learn.get involved. vote. please. UPDATED*

i have once again immersed myself into the political world, something that i never thought i would do again. politics continue to intrigue me, from the speeches to the marketing to the deceptive (which i recently explored in a book called "confessions of a political hitman" a book which talks about the dirty tricks each party does to slander the other parties candidate.)

i am not here to endorse any one candidate because i refuse to use my position as a entertainer to push my political beliefs on others. but i encourage everyone to explore all the candidates and formulate their own opinions on how they see america being run. this is my first and last political blog this election season!

here is a brief summary of what republicans stand for

here is brief summary of what democrats stand for as someone in the comments pointed out.

it was quite a task to find these biased comparisons, but if you have any comparison charts please put them in the comments!

here are a few videos from the top four frontrunners; two from each party.

i am fully aware that there are more candidates running for the office of president but i wanted simply to introduce you to the frontrunners from each party at this point. again i don't want to share any of my opinions because i believe your convictions are much more powerful in a change for a better future than the words of anyone else's opinions .

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER*, so go learn!

*sir francis bacon


Joanna said…
you're alive!

you shouldn't shy yourself away from politics just because you're an entertainer. It's almost as if you're saying that you shouldn't breathe although you know that air surrounds you. It's good that you aren't choking yourself with it, but don't turn away from it. BUT it is good that you aren't targeting your readers with your views. It's a smart move.

This election is groundbreaking. Not only because that a woman, an african american, and a mormon are running, but of the after effects. Think of what would happen if either Clinton or Obama won, how would those few opposing people feel? There are still several thousands of people existing that are still racist and anti-feminist.

Their election would most likely result in an assassination, as sad as that is. That, in turn, would throw this country off balance.
Say if Obama were to win and then to be murdered, african americans would erupt in riots and protests, throwing this country into a climatical civil war. Or ever if it were to be Clinton or Romney (whose popularity is shot only due to his Mormon beliefs, which is completely ridiculous), the result would be the same.

As far as McCain goes, he's a liberal in disguise, throwing the odds towards the Democratic Party. If his nomination pulls through, it would throw the Republican party into a situation where the Democrats would win no matter who is elected into office.

I don't really know why I felt I had to explain all that, but I did. Ha, politics really are intriguing. This election itself is intriguing for it hasn't had this type of impact since...probably either Lincoln's election and all the controversy it created.
kellie marie said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
kellie marie said…
unfortunately because i'm a registered independent and i live in arizona i dont get to vote. but good on yeh to everyone that did!

this website has some really good links that allow you to compare the candidates as well as a link to a survey you can take that compares your beliefs to the candidates. those were really helpful.


peace | love | change
guard my dreams said…
its nice to hear from you again! its been a while since you last gave us something to think on.

i honestly have very little to contribute to this topic, however. i justify my political apathy to the fact that i am not yet old enough to vote. i do plan to vote when i am of age, though. i have always felt that those able to vote should always excercise their rights, but not by only voting republican if they associate with that party or democrat in the same sense. you should always look at the candidate's opinions on important issues and decide based on that, not their party affilition.

but i probably have no room to talk, seeing that i can barely name those running.
I'm glad you're encouraging people to vote. Young generations have for a long time been known as apathetic and uncaring when it comes to elections. I think with the use of the internet, this election may break that stereotype.

I do wish you had included Huckabee as one of the candidates you posted since he is technically still very much in the race and only slightly behind McCain and Romney.
tehillim said…
i much admire sir bacon. ten points for you. i saw some schiele over christmas and thought of you for suggesting it a while back.

i also appreciate that you're not endorsing a candidate with your "powers," i generally think it's more responsible the way you encourage good things, and anyone can do good things. so thanks.
Anonymous said…
My eyes are glued to the result board online. I cannot stop checking in! :-) I decided to help with the campaign this year--which is basically opposite of what you are trying to do--
However, I TOTALLY respect your encouragement of every person to think for themselves! (Perhaps the most important thing we can do in a culture that just believes everything we are told!)

