According to the map in the sidebar of Traveling Hypothesis people come here from far and wide and, in general, places outside of Colorado. When it comes time for folks in various forms of democracies to vote, we’re frequently faced with a choice that could most easily described as bad or worse. Perhaps the following discussion will be instructive for those outside as Colorado as well.
On the 7th of November, Colorado will elect a new governor as Bill Ownes (R) steps down due to term limits. It’s not an easy choice. We could vote for Bob Beauprez (R). He claims to be fiscally conservative and plans to uphold the Tax Payer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR). Furthermore, he understands that while we need alternative forms of energy a “stop-everything” approach is neither tractable nor wise.
Mr. Beauprez is also a strong supporter of faith-based initiatives that take state tax dollars and invest them in churches. If you’re Catholic, you can be sure that some Evangelicals, many of whom are outspoken in their claim that Catholics belong to a cult, are getting that money. Evangelicals can be sure that some Mormons and Unitarians might even have access to it. If you’re not religious, well, you’re out of luck. No matter who you are, If you’re a Colorado citizen, your tax dollars are being invested to do wonderful things for people, but also to proselytize folks, who are often weak and vulnerable, to believe in something you don’t. That’s unconstitutional and it’s also un-American.
Mr. Beauprez will inject a serious dose of religion into politics. His running-mate believes “All religions are welcomed in schools except Christianity” and that creationist mythology should be taught as science at taxpayer’s expense. If Mr. Beauprez is elected governor, he will oppose granting rights of marriage for all Coloradans (which is alreay a statute) and he will strongly oppose a woman’s right to choose (which isn’t a law yet.)
Well then, we could vote for Bill Ritter (D). Mr. Ritter supports important priorities. He wants to invest in education, and invest in health care for all Coloradans. For the most part, he’s a very smart liberal and you’re likely to agree with just about everything he’d like to do. Unfortunately, he’d like to do a just about everything. He “will bring every government agency with a role in economic development together with business and education leaders to create a coherent economic development strategy.” He believes in “streamlining government to be more responsive” but he wants to add more offices such as a ” a Colorado Jobs Cabinet as part of the Executive Branch.” How does that streamline government?
Mr. Ritter’s website barely mentions that he’s pro-life (although he does not propose changes to women’s rights in Colorado) and that as Attorney General he has a track record of a prosecutor who questioned the rights of juries because they thwart convictions (isn’t that the point of a jury?) Mr. Ritter seems to beleive that more power for the government is always a good thing. Mr. Ritter believes in forcing immunizations on children (he claims this will save money, and he may even be right, but how is he going to pull all this off without increasing government services, costs, offices, people and bloat?)
One of the biggest mistakes U.S. Americans make when they try to select a candidate is that they assume that they have to agree with everything on the candidate’s platform. I won’t vote for this guy because he wants us all to drive potato powered vehicles. I can’t vote for that guy because he thinks SUVs are our inalienable right. There are issues that are deal-breakers for us, but in general we have a representative republic. What we should be searching for are people who, when faced with the complex, often competeting, issues, will choose, most of the time, they way we would. We don’t have the time to look at every nuance of every vote, but we actually pay our elected officials to read and understand them for us. We must attempt to select a person who we think represents us best, not simply someone who agrees with our hot-button issues.
Many of us are smart enough to see that we can’t completely agree with our candidate. After all, there are only two to choose from and it’s not likely that we would agree with one of the other. We’ve grown accustomed to picking the lesser of two evils. There’s good news. We can send a message to all the incumbants and vote our conscience at the same time!
The Boulder Weekly seems to have fallen into the trap that many of us face. They have decided to back Bill Ritter even though he’s not their type of liberal and “Ritter’s record as Denver D.A. is equally concerning for some, who remember … the 70 cases that involved questionable police force and resulted in citizens being either injured or killed by cops.” That’s OK, “he’ll be a vast improvement over Gov. Bill Owens’ conservative extremism”
Eventhough the Weekly mentions her almost completely without comment, perhaps we should have a look at Dawn Winkler. Unlike the other candidates Ms. Winkler believes that you should run your life, not the government. She is the only candidate who does not believe that the state should decide the definition of marriage (and that churches shouldn’t, because when the state claims that marriage is defined as between one man and one woman they accept a claim that other religions may not. Unitarians, for example, oppose this strict view of marriage and regularly marry homosexuals.)
Winkler is the only candidate that believes, and will fight for, a woman’s right to choose.
Read Ms. Winkler’s issues. You may not agree with all of them, but ask yourself if you would like her to represent you. Would she represent what you believe and would she contribute to a government that would be manageable and understandable by all of us.
Beauprez says he’ll shrink government but he thinks government should enter our churches and get in between a woman and her doctor. Ritter wants to streamline government but he makes promise after promise about all the things government should do to protect you and make Colorado stronger.
Meanwhile, Ms. Winkler has something none of the other candidates has. She has faith in her constituents that they will make a stronger Colorado on their own and that they know what’s best for themselves without the help of a select few in Denver.
Whatever you do, try to vote on the 7th.
Check out the candidates websites:
Don’t miss God’s candidate: Clyde Harkins. It’d be funnier how misguided their reading of the U.S. Constitution is if it weren’t so scary.
You can also hear each of the candidate speak on KCFR.