As the May primary season gets into high gear, I’ve decided to scribble down a few tips candidates should try to follow. It will make their lives a lot easier, but more important, it will do the same for the voter.
I decided to limit it to 10 items, but I could have included a lot more. Unfortunately, there is not enough space in the cloud for all the rules I would need to write to bring some sense of sanity to the insanity that is coming this primary season.
1. Don’t tell me how you oppose the Trump agenda. Because, to be honest, I think some of you are so blinded by your hatred of Donald Trump that he could propose universal health care, free college tuition and birth control, massive regulations, and raise taxes on the wealthy and you would still oppose him because his name was Trump.
2. Don’t tell me how you support the Trump agenda. Because, to be frank, I don’t think many of you fully understand it. If you did, you wouldn’t support tariffs that, at the end of the day, will end up hurting Indiana pork and soybean producers because the Chinese will retaliate and impose their own tariffs on American products.
3. Don’t tell me about your religion. I can respect that you are a person of faith, but what does that have to do with whether cutting taxes will help create jobs in a universe of 3.5 percent unemployment?
4. When you say you’re “pro-family,” tell me exactly what that means. Families come in all shapes, sizes and colors. So do you have a preference? And, to be honest, I always thought the best pro-family policies were the ones that let families keep their own money and make their own decisions (including whether to create a family) with as little government intervention as possible.
5. I really don’t care that your family has been here since Indiana was part of the Northwest Territory. If anything, that just means you never left. And if you’ve never left, you have no idea what life is like in the outside world, which frightens me even more.
6. Don’t tell me we need to “cut the fat” and end “wasteful spending.” Give me details, particularly cuts that will affect your constituents. It’s easy to point out everyone else’s wasteful spending, but what pet projects in your district are you willing to go without?
7. I know the other candidate is bad; now tell me why you’re good. Yes, the other guy is a RINO (Republican in name only) or DINO (Democrat in name only) and doesn’t represent true conservative/progressive values. We’ve established that. Now let’s talk about you.
8. Don’t insult my intelligence. I am willing to bet money I’m a lot smarter than you, and if you don’t believe me, let’s sit down for a one-on-one interview so I can clearly demonstrate it to you.
9. Stay in your lane. If you’re running for township trustee, talk to me about how you plan to stop wasting my money doing a job at an unnecessary level of government. Don’t tell me how you support building a border wall 2,000 miles from your township boundary lines.
10. Act like an adult and don’t talk to the voters like they are children. They are a lot smarter than you think and they usually don’t have a lot to pick from on the ballot.•
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Shabazz is an attorney, radio talk show host and political commentator, college professor and stand-up comedian. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.