Who Is The Most Positive Presidential Candidate in 2008? – The Affirmation Spot for January 26, 2008


copy-of-ray_hawaii1.jpgWhat Ray’s reading right now:

Mindful Politics: A Buddhist Guide to Making the World a Better Place




campaign08.jpgToday’s post is short and sweet.I want to know who you believe is the most positive major presidential candidate in this year’s race. I’m trying to get a sense of who people believe is the most positive (not necessarily who they plan to vote for) presidential candidate in 2008.






Quick two-question poll. Who is the most positive candidate remaining in the race? Why do you believe this person is the most positive candidate?

  • Mitt Romney
  • John McCain
  • Barack Obama
  • Ron Paul
  • Hillary Clinton
  • Mike Huckabee
  • John Edwards
  • Rudy Guiliani
  • None of the Above (write in your own candidate)



Cast your vote by leaving your comment here.

Be Peaceful Be prosperous!

Ray

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Integrity of the Political System Prerequisite for Freedom – The Affirmation Spot for Friday January 11, 2008

Touchscreen Voting MachineIt is not my intention to write on the subject of politics so regularly on this blog. The primary focus of The Affirmation Spot is positive thinking and motivation.

However, what is happening in our political system does have a huge impact on our lives and the lives of our children and grandchildren. To remain silent and not try be a voice for proactive positive change, seems not an option. 

The freedom to choose our own government representatives is a rare thing in human history. The process should be something we cherish, something motivating not demotivating.

Congressman Dennis Kucinich announced this morning his intention to call for a formal recount of the Democratic primary in New Hampshire. The Kucinich move follows that of Albert Howard, a minor but principled candidate on the Republican side, who initiated the process in that party yesterday.

Both men and a growing number of Americans are concerned about the integrity of the voting system and the specific results in Tuesday’s 2008 New Hampshire primary. After the 2000 election and the spectacle of hanging chads in Florida, the federal government funded a program to replace all non-electroinic voting methods with electronic machines. That program is still underway, but has been rolled out to most non-rural precincts nationwide.

Despite concerns by technology experts, privacy advocates, and other concerned citizens many of these machines are “paperless” meaning there is no non-electronic trail to confirm votes. Even the viability of a recount is questionable if there are problems.

Several technology experts have demonstrated that these machines can be hacked. This can happen without well-meaning poll watchers (our traditional method for ensuring the integrity of elections) even knowing it. Many of the people with the time to volunteer for poll observer positions are not familiar with the new technologies. This is a bad combination for open and transparent elections.

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There are several things driving this to a head in New Hampshire right now. First, is the apparent 10-15 point last minute shift away from Barack Obama towards Hillary Clinton. Second, is awareness (even vigilence) about this issue among Ron Paul supporters many of whom believe his numbers were skewed. Third, there is tremendous distrust out there among the electorate on voting system integrity after the 2000 and 2004 elections.

It is baffling how so many pre-primary and exit polls could be so wrong on the Democratic race. National pundits are at a loss to explain it other than to conclude that voters must have been lying to pollsters. CNN political analyst Bill Schneider did go so far as to include vote fraud as a third and reluctant possibility to explain the situation.

Logic dictates that it was Obama supporters, many of whom do not fall into traditional polling samples in such large numbers, would tend to skew polls more in Mrs. Clinton’s favor. Could so many people change their minds so dramatically so quickly?

On the Ron Paul side of the fence, many questions exist. One town – Sutton, NH – had to restate its vote totals after some local voters confronted them with what they knew to be faulty results. The town’s vote totals were turned in with zero votes for Paul. A family who had voted for Paul saw the results and contacted election officials. It turned out that Paul had actually received 31 votes and that there had been “an error” in transferring numbers over to the official tabulation sheet.

Anecdotally, there are numerous voting areas in the state with hundreds or thousands of voters where Paul received zero votes – something unlikely for a candidate consistently receiving around 10 percent of the vote.

There is also a huge discrepency for both Obama and Paul in parts of the state using countable paper ballots and those using electronic machines. Some of the disparity, no doubt, has to do with the “political geography” of the state. Nonetheless, it is discouraging that vote counts with verifiable means are so different from vote counts more difficult to verify.

kucinich2.jpgIn his  comments on a nationally broadcast radio show this afternoon, Mr. Kucinich stated that he was not calling for the recount to benefit his campaign. He admitted his results would probably not change significantly. He said he hears concern about vote integrity on the campaign trail, “more than any other domestic issue”.

I have personally been following this issue for several years and there is so much more to what is going on than there is time to share here.

Kucinich feels like the integrity of the voting system is paramount. I whole-heartedly concur. Democracy, real democracy, is a positive in global society. The ability of ordinary people to choose leaders and direct their own lives is the foundation for any citizen wishing to enjoy “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”.

It does not matter what candidate you support there must be integrity in the voting system. They say perception is reality. The perception on the part of millions of Americans (participants and non-participants in the system) is that our political system is broken.

Voices like Ron Paul’s, Dennis Kucinich’s, and it would appear Barack Obama’s are not very welcome in the circles of status quo. They enjoy broad support among people committed to reforming things. The status quo prefers things to remain, well, status quo.

Every positive stride we have made towards a more just, a more free, a more open nation and world is put at risk when we fail to question. Thank goodness there are some people still willing to do it.

Who knows what the recount will reveal? This is definitely an issue that needs to be in the consciousness of every American voter – Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, or Independent.

If there was even a chance your favorite sports team was being treated unfairly, you’d be upset. Why tolerate even the possibility or appearance of impropriety in our political system?

Every voter, whoever your candidate, has a right to be assured that your vote is counting in The United States of America.