I also believe in doing something about what you believe instead of what we so often do--complain and do nothing! Also, the reason I am being so open about it is because I am a full out supporter of Huckabee and I realize he's had virtually no coverage and has not been taken very seriously. I am practicing taking a stand on what I believe and letting the chips fall as they may. I love the grassroots efforts of the campaign.
Winning for Huckabee will truly be a miracle!

I always thought it would be fun to have my own island or if we were starting over in the world--to pioneer a nation.
It is a lot of work, but it has the potential to position people for a lot of good.
Enjoy the monumental year that its going to be (election wise).
Keepin' it real.
leoland said…
i'm glad you're encouraging people to vote! luckily, even though i'm registered as independent/decline to state, democrats at least let us vote in california. i completely understand your decision to not claim a candidate or whatever. it kinda sucks though. personally i'm just interested in what other people think and believe and their reasoning. whether or not i agree with them, i just love hearing other opinions.
i understand though that unfortunately people can take things the wrong way or interpret your endorsing of a candidate as trying to tell others to do so as well. i sort of wish others would think about that.
ok i wrote like 2 more paragraphs of rambling so i erased them because theyre just rambling haha
Jeremy B said…
Good to see so many people get out and vote today in the primaries. Normally, you only see voter turnout like this come November. I guess with so many candidates in the running, it has generated a lot of interest for people to get out and have a voice.

We all have our political leanings here but I wanted to say one thing. Regardless of who wins the primaries or becomes President, don't forget what a great country we have to live in. All of us have the privilege of voting and regardless of your political views, our country has been blessed in so many ways. Most of us have our health, a good economy, many blessings, and have a better quality of life than almost everyone else in the world. As you think about the elections and get immersed in the politics, remember the blessings we have and countries like Guatemala, Thailand, Sudan, and many others who aren't as fortunate, struggle to get by each day, and don't have many of the same rights we do.
Raechel said…
Thanks for the links. :) They're wonderful!

Also, hope your move goes smoothly!
Sam said…
hate to sound like a bible thumper, but doesn't ecclesiastes talk about knowledge being futile, in the end? i understand what you mean, knowledge guides how we make decisions, but a quest after knowledge itself is, in the end, might turn up empty, yes?
Anonymous said…
I love how you are trying to intrigue the younger generations into voting. Unfortunately, this key demographic is also one with nearly the lowest voter turnout. Also... in my cse, it does me no good to vote because my state has been pro-Rebulican for over 40 years; and I doubt the population will venture from that. I should probably just move.
Anonymous said…

Before I really piss you off I do want to say I’m so happy to see you've updated your blog! You make me think and I very much appreciate that- through your writing or your music you are very thought provoking!

Ok on to some observations:

I think it's laughable that you are claiming you are refusing to use your position as an entertainer to push your political beliefs on others.

I am not laughing at you, but I am certainly laughing.

I think it's a bit obvious from other blogs that you lean more red than blue and that's fine- everyone is entitled to their opinion- that's what's GREAT about this country. Expression and right to one's opinion is fundamental.

With that said I believe talk is cheap and actions serve as a window to true intention.

You appear to be unbiased in your showing the current front runners and providing links for what both parties stand for, but the link for the Republicans goes to the California Republican Party and the link for the Democrats does not go to the California Democratic Party or the National Democratic Party site for that matter it goes to a non-party related site and specifically to an article written in 2005 by who knows who wrote it. Also when you open up the link what first hits the eyes is Ann Coulter's book "Godless".


I think you are making your opinions known Stephen- your attempt for non-disclosure is very much disclosing your political leanings.

For anyone interested the Democratic Party does have a national website where you can find out more about Democratic views- Check it out here: http://www.democrats.org/a/party/stand.html

P.S. I don't need any hate mail please. I am not attacking Stephen. I am as big a fan as you are! In fact I’ll just post this anonymously and hope you understand why.
"hate to sound like a bible thumper, but doesn't ecclesiastes talk about knowledge being futile, in the end? i understand what you mean, knowledge guides how we make decisions, but a quest after knowledge itself is, in the end, might turn up empty, yes?"

