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See Also: Issues

Voting Principles

Here are some principles I use to guide my voting.

  1. Study (As much as possible.)
    • Read the analysis, candidate statements, arguments, rebuttals, news, opinion, original text, blogs, etc.; Consume whatever you can to get a clear picture of the candidate/bill.
    • For any particular issue, don't cast a vote on that issue unless you have worked to get informed.
      • ie. Don't even vote on an issue if you have not worked to become informed on the issue or are not satisfied that you can discern the correct choice based on that work.
      • Matthew 7:1-5
        • Being uninformed is like having a beam in your eye.
        • Voting uninformed can do more damage than not voting.
      • Money in Politics: Voter Apathy as Cause
  2. For independent candidates, and sometimes measures, review the endorsements.
    • Unions are generally indicative of liberals, whether they are unions of teachers, or police, or whatever.
    • Police organizations are not indications of conservatism. There are hundreds of them and they come in all political flavors.
  3. When in doubt, vote no. (For proposition/measures.)
    • Stability is important, and it is not wise to implement changes with ambiguous effects.
    • There is good reason to be suspicious that ambiguous and obtuse legislation is hiding something sinister.
  4. Don't support a party platform you do not think is generally good.
  5. Do not vote for undesirable candidates. Use your vote to support someone you would actually like primarily, and to help pick a winner only secondarily.
    • Voting for "the lesser of two evils" is not "practical".
      • "Practically" speaking, your vote has almost no chance of actually changing the outcome of a race, so reasoning that you should vote for the lesser of two evils to help beat the greater evil is not very "practical".
        • In our observation, even in local contests, winners and losers have been separated by at least a dozen votes. (Ties and 1 vote victories have happened, but they're a bit like being struck by lightning.)
      • Since your vote is abysmally unlikely to change who gets elected, then a more primary practical effect of your vote is to communicate support for an idea, a candidate, or a platform.
    • A vote for a 3rd party is not the same as a vote for the less desirable of the "major" candidates.
      • As far as winners, and losers go, basic math does not support that idea. It might be said to be equivalent to not voting, which is a very different thing. (As noted earlier, that one vote is not practically worth considering in most cases, for the purpose of deciding winners and losers.)
      • As far as promotion of ideas and principles are concerned, voting for Mr. Goodman rather than Dr. Evil or Dr. Evil Plus is likely to be much better.
    • When one can vote for multiple candidates in a listing and one can not find a good option for all the votes allowed, only vote for the good options that can be found.
      • In addition to previous rational of clearly communicating what you really support, it is also true that it would be horrible if your vote pushed a bad candidate ahead of one of the good candidates you found.
    • Your vote is your voice. Don't let it be coerced by the lesser of two evils.
  6. Most taxation is theft.
    • It is immoral for you to steal money from your neighbor, therefore it is immoral to consent to the government stealing from your neighbor.
    • The income tax is theft.
    • Property taxes are theft.
    • Sales taxes are theft.
    • We don't have a lot of better options right now, but this is due to decades of legislation built up around theft and exploitation rather than paying for legitimate services. Decreasing the amount of theft and illegitimate exercise of power should be the goal if we want to see legitimate exercise of power supported by legitimate fund raising.

Government Principles

  1. Government's role is to facilitate the defense of the rights to life, liberty, and property, not to usurp our right to defend our life, liberty, and property, not to usurp our right to defend the life, liberty, and property of others, nor to prevent us from taking risks that might threaten our life, liberty, and property.
    • As such, it also follows, that government bureaucracy should be limited and that the right of the people to work to provide for themselves should not be impeded except for the most extreme causes.
    • Life is taken to begin at the moment an organism begins to grow or become animated.
  2. Government's role should be limited.
    • Government's legitimate authority is that which is delegated to it by the people, as opposed to "derived from the consent of the governed".
    • The federal government of the United States of America should be confined to the powers enumerated in the Constitution of the United States of America and further by the Bill of Rights
    • State governments should be limited by their own constitution (and the Bill of Rights where applicable)
    • Local governments should also be limited.
    • As governments currently spend their citizens' money on programs which are often unconstitutional, wasteful, and/or unnecessary, no tax increase should be admitted, and reductions in tax rates should be pursued.
    • Sales, income, and property taxes should not exist, unless they are opted into for specific services/benefits.
  3. Government should not spend more money than it has.
    • As most governments in the United States of America currently spend more than they ought, spending should be reduced.
    • Borrowing (eg. issuing bonds) should be rejected for all but the most necessary reasons.

