When deciding how to vote we evaluate politicians based on a list of personal priorities. In this post I share with you my list of priorities and I hope you will share yours with me.
Many of my libertarian friends point out the importance of the principle of agency. I do agree that agency is an important principle, but I think the best way to increase agency is knowledge. The more you know the more decisions you are able to make. Education also increases self reliance and opportunities to serve. Education is the way we develop our talents in this life. Politician with public education backgrounds, and politicians who are willing to fund public education are among those to receive my vote.
For too long the solution to mental health issues such as addiction has been prison. We need to abandon our harmful policies against the mentally ill and switch to the programs that have proven most effective in helping people get their lives back. We need to take a proactive approach to reducing suicide in teens through programs in our schools. We need to identify victims of abuse who are in danger of greater harm and help them protect themselves.
Poverty is primarily caused by lack of education, mental health issues, and disabilities/health issues. We can eliminate poverty by addressing these issues. Making statements about how "others" are lazy will do nothing to solve our problems.
This encompasses the other three, as well as so much more. Will this candidate use our country's great strength and resources to lift up other nations or exploit them? Will this candidate try to understand those who are of a different culture and faith? Will this candidate consider of the implication of policy on those who are a different class, color, gender, or sexual orientation?
Advancements in technology have created an unprecedented number of humans in the world, and have given us an unprecedented ability to change it for good and ill. We need to take sustainability seriously.
Privacy, Copyright, Patents, Trademarks
Important issues for me when I was younger and just getting involved. As a software engineer I am well aware of how quickly our privacy is disappearing. I also have concerns for how corporations are using copyrights, patents, and trademarks to prevent legitimate competition.
When seeking to understand a candidates values I look at their past. I look at their current policy statements. I look at their rhetoric. I go to direct sources when possible, because everyday millions of dollars are spent trying to make me hate specific candidates. Don't fall for the marketing, look at the candidates as directly as you can.
While these values drove me out of the Republican party and into the Democratic party, I am loyal to these values, not a party. So when I vote I will look at each candidate and ask if this candidate supports these values. There are other values I support as well, but these ones come first. What values do you use to judge a candidate? Which values do you rate highest?