Perhaps, but the first few chapters of the book of Proverbs are devoted to the importance of not forsaking knowledge =)

I registered as independent because I really have no definate political preference, although I am definately more Republican-leaning. But while it's important to vote, I personally place more importance on social change and humanitarian work done by, oh I don't know, Faceless International (ha!), Global Tribe, etc. because to me, I feel as though work like that allows me to really cause the change myself, while voting is a bit more passive. I'm young though, it might change.

I'd just vote for the candidate who shares similar beliefs as me, regardless of party. But ultimately man's government is futile compared to God's rule, so it is never without flaw.
Anonymous said…
One of your links seems very biased and not very factual about the other party.
Randy W said…
politics are so blasted divisive. thanks for staying neutral.
Anonymous said…
Stephen, I know exactly how you are trying to be nuetral in this entire political arena. But why? It has come to my attention that several "artists", or in some of their cases... lack there of..., supported the "rock against bush" thing a few years back. I don't think you should use your music to promote a party, like these artists did, but why not voice your oppinion? That is one reason that we, as fans, all look up to you so much. I know you're christian, although you don't play in a strictly christian band. That is a large reason why I love every cd you guys have out... and why I actually buy them. Another artist that I look up to, for voicing their oppinion no matter what is Tim McTague from Underoath. He speaks his mind. I wish that you would have the guts to speak your mind on everything when this is all over. People should not be judged for their beliefs, and a true fan would respect your beliefs and love you anyways. It's clearly obvious you are more conservative than liberal, and thats respectable. Next time, I just wish you would come straight out and say your oppinions!
classicXXjazz said…
"i am not here to endorse any one candidate because i refuse to use my position as a entertainer.."

i respect you so much for that. you are the first entertainer I've seen that actually seems to understand that they have influence over the public that listens to them.

good for you.
Andrew said…
Ha you have to update this- I just heard Romney dropped.
Book of James said…
What are your core issues? What is it that defines you?

Are you Pro Choice or Anti Abortion?

Are you for less Federal Government programs and control or for more Government programs and control.

Does it bother you to give your money to the Federal Government so that they can give a small portion back to you?

Do you know what the Line Item Veto is? If No, why not?

Do you know what the term "Congressional Earmarks " means? Find out because it is important.

Do you know who Jimmy Carter is?
Did you know what it's like to live through gasoline shortages?
Do you care if we end up with 21% long term interest rates?

Do you realize that our emphasis on Ethanol as an alternative to oil/fossil fuels is leading to additional loss of rain forest and animal habitat to allow for more agricultural production?

Do you know how many Americans were killed in World War II? Do you know how many Americans were killed in Vietnam?

Do you understand the consequences of rapid withdrawl from Iraq and Afganistan before those countries can protect themselves?

Go to this Web Site to find out which candidate best fits your Ideal candidate.

Janelle said…
I am looking so forward to voting. This is the first election I'll be old enough to vote in & I'm honestly excited about it.
themockingbyrd said…
I really respect your decision not to endorse a candidate. I'm sure it would've been interesting to hear your reasons for supporting someone, but a call to be informed and just vote, for whomever it is your convictions guide you to seems better untethered to a personal ideology, however much I'd have enjoyed reading about it.

Bravo, sir, bravo.
Anonymous said…
i would definitely agree about getting involved in politics. it's our country; our future; and we can do something about it. if more people were involved in politics in our country, it would probably be a better place and instead of people just complaining about the government, they should try to get involved.
props :)
Jenny said…
Voting is only good if you feel there is someone worth voting for. I admire the American election system a lot because it pretty much makes the UK's look as pathetically simple as a show of hands!!
I voted in the last election we had but I don't feel it made much of a difference. Most of our politicians are a little bit dense I think. Eg, Alex Salmond. He wants to make Scotland independant... We can't be liberated, we can't look after ourselves!! Over half of our funding for roads & such like comes from Westminster.
Ok so this had not much to do with American voting but I suppose it's relevant... Kind of...

