden stops believing everything that he/she was told their entire lives and comes to a logical conclusion about what they believe? Some parents would probably be scared as hell. Other parents, proud.

That’s how it should work though. We shouldn’t believe things because people tell us to believe them. We shouldn’t have faith in something because somebody told us to have faith in it. We shouldn’t follow a path in life laid out for us by somebody else. We should act and think with explicit logic.

1 + 1 = 2

The logic behind that equation is pretty explicit. Not too hard to figure out. If you break things down in life, a lot of them are that easy to figure out.

If you try, you can apply this pseudo-philosophy to anything that you do in life. It doesn’t have to be mathmatic, but it usually comes down to a few certain circumstances equalling one overall circumstance.

——————
Example one: “I don’t like it when people hurt me physically or emotionally. I am a person. Therefore, I should try my best not to hurt anybody else physically or emotionally.” That didn’t seem to hard.

If you are religious or not, there can be something learned from “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Take God and the Bible out of the equation and that statement would still have us living in harmony if everybody played along. Although this is the shortest explanation, I believe that it is probably the most important goal to live by. It would help a lot if everybody lived with that goal. I guess I would have to turn that into my life lesson number one.

Example two: “I want to have a happy life. I only live life once. Therefore, I should do what makes me happy with my life.” hmmmm.

You only live once. I try to make that my logic behind a lot of things. It makes sense to me that it would be. It is true though, you only live life once. If you spent a little time thinking about what the 80 year old version of you would say about your life, you may start to realize things that you’re missing. It’s never too early to reflect on things like that. Work somewhere that you want to work, not just because it pays the bills. Live somewhere that you want to live, not just because it’s where you’ve always been. Be the person that you want to be, not the person that others want. You only have one chance at all these things, so why not do it right the first time. My life lesson number two.

Example three: “It would be cool to learn how to….. I have the ability to learn anything I want. Therefore, I will learn how to….”

Experience. This ties into “life lesson number two” a lot, but I thought it still deserved a section of it’s own. Possibly because there’s not too much else to cover. It’s a pretty simple philosophy.

It never hurts to experience things in life. I know, what do I know about it, I’m only 24. But especially in the last few years, I’ve made an effort to experience as much as possible and it seems to keep me happy for the most part. That’s why I’m including it, because it makes sense to me. Why else would we be alive if not to experience life.

Experience people. Experience art. Experience music. Experience movies. Experience food. Experience travel. Experience knowledge. Experience love. Experience language. Experience culture. Experience conversation.

The list can probably go on forever, but if you try to experience as much as possible, think about all the times you will be able to say to somebody “remeber that time…” Is it not worth it just for memories? Sounds sappy, but it makes sense. My life Lesson 3.

——————

So that’s it for the introduction to explicit logic. I’m not meaning to be preachy, that’s the last thing I want because I dislike being preached to. I just wanted to try and explain my thinking behind the things that I do. Part 2 will hopefully have more about how it relates to this site, being the name of it and all. Either that or it will end up being me revising part I because this is the first time I’ve thought enough about it to write it down and it’ll drive me crazy later……

Rant: Our Relationship With Automobiles

I was going to discuss our complete inability to control the modern automobile sufficiently, but it expanded on it’s own. Now you get a few things for the price of one….

Cars. You would think that we could have figured them out by now. It’s been 90 years since the first assembly line in Michigan started cranking out Fords like crazy. They’ve gotten “safer”, faster, easier to manuver, better overall.

Ok, so think about that for a few seconds.

.
.
.

We’ve had 90 years as a car buying public to figure out how to use the damn things. Somehow, we still suck at it.

80 years since some form of the stop light was invented, we still find ourselves believing that if we run the red, we’ll make it to our destination an hour faster.

170 years since the first form of an electric car was invented and we still think it’s cool to gobble up natural resources like they’re going out of style.

If you believe in creation and wanted to convince some more evolution minded people that they were wrong, explain this to them…. why haven’t we adapted to the use of something so simple. All it does is go forward, backward, and turn a bit. Don’t even think we could comprehend how to manage a flying car. Darwin would be pissed.

Of course, if you believe in creation, you still have to wonder if God sucked at driving too and that’s why we’re like this.

We Americans are too spoiled… imagine if gas prices had actually followed normal inflation, then you would have a pretty decent reason to carpool to work. Nobody likes paying $4.00/gallon to drive around. It would be worth it if our cars all got 60 miles to the gallon, but that doesn’t happen. Say you drive to work 15 miles every day. Round trip of 30 miles. You drive a gas powered Honda that’s a couple years old, get 30 miles to the gallon. Currently it costs you about $2.00 a day to go to work. 5 days a week, 50 weeks a year, $500 in gas just to work. That’s not so bad, but that’s also only putting 7500 miles on your car. Who really does that? 10 or 15,000 is probably more like it. An even grand spent on gas every year. Inflation would make that $2,000. That’s getting up there. If you make $30k a year, that’s about 10 percent of your take home salary after taxes… supposed to give that to the church. Now imagine paying the prices that Europe pays.. $6 a gallon. $3,000 or 15 percent of your take home salary is gone. Don’t you love it. So next time somebody asks if you’re proud to be an American, let them know that you at least
don’t mind the gas prices.

