reasons for voting

By FITSNews || It’s been a bizarre election cycle here in South Carolina – one that will no doubt have a special place in the state’s already “colorful” political history once November 2010 finally rolls around.

Which reminds us … can November hurry up and get here already?

Seriously …

Anyway, much of the recent craziness stems from the increasingly brutal competition among new media outlets and the mainstream press (or “legacy” media, as our founding editor calls them) for stories.  Contrary to popular perception, though, it was the MSM – not the blogs – which sent us hurtling down this road toward journalistic oblivion, at least as far as the Palmetto state’s dirty laundry is concerned.

Seriously, people, the moment The (Columbia, S.C.) State newspaper published Gov. Mark Sanford’s racy emails with Maria Belen Chapur last June, all bets were off – and have remained off.  Amid the cacophony of noise related to the various scandals, though, a simple question is no doubt being asked right now by Palmetto state voters.

Simply put, “what matters?”

Seriously … why should you vote for (or against) a certain candidates.

First, in our opinion, here is a list of good reasons to vote for (or against) a particular candidate:

Voting record (particularly when it comes to fiscal responsibility, individual liberty)
Position on the role of government (i.e. are they free market backers?)
Position on taxes and spending
Personal financial record
Corporate financial performance (i.e. have their companies failed? succeeded?)
Previous political experience/ performance
Commitment to government transparency
Consistency of public statements
Fulfillment of prior campaign promises

Now (also in our opinion) are a list of items that we believe should NOT – we repeat NOT –  influence your decision to vote for (or against) a particular candidate:

Physical appearance
Sexual orientation
Marital status
Marital fidelity (unless they lie about it)
Birthplace/ where they live (a.k.a. “regionalism”)
Endorsements (i.e. who is or isn’t supporting their candidacy)

Obviously, there are literally tens of thousands of voters in South Carolina who will make their selection in November based on items in that first grouping – but there will also be tens of thousands of voters who make their choice based on an item (or items) in that second grouping.

For example, plenty of people will probably vote for Nikki Haley simply because they think she’s got attractive stems (btw, it’s nice to see her taking our founding editor’s “no pantsuit” advice these days) just as plenty of people will likely vote for Vincent Sheheen because he’s white – and because he sounds like they do.

Also in South Carolina, regionalism (i.e. voting for the “hometown” candidate) is particularly pronounced – something that we believe has had disastrous effects for the state as a whole.

Finally, it’s very important to remember that there is a huge gulf between what people say is important to them and what they actually pay attention to – which was on display during the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky scandal.

So … “what matters” to you?  What items would you add/ subtract from our lists?

To the comments!