This is the first election I've paid much attention to, and it is pretty exciting to get involved in. Everyone should try to educate themselves about the candidates. I also understand your reasoning for not stating where you stand. It is important that people decide who they support strictly based on their own beliefs and not those of people around them. I'm not a big fan of celebrities trying to tell their fans who to vote for, everyone has their own opinions and beliefs, which is what makes this a great country. Everyone has a voice.
Anonymous said…
Book of James - If you really believe that there is a gas shortage right now, you have a lot to learn. Being in a family who owns and operates a petroleum company, trust me... there's not one. The only problem right now is that the gasoline industry is purposefully not living up to the demand the world needs. Have you heard of any company building new wells, or really scouting new places to dig? No? Ok.. well, they know where there is oil, and I know for a fact that they are not going into those places because they can simply get away with charging $3+ per gallon. And what happens when the price goes up? People chose to gas and go... steal. Does that hurt the supplier? Not in the least, that hurts the family that owns the filling station. It comes directly out of their pocket. There isn't a shortage, there is a lack of need to go find new drilling sites. If you studied Ethanol production, it is not a replacement of oil production. It never will be. Ethanol production has replaced less than 10% of our dependence on oil. Unfortunately, not enough Americans own or can afford cars (typically, they are thousands of dollars more) that rely on E85 either. I don't feel that our dependance on foreign oil will subside for at least another 10+ years. Right now, the technology is not affordably here. Not only that, but to get everybody into a fuel-cell or hybrid car is going to take a LONG time.

Also, this is more of an oppinion than fact, but Stephen is a Christian. I am a Christian. As a Christian, it would be unethical to support abortion or be pro-choice. It's obvious that a baby in a womb is still a baby, and therefore a human being. And based on Christian beliefs, it would be unethical to kill another human; correct? Unfortunately, I live in a pro-republican state that also feels the death penalty is not another form of murder, which I believe it's still killing someone. Fortunately, there are also different alternatives to abortion. I don't think many people consider them at all. In many places, there is a wait list for adoption. Also, almost all states (excluding Nebraska and Alaska at this time - although Nebraska just aproved it through the state senate) have a safe haven law. The safe haven law says you will not be prosecuted for leaving your baby at a safe place i.e. hospital.

I just wish everyone would consider these things before they make big decisions.
Book of James said…
Dear Anonymous,

No one said anything about a gas shortage. The politically expedient answer to high gas prices on the part of our leaders is the promotion of Ethanol (specifically Corn based) as a supplement/alternative to 100% Gasoline. My point was for people to realize that what may seem like a simple solution can have unintended consequences. If the talking heads would focus on Sugar based Ethanol instead of corn based Ethanol it would be of far greater benefit and far less destructive to third world countries.

You see I too make a large portion of my income from the Oil and gas Industry. I am involved in “wildcat” exploration (i.e. looking for new places to “dig”) primarily in Eastern New Mexico and West Texas. I am also involved in exploration of the Barnett Shale (New fields and places) in Central Texas. Supply and demand my friend. You would be amazed at the level of new exploration that $90-$100 a barrel oil will drive

The point is not for us to be talking heads like so many of the public/political figures, but to run with Stephen's lead by encourage people to think for themselves. By putting them onto alternative and well educated view points that they might not otherwise be exposed to in their circle of friends and associates.

Stephen’s religion/faith is a matter of public record and thus is likely a major influence in his political leanings. In my first few sentences previously I exhorted the reader to figure out what their core beliefs were. How many people out there actually know what their core beliefs are? How can anyone in good conscience vote for a new leader of the Greatest Democracy to ever exist and not base that vote on their core beliefs?

When the female role models today are drugged up, drunk, and/or pregnant at 16 why would we be surprised when our young people follow suit?

I don’t want to be just another adult authority figure telling kids what to do and what not to do. I hope they will think for themselves and make educated decisions.

