The Goal of My Political Activity

Last month, in response to a comment that:

more often than not it seems the only choice we have in our candidates is a choice between horrible and horrible.

I wrote back saying:

That means that you need to get in earlier in the process – before there are only two candidates left – because I agree that neither hanging nor the firing squad sound very appealing. Of course it’s possible to have more than two candidates and still have nobody who does not look like either a gallows, a firing squad, or a lethal injection chamber. . . In such cases we have to work as voters to encourage better candidates to get in the race. Long term we even have the option to plan ahead and run for office ourselves if we consistently cannot get decent choices. (emphasis added)

My goal in politics is to help illuminate current issues with timeless principles so that I and other will be able to recognize and support (and become when necessary) the kind of high quality candidates that are required to put this country back on the solid footing that it once enjoyed.

As my wife can attest, I am absolutely serious about that last part. Having seen many candidates for important office that I felt were unable to act as the kind of legislator that I am looking for, I have had many discussions publicly and privately about running for various offices. Last night I was talking to my wife about this and I finally was able to state my political goals succinctly – my goal generally is to put myself in a position where I can run for any office where there is no acceptable candidate and my goal for any given race is to find a good candidate that I can support – using myself as the candidate of last resort.

I would consider myself extremely successful politically if I always found solid candidates to support and never felt the need to run myself – especially if the candidates I supported won in most cases. Despite that definition of success I am preparing so that if I ever find myself unable to identify a quality candidate I can and will step in and run an effective campaign with a better than average chance of winning. (Evidence of my preparing is that I already own a campaign domain that I can use anytime I find it necessary to run and as I have time available I am working on developing that site in advance so that all I have to do is develop some graphics and campaign/office specific material in order to launch an effective campaign.)

7 comments for “The Goal of My Political Activity

  1. JHP
    December 9, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    Is this an official announcement that you’re entering the race?

    • December 9, 2009 at 3:17 pm

      Which race?

      If you read carefully you’ll notice that I never mentioned a specific race precisely because I am not ready to run a campaign at this point. Besides, my ideal is to be able to find other good candidates. It’s just that unlike people who are not willing to run themselves I can always fall back on running as a candidate myself in the absence of a candidate I can truly support – at least that will be the case as soon as I feel I have made the preparations such that I can run without condemning my family to undue financial distress (I’m not there yet).

    • December 9, 2009 at 3:18 pm

      This is really less about announcing that I am jumping into a race than it is about helping people understand what’s happening if I do candidate-like things (such as asking if they could support me as a candidate).

      • JHP
        December 10, 2009 at 5:04 pm

        Yes, I know, I meant “the race” as in any race that you feel is necessary to enter. Good luck if/when you do.

        • December 11, 2009 at 8:36 am

          Okay, you had me wondering for a little bit about whether I had been unclear.

  2. December 9, 2009 at 5:07 pm

    I very much appreciate quality candidates that run for office. But it is discouraging. Almost every candidate I have ever voted for that I considered to be of an acceptable caliber has ultimately lost.

    For most of my adult life I have been involved at the basic political levels, where I have had the opportunity to champion a number of candidates. I learned a lot from my early years when I was more callow and more easily hoodwinked by some candidates. As I have become more discriminating with experience I have tried hard not to let perfection blind me to good candidates. After all, there is no way I will ever fully agree with any candidate.

    Still, it has been a long time since anyone I thought truly worthy of my vote has made it all the way to the end of the race and has won. I suppose that should tell me that I’m too far outside of the mainstream.

    I have previously outlined my reasons for declining to run for office myself. But even if I were to become a candidate, my statement above about being in full agreement would stand. I sometimes argue with myself about issues. And sometimes I find that I no longer fully agree with a stance I had taken a few years previously.

    • December 9, 2009 at 5:14 pm

      I can understand the frustration of seeing candidates lose who you thought were really good. I have actually been very conscious of that as I watch people who generally agree with my principles go endorsing candidates and have a nearly perfect track record of picking losing candidates. I’m hoping to have a better record on winning, but only time will tell. I can say that one particular person such as I have described above I have found that despite our similar principles I fairly consistently do not choose the same candidates he chooses – and so far his candidate has always lost to mine. (That’s not a very large data set yet.)

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