I want to challenge you think about how much you need the system. The system being all the different things that government does. ALL of them. Post offices, courts, roads, schools, traffic management, transportation, weather, space travel, drug research, libraries, museums, social services… and on and on. Every bit of it. Think about how much we really *need* government to do these things. Which things can be done privately? Corporately? Within community? What do you really need government to do for you?

The purpose of government as determined by our Declaration of Independence from England is to secure life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all its citizens. Are all the way government touches you do this? Or does it shorten your life, steal your liberty, and squash your ability to pursue happiness?

I challenge you to think on those things. If you wish to take the challenge further, read on.

I further challenge you to read the platforms of your elected officials. From all parties and/or affiliations, not just those with which you are most familiar. As you read the their platforms, ask yourself hos does this candidate fulfill the role of government to secure life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for its citizens?

If you are unclear, write the candidate and ask specific questions. Not policy questions – they are too easy to evade. We sadly vote for people based on policy statements more than not. Ask specific questions in regards to the constitutional requirement of government to establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty. Does this candidate even have a constitutional role in government? If you determine the elected role should not even exist, challenge the candidate on the basis of constitutionality.

I suggest that you tackle this chore one level of government at a time. I suggest you start with your city council and mayor, then your county commissioners, your school board, your justices, then your state level offices, then federal. This is a midterm election therefore you have few races to consider making this task light work in preparation for the upcoming major election in 2012.

If you have middle school to high school children at home or in conventional programs, put the task of building a chart and analyzing the candidates’ platforms on them. They CAN do this. They SHOULD do this. In order to form a more perfect Union, we must have an educated electorate. Do not rely on others to do this with your child. It is impossible for a teacher with 15+ students to fully analyze each race’s candidates in light of the other requirements laid on his back. You are the parent. Give the child guidance. Give the child clear directions, expectations, resources, and timelines. They CAN do this.

Begin now to learn what your candidates’ believe. In the next two weeks the smear campaigns will begin where they have not yet. It’s impossible and irresponsible to vote based on campaign ads. I challenge you to vote intelligently. I challenge you to vote with the constitution in mind. You CAN do it!

If you need more assistance or guidance, ask. I am eager to discuss how you can learn for yourself. I am not eager to argue. At least not on this topic.