The other day, I was talking with my dad about the election. I told him that my basic decision-making principle came down to each candidate’s vision for the country. If Mitt Romney or Barack Obama were elected tomorrow, and faced no obstacles in shaping the laws of this country to their vision of what is best, which America would I prefer to live in?
Without missing a beat, my dad’s response was, “Well, they each need to tell us their plan, plain and simple.”
Except, I don’t want to hear about plans. A plan is something you have before reality sets in. A plan is hopefully well-thought, but essentially untested. A plan is what you start with, but rarely looks the same when you are finished.
I want to understand each candidate’s vision. A vision is what guides every decision, including the decision to change plans. A plan is easily reduced to convenient and/or confusing sound bites. But a vision emerges over the course of months and years.
If you are asking for a plan, I believe you’re thinking too short-term. Take a look at both candidates and think about everything you’ve heard them say over the last year. Think about the things they’ve said before that. Think about the company they keep and how they convey their thoughts to you. Think about the principles and values they hold and how they got to where they are. What emerges is their vision of what this country should be. Now, imagine that vision becoming reality and decide if that is the country you want to live in. Then vote.