Sound Decisions vs. Sound Bites: Taking the Guesswork out of Voting

How often do you find yourself skipping a down-ballot race or just settling for the candidate with the most familiar-sounding name?  Leaving the decision to your next door neighbor or using the Las Vegas approach are not very responsible methods for electing officials who can dramatically impact your family, freedom and finances.

When facing an election with numerous races, candidates, and propositions,  where can you obtain reliable information based on in-depth scrutiny rather than succumbing to the influence of pithy sound bites, skewed campaign collateral, or telegenic faces and names?

You may be the answer to that question. Several constitutionally-committed, Texas grassroots organizations are training voters to personally interview candidates in order to make well-reasoned decisions.

Candidates are first required to complete an extensive questionnaire which must then be validated by a regional vetting committee. Each regional committee schedules face-to-face private meetings with candidates from that region and recommends to grassroots leadership those candidates believed to be worthy of endorsement. Committee recommendations are then compared with other data points and inputs before leadership makes the final endorsement decision.

Competent, knowledgeable candidates who understand and have demonstrated commitment to the high priority faith, family, fiscal and freedom issues will receive consideration. There must be sufficient confidence a candidate will do what is right, even when no one is looking, and stand for truth, even when all others remain seated on the throne of compromise.

Self-labeling requires definition. If a candidate claims to be a Christian, pro-life, evangelical, fiscally conservative, pro-2nd Amendment, pro-10th Amendment, a social conservative, a strict constructionist, a parental rights advocate or any other campaign-season label, it is fair game to ask the candidate to elaborate. The veneer often quickly peels away to reveal the lexicon of a moral relativist gripped by the modernist impasse.

During the interview, a committee will go deep into any combination of categories of questions, including:

  • biographical – including marriage, family, personal  financial management, career
  • faith, worldview and foundational principles character
  • competency, tenacity and skill
  • knowledge – especially the dynamics of office sought
  • goals and priorities if elected
  • resources and campaign contributions – received/given  and by/to whom
  • economics and business philosophy
  •  judicial philosophy
  • strategy – for conducting a successful campaign
  • criteria for hiring staff, communicating with constituents
  • positions on current issues related to office sought

Committee members give greater consideration to candidates who provide clear, concise and honest responses supported by examples and specifics. Fortunately, candidates and office holders who have trampled on conscience for so long that they have gotten over shame are unlikely to seek an endorsement. But for those who do, a discerning vetting committee provides an extra filter.

Vetting candidates and voting wisely are essential duties in preserving the constitutional republic entrusted to you and your family. In Part 2, we will explore ways you, your family, and friends can interact with and vet candidates in your community in the current election and future elections.

Copyright © 2018 Don Stroud