30 September 2004

Alex, I'll take SnoozeFest for $1000, please.

Blah Blah Blah. Yada Yada Yada. The "wa wa wa wa, wa wa wa, wa wa" sound that the teacher made on the Peanuts show. The sounds I just referred to were very similar in nature to those made by President Bush and Senator Kerry tonight. In Miami, those two gentlemen took the stage for the first of three debates; this one focused on foreign policy.

Bush really has no foreign policy other than the Wolfowitz Doctrine, which basically says, if you don't like 'em, send in the Marines and run 'em out. Very statist if you ask me. He said that the bi-lateral talks with North Korea that lasted successfully for nearly 50 years were a bad idea. Bush wants Congress to renew the Patriot Act, that curtails privacy and personal liberty. Compassionate conservative my ass.

On the flipside (no pun intended here), Kerry wants to continue the war in Iraq, but with a more international flavor to the cause. He wants to get involved in recouping missing nukes from the former Soviet Union, and end multi-lateral talks with North Korea. Kerry didn't really flip-flop (Bush never used that phrase, rather saying Kerry "changed positions."), which was to his credit. He looked like the more legitimate candidate on foreign policy, but I digress.

All of this reeks of statism. Not once did either candidate say, "Let's get our men and women back at home with their families." Not once did they say, "I have an exit plan for Iraq." Hell, Bush 41 didn't go past Basra in 1991 during the first Gulf War because he knew he didn't have a solid exit plan then, and his son doesn't now. Their logic now is that it's a huge shit sandwich, and everyone's gonna have to take a bite. That's not right, and it's not fair to those soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen that put their lives on the line so W. can play war. I pray that citizens see past these two men as big-government candidates in a world of small government.

29 September 2004

Decisive Debate

Last night, Kenn Gividen looked like the real man with the plan. For those who missed it, the only debate scheduled went on at Franklin College between Gov. Joe Kernan (D), Gividen (L), and Mitch Daniels (R). The debate almost looked rough, as Kenn was battling a stubborn sore throat in the opening remarks segment, but the voice kicked in, thank God.

Kernan stuttered and stammered his way through the debate, going ugly on Daniels, not really making an attempt to veil his swipes. His education plan means raising taxes (BOO), I-69 means re-allocating money from other counties (BOO), and his economic policies are subpar. In summary, the Dems have had the governor's seat for 16 years and have managed to squander $2 billion and run a deficit of another $2 billion. Kernan even slumped his shoulders when Daniels called him out for flip-flopping on re-importing prescription drugs from Canada. Also Kernan didn't hardly mention Kenn, just once, and then referring to Daniels, excluding Kenn.

Daniels was much more programmed in his responses...he did commend Kenn an amazing five times for the programs suggested by the Libertarian candidate. Every time My Man Mitch opened his mouth, it sounded like a sound byte from a campaign ad. He was more polite in his criticism of Gov. Kernan, but still negative nonetheless. Daniels offered the same thing he's been offering for over a year, the same rhetoric he's stated since he got on RV-1. But it's still a big-government guy, creating a Cabinet-level post (Sec. of Commerce), more tollways (double taxation), among other ideas.

Kenn entered the debate with really nothing to lose. He's consistently polled 3-5% depending on the source. He is the margin of error in this election. The Indianapolis Star hardly ever mentions him, and isn't a household name statewide, unfortunately. A quick rehash on his positions, he's anti-property taxes, wants to turn every school into a charter school, is the only candidate against the new-terrain I-69 and tollways, wants to slash the size of the state government, make Indiana a distribution center for the country because of the geographic location of the state, wants the government out of the drug business, and wants a return of Hoosier Hysteria.

He never went negative, and had many people chuckling with his wit, or nodding their heads with agreement in his ideas.

I would say My Guy Gividen won the debate, with Daniels a close second, then Kernan trailing. Many people didn't know who he was at 5PM last night, but they know who he is today.

22 September 2004

The Choices Everyone Makes

Six weeks. In six weeks, citizens will head into the voting booth and make their choices on who will represent them, from township and county boards, all the way to the President of the United States. Now that may not seem like a long time, but this is a new day and age in which we live. Bloggers, like myself here, can call out the longtime face of a network news program, and make him blink. Information is no longer told to us, we discover it for ourselves. The Internet has opened a door to people that no one could have dreamed of 25 years ago.

Were it not for the Drudge Report, no one would have known of Monica Lewinsky. Were it not for factcheck.org, people wouldn't know where a candidate TRULY stood on positions. Heck, type in someone's name on Google, somewhere you'll find something about that person they didn't want you to know. People are empowered to learn about their interests, with the click of a mouse.

This ramble boils down to one thing: do your homework before you vote! Just because your family has always voted a certain way doesn't mean you agree, too. My own mother is a bleeding-heart liberal, and she'll admit it (I think she secretly has a picture of the Bill and Hillary stashed in the house somewhere.) My father, is very independent minded, I think he's a small "L" libertarian, although I don't know where he stands every issue, and I think it's just better that way. I am libertarian because I want a small government, but I value personal freedom. Basically, it's my money and my life, let me do with it as I please, as long as I don't cause harm to another human being.

