“Get Out and Vote” campaigns annoy me because they encourage folks to wield their political power recklessly.
To help offset the “Get Out and Vote” campaigns for the upcoming presidential election, I propose a “Think Before You Vote” campaign.
The key messages of the campaign would be:
1. We encourage you to think more if the reason you plan to vote for your candidate is anything like these:
- I’d like to go have a beer with him (or her).
- He (or she) is so good-looking!
- I just think he’ll (or she’ll) be really good for our country!
- I just think he (or she) is what this country needs!
- The dude on MTV told me to.
- That’s who all my friends are voting for.
- Because I’d never vote for the other guy.
We recommend not deciding who to vote for until you can complete these reasons:
- While in these previous positions… …he (she) accomplished…
- He (she) supports this position because…
- He (she) believes the Constitution means…
- He (she) believes the role of the Federal government is…
2. If any of the reasons that you want to vote for your candidate is because you want to force your fellow citizens to do something because you think it’s a good idea, then I think you owe it to your fellow citizens to explain why you think it’s a good idea and what makes you so sure (like, is there real world evidence to support your claim?).
3. Can you clearly articulate both sides of the key issues that are important to you and why you believe your side is correct? You should be able to answer yes.
4. Can you carry on productive political discussions with those who disagree with you? You should be able to truthfully answer yes before you vote.
Do you and your fellow citizens a favor. Think before you vote!