I’ve only provided endorsements for President and for legislative contests that affect me directly. Unfortunately, personal and work commitments have kept me from providing a broader assessment of candidates.
If you have not had adequate time yourself to interact with candidates or research them at their web sites, I can make a couple of simple suggestions:
There are a number of web sites with candidate assessments from varying perspectives, including general political principals and specific policy areas. Using various Google searches (such as “2008 Congressional candidate comparison tax “) you can find sites that provide scorecards or other comparison tools.
One site that I think provides good comprehensive information based on candidate provided content in a non-partisan presentation is at Congress.org/election/home . The site provides a map to click on your state and then provides nicely organized presentations of Federal and State legislative races, candidate background and positions.
If you don’t have time for that, and still want your vote to count, vote the party line that aligns with your general thinking. I know this will wound simplistic, but:
- if you believe government is the problem-solver and should do everything it can with people and money to make education, jobs, healthcare and, lacking those, money available to everyone and make the world free of violence and conflict on every level, you should vote Democrat.
- if you believe government cannot solve every problem, and should ensure that everyone has the opportunity to succeed with the resources they have… to be all they can be, should not create burdensome taxes and should only spend money to maintain national security and provide for the basic needs (food, clothing, shelter) of the poor are somehow met and to ensure that all of our rights are protected, then you should vote Republican.
Finally, my personal perspective is that all politicians are suspect. Many, many candidates start their careers with the idea that they can avoid the temptations of the power and money that are foisted upon them when they enter the law-maker’s halls. We’ve seen significant moral failures on both the Democratic and Republican sides of the aisle these past few years, and I doubt that the trend is ever going to end. Some take these failings lightly… I do not. We put a tremendous amount of responsibility in the hands of these men and women, and trust them to represent us and do what’s best for our state and country. Vote for whomever you trust, but after they get into office, watch what they do. We all need to be vigilant.