I wish Barack Obama or Ron Paul had chosen to challenge this directly. Thank you, Dennis and Albert, for taking a stand for every American who wants to believe!

Be peaceful Be prosperous.

Ray

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Iowa, New Hampshire: Paul and Kucinich – The Affirmation Spot for Thursday January 3, 2008

Today’s affirmation is:

“I simply will not settle for less than truthful, honorable leadership ready to make positive change in the world.” 

kp.gifWhen you look at most positive thinking blogs around the Internet, you find that they tend to focus only on the glowingly positive. We do a lot of that here on this blog as well. It is important to see the positive and focus on manifesting more of it.

However, there is nothing more positive or empowering than the truth. Ugly as it may be sometimes, no real growth can happen in our lives or in the world until we build it on that foundation.

As the 2008 election cycle approaches, America is facing some daunting challenges. While health care, the war, and the economy are all key issues, the biggest issue facing Americans is a corrupt establishment in serious need of reform. This establishment – long deaf to the needs and will of the American people – needs a serious wake up call.

This establishment crosses party lines. To deal with it, we must move beyond the belief that George W. Bush is the antidote to Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton is the answer to George W. Bush. As long as that paradigm ensnares us, we are caught.

Far from finding a way to end a war the American people have clearly turned against, the establishment continues to seek excuses to expand that war. Those who thought electing establishment Democrats to replace establishment Republicans would address this issue have been sadly mistaken.

The establishment routinely skews inflation numbers (and other numbers). The government claims that inflation has been steady at  2-3% per year when every American who owns a home or a car, buys groceries, or pays a bill knows this is ridiculous.

That housing boom? Did we forget there were buyers on the opposite end of that “growth in housing prices”? That was inflation. Have your health care cost only risen 2-3% a year over the past 10 years? How about gas prices or food prices?

Why does this happen? Because Social Security benefits, veteran’s benefits, welfare benefits, and other obligations are tied to the “core inflation rate”. This ever-fungible number determines cost of living increases for these groups. However, the establishment plays fast and loose with these numbers to keep this rate down. The result is that some of the most vulnerable among us have seen their effective purchasing power plummet because of this fiction.

Not to mention the fact that wide admission of the real inflation rate and steady erosion of our dollar’s buying power actually might stir even the apathetic masses to action.

Then there are trade deals that send jobs overseas while establishment leaders tell us this is wonderful for us; as former Commerce Secretary Don Evans did in 2004. There are talks about unifying North America and, eventually, all of the Americas in an EU-style union. Is anyone asking you about that? Do you get to vote on it?

Most troubling, our establishment seems to view the Constitution as an obstacle to be navigated around rather than the chief law of the land and the abiding wisdom of our system.

Assuming you could even find an establishment journalist who would ask these questions, try asking Rudy, Hillary, Mitt, Barack, John E., John M., or Mike about these issues and you are likely to get hemming, hawing, and a rapid change of the subject. They will not look you in the eye and deny any of it. That would be foolish. They will just pretend it doesn’t exist and hope you will continue to do the same.

WE NEED POSITIVE, REAL CHANGE.

Iowa and New Hampshire offer the first opportunity to send the message loud and clear. I’m not talking about a protest vote. Protest votes are as meaningless as the pundits say. I’m talking about striking a blow for real change in this country.

Whatever you thought of Ross Perot he definitely shook the system. However, his revolution was built around a cult of personality and Mr. Perot’s wallet. The establishment absorbed that blow and moved on.

Fortunately, voters in both parties have candidates they can turn to in this election cycle. Men who understand that the way to deal with a corrupt establishment is not to bow to it, but to challenge it. Men who speak the truth and let the chips fall where they may.

Ron Paul on the Republican side and Dennis Kucinich on the Democratic ballot are these two candidates. The establishment media regularly ignores, chides, and belittles both men. That should tell you something right there. They have both endured ridiculous Ad Hominem attacks designed to undermine their viability in the eyes of you – the voter.

Keep in mind that the establishment media is working overtime to craft your view of these men as crackpots with no chance of winning. That is a bold-faced attempt to steer your vote away from your conscience.

While their political philosophies differ significantly on the role of government, both recognize the key issue I am discussing today. They understand that The USA Patriot Act and the Bill of Rights are not on the same page. They understand, as George Washington warned in his farewell address, that foreign political entanglements are a dangerous business for a republic. They recognize that government is deciding what is best for the people rather than the people deciding what they want from government.

All positive thinking, empowered individuals must think long and hard before they cast their ballots in 2008. Do we elect another establishment candidate because they have a D or an R after their name? Do we listen to the promises before they are elected or look at the actions after? George W. Bush claimed he was against nation-building in 2000, but look what he has done. Hillary Clinton claims to be against this war and the domestic abuses, but has voted for every one of them.

Do we elect people simply because they would be the first from some group or gender to become president even if they are sure to continue these policies? Is that sound reasoning in these tumultuous times? 

Enough, I say. There is no positive way forward by continuing to elect people who put empire and their power ahead of the constitution and the will of the people.

Kucinich and Paul are not supermen. They are flawed human beings with flawed policies. They say stupid things sometimes, but they are saying and doing what we need leaders to say and do right now – they are telling the truth. As unpleasant as some of it may be, the truth is a necessary starting point for our road back to sanity.

Iowa and New Hampshire, you’re up. You get to set the tone for the rest of this primary season. Are you going to be the seed of hope and change or the enablers for establishment candidates committed to “steady as she goes”?

Live up to your reputations as the bedrock of American politics. Get out there and start the ballot box revolution. Vote for Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul.

Be peaceful Be prosperous.

Ray