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Okay TTAGers. November 2nd is fast upon us. For those of you busy reading our site (and thank you for that, by the way) and not paying attention to politics and current events, November 2nd is Election Day around the Nation. If you haven’t voted already, I’m here to nag you into doing your civic duty and do it. But it’s not enough just to vote. It’s who you vote for that will make a huge difference, more so this year than any other. Let me explain…

Let me hasten to state, unequivocally, I am NOT here to tell you to vote for Party X. In fact, I’m actually here to tell you NOT to vote for a party, but instead vote for a candidate.

Here’s the straight dope, folks. It’s not enough to care about the 2nd Amendment. And it’s not enough to align yourself with whomever the NRA anoints as their candidate du jour. Political parties no longer mean ANYTHING. If they ever did.

I’m in marketing. And I can tell you that Political parties exist for one reason: to get, wield, and retain power. Neither party is interested in ideology – not really. If they were soft drinks, we wouldn’t be talking about Coke versus 7-Up or Pepsi versus Dr Pepper. We’re talking Coke versus Coke Zero or Pepsis versus Diet Pepsi. Same taste (more or less) – the only difference is in how long it takes before they screw up your body.

Political parties figured out something long, long ago. They realized that people are fundamentally lazy. People don’t want to know how politics and governments work. They naturally gravitate towards that big “EASY” button. So political parties figured out that slogans and sound bites work much better at getting their guys elected than white papers and in-depth political analysis. They’ve taken great pains to dumb-down everything they do.

But the simple truth is that there isn’t a dimes’ worth of difference between the real positions of the two parties on any substantive issue. Doubt me? McCain supported the carbon tax nonsense, health care ‘reform’ and a ban on torture. His positions differ from Obama’s not in where he wanted to take us, but only in how fast he wanted to get us there.

It’s like that all over. At one time, we were told that most Democrats were in favor of government solutions to most problems, entitlements, and liberal causes. We were told that Republicans were in favor of smaller government, lower taxes, and self-sufficiency.

Truth is, none of that is really true. When Bush and the GOP controlled the White House and Congress, the Federal government grew exponentially. Programs like the Medicare drug plan lead to a skyrocketing deficit. But Bush was a Progressive piker when compared to Obama, a guy that has grown the national debt to levels that nobody – Republican or Democrat – could have imagined even just three years ago. You can think of them as Republicrats – six of one, half-a-dozen of another.

So what’s a voter to do? Short answer: Do your homework. It’s not rocket science, people. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and presume that most everybody reading this site is a huge fan of the 2nd Amendment. If you like the 2nd, you should give a read to the other nine in the Bill of Rights. Winners all. Then while you’re in a reading mood, you might wanna give a look at the rest of the Constitution and the other amendments. Seriously.

Now for those of you who stayed asleep in Civics class, the Constitution is also known as the Supreme Law of the Land. When a law gets passed, it has to pass Constitutional muster. If it fails to conform to the Constitution, it can be thrown out by the Judicial branch. So you’d think that politicians would have an undying affection for the Constitution. After all, they all take an oath at their swearing in ceremony, to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.

But most politicians take a somewhat cavalier view towards adhering to the the limits set forth in the Constitution. And that’s the root of our problems today.

Wanna know who to vote for. I’ll tell you. Figure out which candidate actually believes in and supports the Constitution. It’s that simple.

Now, of course, the Devil’s in the details. At election time, everybody SAYS they support the Constitution. So how do you determine the best candidate? You have to look at their records. Spotted a trend here, bunkie? Yup. You gotta’ do your homework. You’ve got to actually pay attention to not just what they say, but also what they do…or more importantly, what they’ve done in the past. Most politicians actions speak so loudly, you won’t be able to hear what they’re saying, anyway. But that means that it’s up to you to make up your mind.

