Category: Politics

by Richard R. Tryon and others

This is a work in progress aimed at finding out if an ideal campaign 'stump speech' can be devised that wins votes by really addressing issues in an honest way.

In an age where twenty second sound bites prevail and all politicians are packaged to avoid conflict while seeming to support both sides, is it possible to get real audience attention and thinking to be elected?

Stump Speech for best candidate:

Or how to “Deal with need to build an electable image that avoids litmus test destruction”

It is probably true that in American politics the way to get elected is to:

a. Make sure that your writing or saying is always going to be read or heard in a way that it is agreeable to all- even those on opposite sides of any issue! Generally this means that you must be able to dance on both sides of every issue!

b. At the same time you must look like you possess charm, charisma, and leadership skills capable of moving others while also having the ability to know when to accept or reject the simple majority will of Congress.

In an age when the media requires, for its own survival, to utilize a relentless skill aimed at promoting controversy, because it sells the product of the sponsor, the company and promotes the future of the reporter. Therefore, it is virtually impossible to avoid being mistaken or mis-reported. If the reporter is so capable as to want to tell the truth, the story will not be ready in time to publish.

So, how can a candidate for national office present a clear set of reasons for voters to select him or her? The answer is to study the human condition and the issues and find a way to present them that not only does not offend, it educates.

How do you avoid offending people who already know what they think is true? People who do not want to be confused by the facts. The only way possible is to find questions for them that they have not asked themselves before in a way that they stop and take notice and think!

Some of you are already open minded. Some already have the answers. How can I frame a question that gets you to take notice and want to delve further into it? We take notice of the key issues of this campaign. They seem to include abortion, education, gay rights, other civil rights, and free trade or whether to live as part of the global economy or not. Each of these issues can be divisive. None of them should be controlling your right to vote for qualities and capacities to represent you in Congress or in the White House.

Take the tough one first. No issue cuts harder to the simplistic notion that one must be either for the right of the woman to destroy life in her womb,no matter what, vs the notion that every conception has legal rights that supersede those of the would be mother. Neither position is absolutely correct in all cases and neither is absolutely wrong in all cases. But, we have a very hard time determining which is which!

Unless you can put yourself in the shoes of a pregnant woman in any and all circumstances, you have a very hard time understanding the relationships at issue- unless you succumb to the notion that there is no God and that only the man made state has jurisdiction. If the law of man says that life is to be defended at the point of conception, then it will be breaking the law, if a woman trys to do unnaturally what happens 40%% of the time spontaneously! Of course, she mostly does not know that the last egg was fertilized before it failed to connect properly to the life support system usually thought to be available to it, and died as a result. Nor does she know much if the abortion happens within the first few days or weeks because the genetic codes failed to cause proper development and the embryo just died and is washed out.

However, in some cases, the mother loses an embryo after several or more months from either natural or induced causes. In the first case, she and her male mate, may have a minor to a severe emotional reaction over the loss of their potential progeny. Some folks even want to bury the embryo after giving it a name. They may choose to think that this was a person,who is gone elsewhere with no earthly experience other than to have existed in a pre-birth mode.

In other cases women are left without male assistance, love and support when pregnant. It may have been anything from rape to desertion, but in any case the woman is left alone to decide how she can complete the task of getting the embryo to birth and through the part of life normally connected to its mother and father. If her circumstances leave her to decide that this child is beyond her ability to carry, she needs only to answer to God, should she choose to abort. If she does not believe in God, it matters not to God. Her life record is not dependent upon her having or not having faith.

Because the state can not take on the task of completion of the fetal stages and also provide the nurture thereafter, it is not possible to give it this responsibility. All species of the animal and plant kingdoms suffer the same problem of premature mortality. We do not need to make a ‘litmus’ test for candidates for any political office. To prove why however, we need to explore in far greater depth the concept of when living material becomes viable to God or to the atheists.  To do that, you will have to explore in great detail chapter XX of “You Can’t Escape God” among other treatises on the subject. So, you see it is not simple to rank your candidates on this issue.

The next Icon of virtue to be tested for candidates involves public education. No issue other than abortion can invoke such controversy. We know that our forefathers invented public schools at a time when most American families lived on the farm, when most children were victims of the need to work to survive by working to eat. They often did things that would clearly violate modern work rules and laws about employing children. The common conviction, however, was that children needed to learn to read, write, and do arithmetic. So mandatory schools became the law of the land. America evolved in far more positive ways because of it for several hundred years.

During this period we also found it useful to allow industrial unions to become a useful part of our social fabric to contain a real and/or perceived notion of unfair or unbalancing of the relationship between employer and employee. The union helped give dimension to the idea that all workers doing the same task in the same way at the same rate should be paid the same. In many cases it appeared that many fit into this category and even if paid the same, the parallel question arose- is the pay sufficient and fair for the work being performed? Should it be priced as a commodity? Or should labor be priced according to some other negotiated arrangement- specifically one where workers could withhold their labor, just as employers could withhold the offering of jobs?

In America we gave power to organized labor that eventually provided opportunity for jobs to move to competitors from other countries and this is a subject for later discussion. For now the important part is to observe that the basic idea required that many workers would be doing the same thing so that it would be possible to negotiate a common set of conditions and pay for all.

In time this idea seeped into the tradition of the nation’s school teachers who converted their national professional associations from organizations intended to help improve their skills into the shape of industrial trade unions, aimed at establishing a common circumstance for all such workers. From this heritage it is easy to see why ‘merit’ pay is a hard to sell concept. Teachers do have a hard time being properly judged in any objective way, so it is not surprising that an industrial type union fails to encourage such a means as a way to obtain an improved result with the students!

The only fair position to take is to recognize the nature of the industrial union and come to the conclusion that it will not yield to the logic of methods aimed at treating superior teachers differently than what is due those that are inferior, unless it is perceived that service or educational achievement alone is sufficient to merit a difference in compensation. We must continue to honor this system as one that produces a reasonable and constant level of mediocrity. No amount of money or changes in the law will yield a significantly different result.

However, we can move to encourage alternative education at home or in charter or other private schools. We can even note that most taxpayers do not have children in school, but that all should be prepared to be taxed to support the various means available. Use of tax vouchers is certainly one fine way to help create a system of competition for students that tends to make the best of the options flourish and the weakest fail. Many Union leaders will pit their teachers against those of a private set of schools with certainty that the resulting education will be better for the students than any alternative (even if they have to complain about a lot of interference); while others will say that the best students tend to do better in the private schools in spite of inferior compensation of teachers and other so-called educational deficiencies.

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