Auntie Mame
Since May 21, 2002

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VOTE SMART


By W. Phillips

"I never vote for anyone. I always vote against." -- W.C. Fields

Here are a few guidelines for freedom loving voters going to the polls this November:

1. NRA: Never Reelect Anyone. Voting with this one rule in mind will allow more citizens the opportunity to participate in government, and help eliminate politicians literally dying of old (very old) age while serving. Our founding fathers set up our constitutional republic with a citizen congress in mind anyway.

2. DIF: Don't Ignore Freedom. Ask yourself before marking your ballot, "Will electing this person or passing this proposition give me more or less freedom?" If your answer is more, go for it. If your answer is less, vote "No," or pick the person most likely to value liberty first. If you don't know, LEAVE IT BLANK.

3. LIB: Leave it blank. Believe it or not, you don't have to mark the ballot in every place requested. If you aren't sure what they stand for, LEAVE IT BLANK. Consider this: when 40,000 people vote for the lesser of two evils and that one gets elected, he thinks 40,000 people approve of his program.

4. SOS: Speak Out Silently. If you don't vote, you HAVE cast a ballot. When 20,000 people walk into a voting booth and only 15,000 of them actually vote for a high profile office (governor, senator, etc.), believe me, 5,000 of you HAVE made your point loud and clear.

5. DDV: Don't Dilute Your Vote. When the ballot says, "Vote for no more than three (or five, or six)"--typically this is for the election of city council members with several slots up for reelection--you are not obligated to vote for all the slots. In the past, if the ballot said, "Vote for no more than six," I picked the two I knew and liked and four more, chosen randomly based on their gender, occupation or name. This is a huge mistake and your vote is diluted when you do this. Think about it this way: if your neighbor Bob, a good guy, is running for City Council, and instead of voting for him alone, you also mark boxes for five others, you have just given five of his running mates the opportunity to beat him. Again, if you don't know, LEAVE IT BLANK.

6. VFJ: Voting for Judges. Voting for judges is extremely important and most of us don't have a clue who these people are and what they stand for. Once a judge is elected, it is almost impossible to get them off the bench and after enough elections, they simply cannot be removed, no matter how bad they are. They usually don't campaign and to most of us they are just a name on a page. Here's a scary statistic for you: the California Judicial Council (the governing body for judges) has been in existence since 1961. Since it's inception--42 years--guess how many judges have been removed for impropriety? Nine! That's not a typo, in 42 years the governing body for California judges has only seen fit to remove nine judges. These numbers don't lie. Once a judge, ALWAYS A JUDGE. Can you see why your vote is so important? If you don't know them, LEAVE IT BLANK or just say no (more on this later). Let the ones who do know make that important decision. There are ways to educate yourself and one of the best ways is to ask a lawyer friend. They are the ones at the courthouse every day and they see the judges and their fellow attorneys in action. If you trust your lawyer friend's judgment take his advice. Again, if you don't know, LEAVE IT BLANK.

7. JSN: Just Say No. There are many places on the ballot where you are given the option of voting "Yes," or "No." If you don't know, you've asked yourself the question, "Will voting "yes" give me more or less freedom?" and your answer is "I don't know," a "No" vote is your surest bet. You must be careful here, though, because occasionally the sneaky politicians will throw in a curve and a "No" vote will actually be a "Yes" vote. This doesn't happen often but is something to watch out for.

8. SAT: Stay at Home. As Will Rogers said, "Don't vote, it only encourages them." All humor aside, there are times in all our lives when we are just too busy to keep up with the issues. If you've been working two jobs, have a couple of kids in Little League, your wife just left you for another man, your mother finally flew home to Chicago after visiting for six weeks, the dog's been undergoing treatment at the vet, you haven't read a newspaper in six months, and your sample ballot looks like Chinese, STAY HOME. We've all been there and if you make wild guesses you are doing yourself and everyone around you a disservice. You are not being unpatriotic or a bad citizen by staying home and not voting. Those who are up-to-date on the issues and are working for liberty will thank you. Only one issue or politician you are passionate about? Go to the polls and vote for that and walk out. Don't forget, it's not against the law to LEAVE THE REST OF YOUR BALLOT BLANK.

Remember, the right to vote carries with it the right not to vote. When they say, "Vote as you please, but please vote," what they're really saying is, "Condone what we do, keep the status quo."

These simple guidelines will make your vote a smarter vote. You'll never again walk out of the voting booth wondering if you did the right thing.

See you at the polls!