Vote! Educate yourself and Vote. No excuses. JUST DO IT!
It saddens me greatly that even here in Australia people are worried that your presidential election may end in such an upset that the newly elected president could be assassinated. The fact that some people are willing to kill in order to put their own political or even religious beliefs (in the case of Mitt Romney) in power has left me worried about the future of society. If a woman, an African-American or a person of a non-christian faith is ever going to be voted president, I think this is the year for it to happen. I just hope it doesn't end in a good person being killed for trying to make their country a better place.
SwordofTruth412 said…
God is not a Capitalist.

Those words have echoed in my mind through this entire campaign. For the majority of my life [granted, it's short] I have believed that religion and politics are carefully seperated into distinct roles with very little interference from either side. I guess you could call it suffering from "Americanized Christianity". Just recently has it become apparent that there is no seperation. Nor can there be. And that has only begged more questions. I used to wonder how those college students in Tiananmen square ever desired to change the world. And now, here, I find myself desiring the same thing. You make a good point Christian, we must act.

But is politics the answer? Do we work with the system or without it? These questions still come. Here in the south, the Republican party is the only party for the "religious". Somewhere, between the first century and now, the church grew docile. I am brewing up a revolution here in the Bible belt. And now I wonder what part I can play in it with a simple vote. But, the beauty of it, is that that question is what really matters. Thanks Stephen.
Anonymous said…
Did you mean to say "UNbiased" in that one part of your description?

just wondering.


thanks for posting this.
Jeremy B said…
The discussion on here has been rather interesting. However, I just wanted to add my two cents on this. I believe everyone should get out and vote. Educate yourself and know what you believe but also know where your beliefs come from. Are they from your parents? Are they from your own experiences? Are they from faith and your own experiences of God? Are they from what others have told you should believe? To vote in this country and to have all the things we do is indeed a blessing. I don't care for politics much at all (more on that below) but somehow I always walk away feeling a bit patriotic after I vote.

It is my strongly help opinion that faith in government and politics is not going to fix this world. They have many strong influences on what goes on around us today. But if people believe that govt and politics alone will fix the ills of this world, I believe they are sadly mistaken. If you look at the life of Jesus and his teachings, a changed life comes one person at a time. It takes people going out and coming together to truly make a difference in those that are hungry, thirsty, and hurting. There is one country I know that has a huge issue with prostitution but doesn't even acknowledge that it exists. So there are many women who aren't helped. That is why I encourage people to vote but even more so to know what you believe and why. May you beliefs, faith, experiences spur you to action, even if it is only in the life of one or two. For those one or two may impact thousands. And one by one, we can make a difference in the world. I think that is the way God meant it. After all, his revolution started with just one person too.
Anonymous said…
Thanks for this. I've been frustrated with a lack of voting and a lack of informed voting for a long time. Unfortunately, my blog is too small to make any sort of serious impact on that as of yet.

I've added you to my blogroll btw. I like the way you write; the world needs more people like you.
Anna said…
I haven't read the other comments - I'll just point that out before I add my own thoughts. Well, a thought, and then a question.
I believe in the value of following world news, theories, events, politics... even if you can't be directly involved in them. I am not a citizen of the US but I'm following the election closely. I have lived in the US, which may be one reason, but also, the US has a huge amount of control on this earth. The next leader of that country will have the ability to make real changes.

As for my question... is it possible to be conservative and liberal? Democratic and Republican? What would you do if you agree with the general idea of one party, but do have a few very major objections on specific policy issues? Would you support another party only because they agree on such major issues, even if you disagree with everything else they have to say?
Anonymous said…
personally I'm for Mccaine, he definately has the best plan for Iraq, he's been a prisoner of war, so we know that he's not gonna be frivelous with the lives of our boys. Nearly nobody likes the fact that we're in Iraq, but Mccaine actually has a good plan to end things there without jepordizing countless lives. even if it might involve staying.
The real question is can he contend with a woman and a black man, people often only look at the milestones, and not the validity of the candidates, I'm tired of people who will base their vote solely on abortion, but it is definately an issue, I swear God must cry for every baby that will never have a chance to live because of American selfishness. I'll admit to not knowing as much as I would like about the other candidates, however, it seems to me like Baraaq is becoming a fad, for those who simply want something different, who aren't nessecarily interested in policies.

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