Sometimes (like in the last Presidential election) we didn’t have much of a choice. In that case, I’d recommend you go for the Lesser of Two Weasels theory of pol picking. The word politics, by the way comes to us from the Latin – poly or “many” and tics, for small, blood-sucking insects.

But whatever you do – vote. Vote as if your life depends on it, because it does. So does your livelihood, and your country. Forget labels like “Democrat Party” “Republican Party” and “Tea Party” – vote for the person who you think will uphold the Constitution.

The Founding Fathers were some pretty sharp guys. They came up with a system of government that the world had never seen before. It was a system with built-in checks and balances that was designed to limit the size and growth of government. And it has worked, for over 200 years, despite the best attempts of those who do not undersand it or like it, to dismantle it. It may not be perfect. At times, in fact, it’s pretty awful. But it’s LESS awful than literally every other form of government that has ever existed.

So…let’s put aside our petty differences for a day, and do something for the country. Let’s forget about “D” or “R” or incumbents versus newbies. Let’s set aside single issues like gun rights, abortion rights, or human rights. Instead, let’s send people to work that actually believe in what they will swear to support.

Let’s elect people that will actually support our Constitution. We get that job done, and maybe we won’t have to constantly defend the 2nd Amendment along with every other part of our legal system, but turn our attentions to getting us out of the mess we find ourselves in.

Ignore the mud-slinging. Look for facts. Ignore the slogans. Look at the record. Ignore the parties. Look for character, integrity, and honor. And if you are a spiritual individual, pray that voters select the best people for the awesome responsibilities that come with wielding power.

[ED: And that’s why Brad likes the Kimber Crimson Carry.]

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  1. Our constitution is so poorly written that nobody "knows" what it really means. Even sophisticated constitutional scholars, who spend their entire careers studying the Supreme Law of the Land, cannot agree, and get completely bogged down with issues like "original intent" and esoteric discussions about parsing antique language and anayzing punctuation marks.

    A better guideline is for voters to know what they want, and then vote for candidates whose positions mirror their own. Since all politicians lie, vote them out if they don't deliver.

    When the Romans were faced with a century of troops who did not do their duty in battle, they lined them up against a wall and put every tenth one to the sword. This got the attention of the other nine. The proceess was called "decimation." It was extreme but effective. The vote is our sword to make politicians do what we want, and not what they want. Use it!

    • I don't think that I can agree that the "constitution is so poorly written that nobody 'knows' what it really means." For the most part it is crystal clear. I think where we get into trouble is 1) when modern "scholars" attempt to interpret the document through a 21st century frame of reference and 2) when modern activists try to gin up new "interpretations" to fit whatever agenda they are pushing. Both ends of the political spectrum are guilty of these errors.

      • William, I've been practicing law, including constitutional law, for over thirty years. The Constitution is many things, but crystal clear it is not. Privileges and immunities — what's that? Due process — how much process is due, and when? Provide for the general welfare — how? The commerce clause — what constitutes interstate commerce? The list goes on. Right now, the courts in Montana are deciding whether Montan or federal law controls guns and ammo made and sold exclusively within the state. Sounds like an easy call, right? But the last I checked, Montana doesn't make the steel nor the polymers nor the powder. Those come only through interstate commerce. And even if the Montana did make the finished goods, the raw materials come from somewhere else, including overseas. The situation is as clear as mud.

        But you and I are on the same page when it comes to interpretation. People will read into that document whatever they want to read. That's my point. We all do it — even 2A supporters like us. So find a candidate who agrees with your interpretation, vote for him or her, campaign, rally, protest and do whatever you have to do.

        • First, I did qualify my remarks by stating that the constitution is clear "for the most part." Obviously, there are points of confusion.

          Second, the US Constitution is a constitution, not a law book. Therefore, much of it is designed to set forth guiding principles, not legal code. It is clear to me that the framers intended that specific definition of [intentionally] vague notions such as "due" or "general" means should be set by the people through legislative actions, preferably at the local level. As such, I do not find those clauses "poorly written," as you characterized them to be.

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