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How should we compare candidates to make a decision on who to vote for?

In the September 18, 2020, issue of The Nett Report, we asked readers to take a survey in regard to leadership. One of the questions asked was “How should we compare candidates to make a decision on who to vote for?”

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This question resulted in a range of comments, from frustration with the current leadership to philosophical and practical alternatives. While the number of respondents was small (36 respondents) and certainly not scientific, our readers submitted insights were informative, thought-provoking and worthy of additional dialogue. Please feel free to contact me directly with additional thoughts  or comment on this blog. Thanks to all who contributed! 

Here’s what our readers said we should think about in comparing candidates:

  • I have already answered this question to you in several emails I was the one that we had from actual friendly discussion on the matter even though we disagreed.
  • Leadership, love of country.
  • Establish the difference between economy and the wall street market. compare how these two varied when both of the candidates were in office. compare the violence rate. both had stimulus funds, show the recipients of the funds (Trumps stimulus doesn't disclose who received funds). connect this to where the funds are coming from. Show the REAL impact of the tax program trump introduced and how that REALLY effects middle class and the country long term. what has been the historical trend of tax breaks for the wealthy.
  • In my opinion the candidates should be considered based upon important character traits including integrity, transparency, honesty, trustworthiness, and preparation for office.
  • Start with their returns for the last decade Plans to stop Covid-19 NOW And forever Get more involved in global groups especially the UN and WHO Stop police violence Support Black Lives MATTER GET MORE AND MORE WOMEN INVOLVED IN EVERYTHING.
  • Do your due diligence on both candidates. Research the facts. How are the candidates going to deal with: 1. Systemic racism 2. What is their well thought out financial plan to help all that have been affected by COVID-19 3. What is the plan to control the spread of COVID-19 and how are they going to mange the delivery of vaccines to ALL when the vaccines have been fully and scientifically tested 4. What is their health plan 5. What is the plan for enhancing police departments 6. How are they going to select a new Justice of the Supreme Court 7. What is the unite and repair plan for this country, etc.
  • Internal barometer of ethics. Also, whether or not promises have lead to what they suggested. For example - did a trade war lead to a decrease in a trade deficit. Or if tax break leads to growth.
  • Which candidate is from our tribe?
  • Character, listening skills, and ability to assemble experienced talent, governmental background and ability to unite the country first. Positions on major issues exceptionally important too.
  • Compare based on Quantifiable accomplishments, plans and vision for the future.
  • Based on the alignment of beliefs and values.
  • Policies announced by the candidate must be considered. Demeanor and mental fitness have to be considered.
  • Based on who is more likely to care about our country, our future and democracy.
  • Safety Taxes Moral compass ability to work with the world.
  • Listen/understand positions on relevant topics such as economy, healthcare, pandemic and recovery, safety/civil unrest, foreign policy and relations, etc.
  • Character Policy Track record Behavior.
  • Based on who tells us truths which can be verified by independent media analysis. Who can formulate national plans to combat the virus which most citizens would adhere to. Also, who can better unite the people of our nation in this time of extreme division.
  • We should decide who will be the most honest with us and who has the capacity to listen to experts before making decisions.
  • The most important thing is to make sure everyone votes.
  • I compare them on environmental policy, social (including racial) justice sensitivity, and character — all equally important to me.
  • I can’t think of a way to compare the candidates, one is deranged and the other sane and reasonable. One I align with in policymaking, climate change, restoring sanity and reason. The other candidate is a liar, narcissist, and has no interest Or ability to govern.
  • This really isn't even a valid question in this presidential race. It's lending stature to a criminal administration. There's only one choice here, and I'm a moderate centrist - not a firebrand leftist.
  • Have all state their vision of the USA, whom s/he will work with, how s/he will execute, and show evidence of having kept his/her word.
  • We should seek information from reputable news and media sources to determine each candidate’s position on the important issues and what each has actually done to solve those issues.
  • Look at their actions and not their words.
  • Debates typically can determine who is better prepared (stronger). The key is making it a fair debate. No weak (softball) questions to one candidate. Questions need to be from both sides equally. Fair treatment in the press is also important and has to prevail. That may not happen in this election, unfortunately. Our system does work. Let it play out and quit trying to change it all the time.
  • We need someone who can unite a deeply divided country. Trump played on peoples’ emotions and that will be very difficult to reverse. The reality is we have exported most of our manufacturing. We let Wall Street run the country on speculation rather than results. The next president must combat all these special interest groups and that is neither candidate.
  • Their moral code and history of honest leadership.
  • Determine which one would embarrass us the least.
  • Economic prosperity proposals (2) world view (3) Ethical history.
  • Choose the candidate who can best bring the country back together and restore confidence in democracy and evidence-based policy.
  • The candidate should be compared by the one who best demonstrates honesty, integrity, compassion, rationality, humility and patriotism through action not hyperbole. Unfortunately, these were objective traits that have been twisted into subjective opinions in the upcoming elections.
  • This is a very hard question for me to answer and I am not going to take the time to do so. To me there is only one choice, and it should be obvious. The fact that it isn't is the hard part for me to answer.
  • We need a PUBLIC servant, who serves the best interest of the PUBLIC and the people who live in our country. We need someone who will think about the long term, the big picture, and what is best for the country rather than what is best for him, for his pocket, and for his bank account. Being an elected official means you REPRESENT everyone, not RESENT those who voted for your opponent. We need someone with a steady hand who understands and respects science and will surround themselves with true EXPERTS in each field, those who know more and know better, and then he needs to take their advice to create a BETTER future for everyone. We need someone who respects and supports our institutions rather than strives to destroy them. We need someone who can THINK and can COMMUNICATE, not a mealy mouthed, mumbly-mouthed, say-one-thing-today-and-the-opposite-tomorrow kind of person. We need a president who can interact with the rest of the world in a respectful and respectable manner, who builds bridges instead of burns them. We need someone who wants to restore order rather than someone who thrives by creating chaos. We need this. Our children need this. Our future generations need this - or else we won't have future generations.
  • We should think broadly and long term. For example, voting on the economy if it rapes Nature gives short-term returns and long-term costs. Single issue voting has always been dangerous.
  • When you have a candidate who is actively undermining our democratic institutions, deepening our national divisions and acting as a roadblock on climate action (to say nothing of rolling back other environmental protections), the normal process for me gets thrown out the window. Questions: Who is going to work to unify us? (And address the root causes - including racism?) Who is going to address climate change in a comprehensive manner? Who is going to act as a bridge to other countries/be a leader in the best sense on the international stage? (Upholding our core democratic values, among other things) Who is going to work to improve the lives of all Americans - not just wealthy Americans? (The stock market does not reflect our economy as a whole...) Long list under that category... Stopping here because I could do this for hours.
  • Who can effectively lead our country, put together teams that can run our government, and who can regain the trust and respect of the US and the World.

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