STOP BUYING SUVs, you are part of the problem.

To Everyone (Who Should Be Concerned)

To everone (who should be concerned):

I will first introduce myself, because it would make no sense for you to continue reading if you did not know who I am and where I am coming from. I am twenty-four years old. I don’t have a college education. I make enough money to pay for the things that make it easier for me to go back to work every day so that I can continue the endless cycle. I am not poor by my definition, I am definitely not rich. I can usually formulate what I consider to be a reasonable opinion towards any issue that I am presented with.

I have NEVER voted.

Now, the next part may confuse those who just read that last sentence.

It is your duty to yourself and to those who share your beliefs and opinions to vote in the next and every other election.

I know, what kind of person am I to tell you to vote if I have never voted before in my life. I’ve had plenty of opportunities, why haven’t I taken that 2 minute car ride down to the local school to punch the card…. Who do I think I am? I will answer that with the following statements.

I will vote in the next election for who I think the best candidate is.
I am done with my common excuse that it doesn’t matter who I vote for.

It does.

Agree or not, I believe that I am exactly the kind of person that neither of the major parties wants to show up at the polls. They may stress every election that they want the voter turnout to be high. They only want this because they think they have predicted the percentage of their target demographic that will hear them and then vote for them. If you’re going to vote for the other party, they don’t want you to show up.

I am not going to tell you who to vote for because I don’t know who I am going to vote for yet.

I do honestly believe that not enough Americans will take this or any national election seriously.

I grew up in a Democratic, more liberal family. It would make sense that I share some of the same ideas my parents do. This does not mean that I should vote Democratic down the line every time even though it would make sense to me. I should educate myself on the issues. What is my candidate that I vote for going to do that will have an effect on not only my life but society’s life in general.

I have conflicting ideas about the current political system. I do not think that two parties are providing everything that they can for the people. They spend all of their time trying to make us believe that they are fighting for us, their voters. They may talk a good game and that’s what gets them into office in the first place. After that, all of their time seems to be spent making the right people happy. The people that they think will keep them there through multiple elections. The people that they think they are working for. From the outside, they try to make it look good. What we don’t know is that sometimes they forget who put them there.

If we stop caring 100 percent, they will stop caring 100 percent.

We need to stress to the politicians that we are giving them the privilege to work for us. We are not there for the politician. The politician is THERE FOR US.

This applies to every political party. Can you honestly tell the difference between a Democrat and a Republican these days? Have you ever wondered why not? It’s easy to say that you are going to place a vote for the lesser evil, but why. Why vote for an evil at all. The reason most of them are riding the fence is not because they share opinions on issues. They are afraid to share an opinion with anybody that may seem to radical for their supporters. They think that if their opinion strays too far from the middle ground, they will lose their supporters and then have less resources to win the election.

It is our duty to show them that only valid opinions matter.

Research the candidates. I am not endorsing Ralph Nader, but if he runs for president, don’t blame him because he “stole” votes from another candidate and caused him to lose. People who believed in him voted for him.

If people voted for the candidate that they thought was working for them the most, we would see a different politician, one who is not afraid to state what he really believes in.

Politics is not a board game, politics is real life.

You are not supposed to be in politics unless you are ready to serve the people. If you think this current system is really serving the people, watch CSPAN for a few hours, then you’ll see what really gets done.

One part of me wants to vote for a third party candidate just to give them the support it is going to take to get federal funding. Another part of me is scared that if there are three parties, elections will be won with a minority of the overall vote. I am sure that is what some people have thought of. I have rationalized this mental dilemma by thinking that if the voters vote for who they think will honestly do the best job, more politicians will not be afraid to let their honest opinions be known.

It can’t hurt anything if the voters are honest about who they want and if the politicians are honest about what they are going to do.

The first thing that we as Americans have to do is realize what kind of government we really have. If we have an honest Democracy, then the meaning has changed. Forget definitions for the word, we have a Republic. We vote for representatives that make decisions for us.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not entirely against what we have. Just realize that our country is too big to have an honest Democracy. Once we realize that, then we will know that we are not voting for each issue, we are voting for somebody that represents the majority of what we believe in. With this in mind, why vote for a candidate that does not have the majority of your best interests in mind. If you do not take the time to go through each candidate that is running for an office, then you will never know which one represents you the most.