Voting Choices: Person or Policy?

It occurred to me recently that people support different candidates for different reasons. Whenever I see the news and they talk about the election, I hear how people show and spread support. Its interesting to me and I know there is studies done on how voters choose a candidate. My main thought here is that people pick a president based on either the personality or the policies of that person. I suppose one could consider both. Rather than cite a bunch of studies showing how candidates get elected, I want to focus on the Person vs. the Policy way of deciding. My theory is that voting for personality may not be the best result. If you disagree then definitely leave a comment explaining why. I will use current candidates as examples.

The first order of business is breakdown each way deciding by defining what each way means exactly. I also want to add a third category of Both/Random. This category is basically a combination of both personality and policy or could be just like a coin flip because the voter is indecisive. Personality in many studies is a huge among voter choices. I’ve seen many studies done and you can google them. Many of the past presidents have great personalities. Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan, Thomas Jefferson..etc .Personality can mean things like friendliness, likability, empathy, energy, charisma, honesty, and sociability. Personality can also have negative aspects like dishonesty, aloofness, cold, lazy, and anger. The current candidates all display some or all these characteristics. I think Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump both can fit into likability, energy, charisma and sociability.  Meanwhile I would put Hillary Clinton with dishonesty, aloofness, and empathy. Are these traits really that important for each candidate?

I believe that personality only matters very little. The problem is that personality can get you elected and be well liked. But if you look at presidents with great personalities they usually had savvy policies that helped. The counter argument is that their personality pushed their policies through. I would contend that might be applied to one or two presidents because there is a lot of factors to consider with policy. So what does policy mean? Policy is what the candidate intends to do while in office. For example, President Obama wanted to push a new healthcare plan (Obamacare), kill Bin Laden and end the wars in Iraq, and various others. Now whether he achieved them is irrelevant to this case. All candidates have put forward policies. This information is (I believe) the most important information about a candidate that you will ever have. Their policies will determine the future of the United States and in turn your future. I feel like people forget that a President is a leader who is supposed to help execute laws that make America better off. Its in your interest to know what kind of policies the President might pass and understand how they affect you.

Since I can only use my own views to enlighten this conversation, I will be using my own logic to make a decision between a few popular candidates. I will consider both personality and policy to make a point. However, let me just say that I almost always choose on policy. First up: Hillary Clinton. I said previously that I find Clinton to be dishonest, aloof and empathic. I feel like her personality compared to other candidates is lackluster. As for her policy, if you have read any of this blog you know that I disagree wholly with the how not the end goal. I think that with policy for Clinton, she is just a bland democrat with nothing too special. Her policies ride in line with party practice. I can get on board with some of her family programs but my problem is how is she paying for these? Raising taxes is exactly what Republicans like too. Even though Hillary has a lot of baggage like the email scandal, I could ignore that if she was better with her policy. I’m a libertarian so she is too left with her policies.

Second: Bernie Sanders. I love Bernie Sanders personality. He might have the best one in this years election. He connects with young people and old people. He has energy, sociability and even date-ability? Apparently theres even a dating app for Bernie? So yes, Sanders has a banging personality. Once again, I won’t repeat myself but I put Bernie in the same category as Hillary. He is way too liberal. My problem with Bernie is that his polices are cosmetic because they look good on paper but in reality they won’t fix problems. My favorite example is minimum wage. I only talk about it every other post. Here. Here. Here. Here. If you haven’t gotten the point, its basically that an artificially inflated minimum wage creates problems for lower classes and the middle classes. Not to mention causing inflation and small businesses to go out. My simple problem overall with all his programs is how he is paying. I don’t necessarily disagree with his goal. Let’s face it that the rich people are not the problem, its the people who taking advantage of our tax code and regulations written specifically for them. My decision is no, for those of you feeling the Bern.

Last but not least: Donald J. Trump. Trump is a wrecking ball worse than Miley Cyrus. However, Trump combines some interesting elements of personality to really grab our attention. He is so outspoken and yet agreeable because of how  he talks. Trump’s style is literally a bull in a china shop. Do I like his personality? The short answer is I find it amusing and amazing how he can take over the media coverage basically shutting out other candidates. Its definitely been working as I predicted.  As for Trump’s policy, I would call it somewhat misguided. Trump doesn’t suffer from the liberal problem of how are you paying? (Remember Mexico, Putin and China are paying or so he says) Trump policies tend to be a little more racists, exclusionary, and make me who is really paying? Trump is in line with most republicans which means he wants to give tax breaks to people who don’t need them. Obviously, Trump’s wall on the border of Mexico and banning of Muslims is where his racism comes into play. If he could tone the racism, then increased border security is never a bad thing. I think for his tax plan that he doesn’t go far enough to really change much. My decision on Trump is also no.

Ok so I said no to all three. Here is the truth my horse in the race has dropped out. Of all the 30 or so candidates that declared, the closest candidate to my personal policy preferences was Rand Paul. The difference between Rand and the others is that Rand understands how the economy actually works. Its not even anyones fault because there is a lot of ignorance about the economy. So it does not shock me that most of the candidates have terrible tax plans and economic policies. I’m not an economist either. But trust me, the simple truth that the government pays for its crap with your money can explain why most candidates suck.

I hope that this article helps you make a choice, or I mean a better choice. I believe that policy is the way to go. It doesn’t matter what kind of personality any candidate has. You have to be mostly concern with policies because they actually affect your life. I realize that all of this is my own opinions and you can disagree if you want. In the end, I feel like if just a few more people consider policy when voting then we will make a better choice.

Thanks for reading!




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