by Charles Gordon
June 29, 2008

Nobody who cares about America wants to see a bad president in the White House.  So for those who may be voting for the first time but don’t know a heck of a lot about politics, what follows is a handy guide of do’s and don’ts for the coming election in November:

(1) Don’t vote for the person who simply smiles better or cuts a more dashing appearance.  Do vote for the person who appears more “real.”  Remember that boring old adage your elders told you, “Don’t judge a book by its cover?”  Well, guess what?  It’s true.  Demeanor and looks won’t produce policies that will prevent terrorist attacks so you and your friends (or somebody else and their friends) don’t get incinerated — you know, like those poor people in far-away lands you see on TV every so often, or, for that matter, 3,000 of your fellow Americans on……now when was that day?….oh, yes, September 11….of course…..

(2) Don’t vote for the better talker. Do vote for the one who knows what they’re talking about.  The purpose of hearing a speech is not to get your ears tickled.  It’s to glean what the speaker will do if elected.  Once you find that out, you can make an informed choice on whether the candidate deserves your vote.

(3) Don’t vote for the one who “inspires” you more.  Do vote for the one whose ideas are better for the country and for the people you care about — including you.  If you want to hear a pep talk, hire a life coach.

(4) Don’t vote for the candidate who wields a tax club (or any other kind of club) to divide the rich against the poor or everybody else.  Do vote for the one whose policies work for the whole nation.  This is not the Middle Ages; it’s the modern interdependent world.  The shin bone’s connected to the ankle bone, so no matter who gets their taxes raised, others will get hurt, too.  No pity parties for the rich, but we don’t want to be biting our noses to spite our faces.  Friends don’t let friends vote for high taxes on anybody.  If the government’s devouring more than what’s coming in, raising the tax burden isn’t the answer. What it needs is to go on a diet.

(5) Don’t vote for a candidate who blames the messenger when the news is bad.  Do vote for a candidate who heeds the message, precisely when it is bad.  High gas prices are the messenger.  So what’s the message?  Not enough oil and too many people wanting to buy oil.  And the answer?  For the consumer — buy less of it.  (Do we really have a choice?) For the folks who produce it — In the short run, let them drill for more oil — unless you enjoy emptying your wallet with every trip to the pump.  And in the long run, well, you know the rest — alternative energy.

This is a good start.  Privileged person that you are, you are among the few human beings in history who actually will have a say in choosing who the most powerful person in the world will be starting next January.  So consider these things between now and Election Day.