I have a ballot. I have the will. I have the right. I will exercise the franchise. However, before I vote, I absolutely must do my critical thinker’s exercise. I will use 3FE, The Tool For Motivational Empowerment in order to effectively validate the decisions I make, who I will vote for, and why.
Listen, many of you have no time, none at all; none for dinner with children, none for activities that enhance your life as well as your kids’ lives, none for community celebration, none for life enrichment. Many of you have time to live, and that’s about it. That … is a real problem. Why does this matter? It matters because public policy, laws and statutes determine how tax dollars are spent where you live, and whether or not those dollars will allow you to improve your situation, find the time to better yourself like so many ideological folks say you must, and thereby grow to not just live, but live appropriately, live well, thrive, and contribute to the society in which you live.
How? By having the time to come home and sit with your children, love on them, and inspire them to be more, whether it is you and your spouse, or just you. It all matters. Is the person you’re voting for in your community truly committed to uplifting you and yours? If the person says yes, then what is the plan, where is the proof?
Before I go into my 3FE example of how to vote, let me give you the lay of the land in Georgia. By percentage an estimate of the Georgia population is 59% White or various American-European, 30% Black or American-African, or various African-American, 8% Hispanic or various American-Latino, 3% American-Asian, 4% other. Take that 59% American-European and acknowledge that a percentage of them will vote Democrat.
Now, pause and think about the gerrymandering process. If you don’t know, this is the process where the party in power gets to define the borders of a given voting district. The winning party usually uses this process to maximize their ability to retain power. It was a horribly stupid and asinine idea that has persisted to the advantage of both parties, and to the detriment of American citizens. When you consider how the population is shifting, you can begin to understand why elections matter so much to both sides of the ideological divide. However, we can still cut through the ideology if we stick to critical thinking and no small amount of compassion.
If you would vote Democrat, then the possibility should be as plain as the nose on your face. That the state of Georgia is not Red, it’s not even Purple. No, to be quite honest it’s actually Blue. And in this understanding you find the truth of gerrymandering and voter suppression laws. It’s all about power and identity politics.
Know the truth and then shut it down. Be about the business of voting.
In our 3FE voting exercise for the sake of simplicity I’m only going to use one position, two candidates, a proposed Georgia Constitutional Amendment, and a Special Election Item. However, please bear in mind you should do this exercise for every item listed on the ballot. Know that critical thinking is more fundamental than just reading, and we all know reading is fundamental.
Find: Candidates for Governor of Georgia – Stacey Abrams, Brian Kemp, Ted Metz.
· Documentation of stated Platform
· No documentation of stated Platform – bullets, talking points, and quotes
· In my study of Libertarianism I have found it antithetical to an expansive and divergent society so therefore must rule Ted Metz out as humans in the aggregate cannot behave as libertarians. This is my opinion.
Fundamentals:In assessing the two remaining candidates Kemp has violated one of my primary principles as a critical thinker. In general he has a 4-point plan of bullets and talking points. He has no real stated plan. At least he has not posted it, again a violation. In particular I believe in Health Care as a human right. The core of Abrams’s plan includes the expansion of Medicaid, ending the decision to leave millions of federal dollars for healthcare on the table because of ideology. Kemp states no way to pay for his bullets. When it comes to support in healthcare let me just say I make a lot of money and still cannot take care of my special needs sister without the help of government. This is not an evil thing. It’s what happens in a society where we are committed to caring for one another. For this point alone … the plan is to vote for Stacey Abrams.
Honorable mention on the Fundamentals is the fact that Kemp has played fast and loose with the politics of our state and voting rights. He remains in charge of voting as the Secretary of State and legally if not immorally pushed voter suppression by exercising laws that were passed specifically to disenfranchise people who may vote democrat. In particular he disenfranchised people who look like me, Black people. This isn’t business, this isn’t just politics. This is personal.
Execute:Vote for Stacey Abrams on November 6th.
Find:Proposed Constitutional Amendments – Provides rights for victims of crime in the judicial process.
Focus:The amendment is called Marcy’s law. Apprarently this law is being promoted by a billionaire who lost his sister to violence. His money is why from state to state the law has seen success and been passed. The commercials in Georgia are powerfully compelling and have the touch of master marketers doing what they do best, convincing you to do something with little or no thought, just like you constantly purchase things you don’t need because of a hot commercial. The commercials do not tell you that victim laws are already on the books that do exactly what Marcy’s law seeks to address. If I consider that it might be good to have some overload on laws that already exist I have to consider the power of an amendment change, and what that means. A constitutional amendment is expensive, though when it comes to victims money is not core to the equation. However, any change to the amendment would require a special election. The same applies if we would want to remove it. The best information we can find to gauge the law is what has happened in other states. The truth is sobering. Some states have spent millions to implement the redundant law. However, my major concern and fear is the accused right to due process, emphasized NOT at the expense of the victim. As a person of color the thought that one may be accused of a crime and held in jail for an extended amount of time as guilty until proven innocent is terrifying and can have devastating effects on a person’s life should he/she be proven innocent. This in no way diminishes my compassion and concern for the victims. What it does In my personal opinion is clarify that the origin of this effort was borne of hurt and pain and in many instances some redress must be established. However, there are still too many issues with the proposal for me to vote for such an amendment with confidence. I need more. However, I am certain that powerful marketing will accomplish its goal and Marcy’s law will become a Georgia Constitutional Amendment. Both candidates for governor support the law. My hope is that my concerns will amount to nothing, and that the amendment will do what it truly intends, and that’s protect victims.
Fundamentals:In assessing Marcy’s Law I cannot vote yes on something as essential as a Constitutional Amendment. The plan is to vote no.
Execute:Vote No on Marcy’s law on November 6th.
Find:Special Election – Earlier Sunday Sales Referendum.
Focus:Basically this is about allowing us good folks in Georgia who enjoy a nice cocktail or a straight shot of rye or even moonshine on a Sunday to do what we please. This is something I know many of us can agree on. It don’t take a lot of critical thinking.
Fundamentals:I like a good drink so the plan is to vote yes.
Execute:Vote yes on the referendum on November 6th so I can have a drink earlier on Sunday and no law will curtail my ability to purchase alcohol I so choose on Sunday.
Something you will note if you take the time to go through this exercise, even at a cursory level, you will find a great deal of common ground, areas where the parties should be able to compromise if not for the destructive nature of identity politics and scorched Earth partisanship. Consider this, and share it with your elected officials. Those of us that are reasonable, on either side of the ideological divide must force our officials back to the table of compromise.
The best solutions are always derived from diversity. Yes, diversity, diversity of thought, which is borne of experience, which can mean country of origin, education, any number of things, which when utilized in positive conflict in the confluence of ideas most often produces a superior solution, refined in the crucible of perspective, different ideas and different points of view in a powerful give and take dialogue, providing the best outcome. Consider all this critically.
And of course, be good to yourselves, and each other.