Being principled creates opportunity. Similarly, it can limit it. Distinct, defined ideas are attractive. They lead to the creation of refined, considered things, in all practices, particularly in the field of graphic design. They convey integrity and communicate character. Style, both personal and professional, or the lack thereof is always a function of principle - to some degree or another. Simultaneously, principles tend to serve as filters. For those of us with established values, their presence or absence is the factor underlying the majority of our decision-making and of determining our associations.
So, it is with great importance that we execute our principles politically. It is also our belief that we exercise these principles publicly to communicate our values and to attempt to inform and influence those possessing less established value systems - however polarizing that may be. The more publicly we share our principles the more opportunity we create and likewise, the more filters we implement. The empowerment resulting from such actions is twofold, we further define who we are, what we want and what we stand for and we increase the likelihood of attracting others of similar thought, seeking similar opportunity while mitigating the probability of attracting ideas and individuals of less desirable ambition and/or character.
While, our politics are most frequently and perhaps importantly manifest through our daily actions, purchasing decisions, business affiliations, and the like, they are arguably exercised to their greatest extent when we vote for our elected officials. How we vote is a matter of principle and in the upcoming 2012 US presidential election, while there are similarities between the two candidates beliefs, the distinctions between the majority of their values and subsequent principles are quite clear.
Regarding the economy –
We believe you either wish to repeal the tax cuts implemented by George Bush on households earning more than $250,000, or you wish to make them permanent. We wish to repeal them.
Regarding education –
We believe you are either for investing in quality teachers, reducing class sizes, and promoting student loan reform – capping student loan repayments at 10% of income, or you are not. We are for it.
Regarding healthcare –
We believe you are either for striving to provide affordable healthcare for all US citizens while supporting patient protections including allowing coverage for those with pre-existing conditions, or you are against it. We are for it.
Regarding Iraq –
We believe you are either for pulling out of the war in Iraq, a war entered on false premises and refocusing the resources dedicated there, or you are against it. We are for it.
Regarding global warming and the environment –
We believe you are either for a mandatory cap-and-trade system to reduce carbon dioxide emissions or you are against it. In order to be for it you must first believe that global warming is actually occurring. We are for it.
Regarding innovation and clean energy production –
We believe you are either for investing in domestic clean energy sources, specifically wind and solar alongside natural gas and clean coal and creating new jobs in a new energy sector, or you are against it. We are for it.
Regarding gay rights –
We believe you are either for gay marriage, or you are against it. We are for it.
Regarding abortion –
We believe you are either for a woman's right to choose to have an abortion regardless of the circumstances of her pregnancy, or you are against it. We understand that a woman's healthcare decisions are personal, and believe that they are best made with her doctor. You are either in favor of these beliefs, or you are not. We are.
Regarding seniors and Medicare –
We believe you are either for extending the life of Medicare as we currently know it and offering free preventative care for seniors, or you wish to end it and turn it into a voucher program. We wish to extend it and to promote the future health and financial security of our seniors.
Regarding immigration –
We believe you are either for assisting undocumented families that have established themselves in the US and allowing them to remain together in our country while they begin the legal immigration process, or you are not. We are for it.
Regarding the federal deficit –
We believe you either support a balanced plan of spending cuts and revenue increases that could reduce the deficit by more than $4 trillion over the next decade, or you support $5 trillion in tax cuts weighted toward the wealthy in the absence of additive revenue generation. We believe in and support the former.
In summary, we believe you are either for propelling our nation forward, building on the successful principles and policies of the past 4 years, or you are against it and you wish to lead our nation backwards, returning to the failed policies of President George Bush. If you are as US citizen and you are for the above principle-driven policies then you have already cast your ballot for Barack Obama as we have, or you will be doing so on November 6, 2012.
While we are well aware that taking such a public position on such divisive issues will introduce new barriers to perceived opportunity, we believe the values and principles such a position communicates, and the subsequent filters such a position establishes, will further promote the creation of the caliber of opportunities we seek for ourselves and others of like mind.
Principles in politics, much like principles in graphic design communicate our beliefs and our quality of thought. They establish much needed points of differentiation in a crowded, dynamic world, perpetually seeking forward-looking vision, stability, opportunity and equality.