Principles Regarding Rights

  • What rights are.
    1. Rights are powers, authorities, and stewardships that legitimately belong to a person or group of people.
    2. All rights come from a higher authority.
      • For some rights this higher authority is God.
      • For some rights this higher authority is one or more individuals who delegate their rights to you.
    3. Your life belongs to you.
      • Your life fundamentally belongs to God, who granted it to your parents and to you.
    4. Your choices belong to you so long as you are not choosing to infringe on somebody else's rights.
      • Your right to make choices is a right that comes from God.
    5. Your property is any physical thing or space that belongs to you.
      • Everything belongs to God, though many property rights that we obtain are further sublet by others.
    6. You have a right to defend your rights against any incursion against your rights perpetrated by someone who is not higher up in authority over those rights.
      • It should be noted that the right to defend your rights can legitimately be forbidden by someone with higher authority as well.
      • eg. Billy has claimed a toy at grandma's house. It is his toy, sublet from grandma, who sublets it from God. But, grandma has a rule that if someone tries to take your toy, you have to come to her to redress your grievance. (or perhaps, you can hit a boy to defend your toy, but not one of the girls.)
    7. Rights are founded on legitimate authority to act and make choices.
      • Hence rights are inherent in any sort of authority/responsibility.
  • What rights aren't.
    1. Any concept justified merely on the basis of "we want it".
    2. Any concept justified merely on the basis of "we need it".
    3. Any concept justified merely on the basis of "it would be good".
    4. Anything which requires the infringement of an innocent person's rights to provide

Principles of Leadership

These are things a good leader should know how to do. These are good traits to look for in candidates.

  1. Take the time to do the whole job.
    • Each organization has a rhythm. (Sometimes more than one. Daily, Weekly, Monthly, and Annually are common, due to cultural norms and/or natural constraints.)
    • If one is not not conferring at least once per rhythm and ensuring that everything important gets done, then things pile up, and important things don't get done.
  2. Know what the job is.
    • Understand when to defy expectations.
      • Frequently people know what's expected of them, but expectations are not the same as responsibilities, and the difference is important.
      • Responsibilities are connected with authorities, and generally involve using good judgement in the exercise of authority.
    • Understand when to meet expectations.
    • Understand when something unexpected should be done.
  3. Don't abuse authority.
    • There are two basic forms of abuse of authority:
      1. Exercising an authority one does not legitimately have.
        • ie. Murder
        • ie. Theft
        • ie. Human Trafficking
        • ie. Income Tax
        • ie. Civil Asset Forfeiture
      2. Exercising an actual authority contrary to the interests or the purpose for which the authority was given
        • ie. Hiding wrongdoing.
        • ie. Attempting to obtain more authority via coercion.
        • ie. Pushing a private agenda. (An agenda that neither has the interest of the authority-giver or a benefit to the authority-giver.)

Activism Principles

  1. We have a natural right to protest and boycott.
    • Derived from our property rights and our freedom of speech.
  2. Activism should have a clearly stated purpose.
    • Otherwise, it is just incoherent crying and ineffective.
  3. Activism should have a constructive purpose.
    • Otherwise, it is pointless, or destructive.
    • Revenge, and expressing anger, do not count as constructive purposes. They are destructive purposes.
    • Some purposes are simply revenge by another name, or disguises for revenge, depending on the context. (eg. forcing an apology)
    • A constructive purpose involves pressuring a person or organization to make a positive change that they are actually capable of making. (eg. ending unconstitutional civil asset forfeiture)

See also: Frank Miniter, "Nine ways to help the ‘Not My President’ protestors man up", Fox News, 17 Nov 2016

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