Look Under the Hood, and Kick Some Tires

AARON JAMES
Spare Change News

What do you want in your president? Put political ideologies and terminology aside. Put the names of current candidates in the back of your mind. Start backward with an independent frame of mind. It is a tough question that should require some thought.

I can narrow down my answer to one word, independence. I want my president to be independent from the party and special interests. I want an open-minded president willing to change as facts and circumstances change. I want a middle of the road president. A president who understands the necessity of federally funded programs like the EPA, Dept. of Education, and Commerce. At the same time I want a president who is not power hungry and understands that this nation was founded on the principal that government closest to the people works best.

You may disagree. You may believe the EPA is a waste of taxpayer money. You may want a strong religious president who, regardless of circumstances, always holds to the same beliefs on every subject. You may want a power-hungry president. You may want a president focused on LGBT rights. You may feel that previous military service is required. You may even want a president who does pay back the party and special interests.

If I were to buy a car, I would not rush to the car lot. I would make a list of what I was looking for. I would likely be focused on the price. And being focused on price I would also want a good average miles per a gallon. You get the point. And once I knew what I was looking for then I would get online and do some research. Finally, I would go to the car lot.

Yet many out there will put more thought into purchasing a car then researching potential presidents?

In 2008, it was an easy choice on my part. Sen. John McCain was an American hero. He was not calling for the elimination of federal programs like most Republicans are now. He walked a somewhat middle road, which veered more often to the right than the left. However, when he crossed to the left, it was remarkable to see. He worked well with Democrats. Being American was much more important to him than being Republican. There is no doubt in my mind that throughout his life he put country before politics.

That was then. Today, it seems to me, the divide among the parties is growing even deeper. They are similar in that special interest groups run the show. Money influences both sides. However, there is quit a noticeable difference between the views of Planned Parenthood and the National Right to Life. Or say The Brady Campaign to end Gun Violence versus The National Riffle Association.

Lesson one about politics is that there is no right and there is no wrong. What is best for me may not be the best for you. The best solution no one will ever really like because it is always a compromise.

When we look at the Obama Health Care package, which does not go into full effect until 2014, there is a lot to scream about on both sides of the aisle. Broadly speaking, Democrats wanted the package to resemble something more like Canada’s system while Republicans felt like it was a government takeover of Health Care. The fact remains, if Republicans had their way nothing would have changed. This would have been a worse outcome. If Democrats had their way…let me warn you my liberal friends, the Canadian system or anything of the sorts, can not, should not, and would not work in America. What we the American people got was what we always have gotten from our government, a compromise. The Constitution was a compromise.

You may feel like I am leaning toward Romney. I was, maybe a little back in September. Now, I am not. And while certain special interest groups have brought light to the true corporate thug that Romney is, this is not my main reason against him.

I am against Romney because he fails in my “independent” criteria. As Governor, he implemented a health care mandate. I think our state system has flaws; however, we are much better off than many other states. Romney insists he signed a state health care law not a national one and never would. Fine. However, national, state, or city, Romney believes in mandating health care. Yet, he is running from mandates during the campaign, scared of his God-given independence from his party. Independence is a key for me. And while the Republican base may be weary of the man, Romney is clearly just as weary of them. Unlike McCain, I cannot say with confidence that Romney values his country over his party… or his money for that matter.

Currently, I would support Obama. I may change my mind. As of now he is the most centrist. What do you think? Middle is best? If you agree, voting for either party should be difficult this year. The middle is on fire and very few politicians are willing to be that hero and fetch water.

To me, America is about independence. Local governments are independent from the federal yet still connected. If a local government enacts a law that is unconstitutional, the federal government has a responsibility to make sure the constitution is upheld at every level of government, including its own. Our founders knew times would change and the need for a stronger federal government could arise. It would be the people’s job to ensure the government never got to large. That is our role in America.

It is also our role to run for office. To me that is what America is about. We the people form our government. We are an independent people.

We are independent from our government yet we are the government. You and I, we are America. As we scream at our elected officials, understand your role in the problem. There is no right, there is no wrong, only politics, Americans politics.

AARON JAMES is a Spare Change News writer and vendor.

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