So come November 2, do the one thing that makes you equal to even the richest man in this country: VOTE.

14 September 2004

Rock the Vote

Man, was today exhausting...a lively discussion with the village idiot (See Informing Voters post below) in State and Local Government, then a power lunch with a who's who of local libertarians, then it was time to Rock the Vote. All 4 parties (Libs, Greens, D's, R's) were there in one way or another.

Our tables were in the GOP sandwich. On one side we had Dr. Marvin Scott, GOP nominee for US Senate, and the other side was My Man Mitch. Dr. Scott was really not supported nearly as well by the GOP in my estimation as he only had one volunteer the whole time, where as Mitch had numerous student volunteers. Anyway, the Greens had a table, and the Dems had a few tables themselves.

We did steal a little bit of thunder because we did have Kenn there the whole time, plus the Quiz was very freely distributed among students. Plus me being a young Libertarian, people were interested. There were young Dems and GOPs, but I was the only Lib in the college bracket. That, and knowing old friends from IUPUI, brought a lot of folks over to our area, talking politics.

I was assigned to be Kenn's "body man." For those not familiar with the term, when Kenn had to be somewhere today, it was my responsibility to make sure he was there. Basically, in Sam's words, I was his flunkie. Maybe, but I was a flunkie with VIP credentials :).

Basically, the sticking point was to get out and vote, although we really want you to vote for us. We didn't have T-shirts or a surprise visit from the governor (whom I met today) but we did have good people (Sam Goldstein {Marion County LP Chair}, Dan Drexler {7th District CentCom Rep}, Brad Klopfenstein {LPIN Exec. Director}, Rob Place {Libertarian Party of Hamilton County}, and Barry Campbell {LP 7th District Candidate}) talking to students about the beauty of liberty.

13 September 2004

Road Trip!

I am always one for a road trip. Especially when it involves promoting a worthy cause. Nick Blesch, president of the Indiana University College Libertarians, asked me yesterday to come back to Bloomington to talk to the group. It was a nice, small gathering of like-minded individuals, discussing libertarianism and the impending election. We took the World's Smallest Political Quiz, talked policy, and all in all, had a blast.

I met many good young libertarians tonight. Very true to the cause, all scored almost, if not, the North Pole on the Quiz (inside joke). Anyway, they were all very interested in the party, and I also got a much-desired hookup, a Gmail (Google Mail) account :). We talked about the importance of voting, telling friends there is an alternative to the two-party BS that is going on in this country, yada yada yada. I kinda got on a soapbox a little bit, but that's me being me LOL. Overall, the trip definitely worth the travel. The group has great leadership and will flourish as time passes on. If only every campus had a group of people, big or small, as committed to promoting the party and what a small government can do....man, that's scary :).

12 September 2004

Campaign Update

I hit the ground running full steam ahead this past weekend. The New Palestine Lions Club Fair and Parade occurred this past Thursday through Saturday. Armed with information and volunteers, I talked to more than 300 people about my candidacy.

The topics were pretty much the same. Taxes, fiscal responsibility, and bond issues were the main thing. A few folks wanted to talk about the possibility of the Colts getting a taxpayer-funded stadium, which I replied, "Peyton Manning just signed a $98 million contract. I think he could make a friendly donation towards construction." One gentleman asked me what I thought about gun control. I explained I am a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment. I also added that my idea of gun control is whether or not you hit your target, to which he beamed and thanked me.

Saturday morning was pretty much the big day. LPIN Executive Director Brad Klopfenstein came with the Jeep to the parade, with gubenatorial candidate Kenn Gividen (link on right), congressional candidate Rick Hodgin, and Hancock County LP Chair Phil Miller also walking the route with me, passing out flyers, chucking candy at waiting children, and talking to voters. It was a good time had by all. US Senate candidate Al Barger (link also on right) joined us at the fair after the parade, and we talked to many people about the beauty of liberty, namely in the form of smaller, more efficient government that stays out of your wallet and out of your personal life.

Al is a quote machine, reminding voters he's facing popular incumbent Senator Evan Bayh, then asking if they thought he could take them in a cage match. Rick was talking mostly about bringing the federal government more in line with the Constitution, which we are straying from more and more with each passing day. Kenn was passing out books about how to get the government out of education, and talking about what he would do if elected governor. I did my spiel, and Brad and Phil just stood back and watched the candidates work the crowd.

For my part, I got a lot of compliments from people, as far as being not only 23 and a voter, but 23, voting, and running for office. A lot of the compliments and respect came from Republicans, which made me feel good, considering I want to take one of their jobs. If I just keeping talking to people, I will get that seat on the council.

Anyway, I will probably be off to IU tomorrow to talk to the college Libertarian group. It's headed by a senior by the name of Nick Blesch. He's 23 as well, and running for the State House in the Bloomington district. He's great for the party, and will continue to grow our name on a campus full of left-wing "intellectuals."

Oh well, I must digress, gotta get up early for that 8:00 A.M. class I have myself. Time to log off here and get some shut-eye.