The Only Criteria I Use to Vote for a President: The Dinner Test

Recently I wrote an article about determining when to cut someone off from your life.  It came with some opinionated responses.  Some folks thought I was a bit harsh at even suggesting to cut off family members.  Others supported it.  Either way, I’m glad to get the conversation going.  But there was one response that I liked more than anyone’s.  It came from a buddy of mine who quoted a long time professor who spent 30 years at UT Austin managing hundreds of professors and students.  The quote went something like this:

“If you won’t sit through a 2 hour dinner with the person, share your views freely, accept their views, even if opposed to yours and possibly drive 2 hours to meet to eat and pay for the meal, then you don’t have a friend.’

And that got me thinking: Let’s call it “the dinner test.”  When you unpack that quote there’s a lot in there.  First of all, spending two hours with anyone is a challenge.  Remember how I said I don’t like most people?  Well, this is after having met them for maybe a few minutes at a time.  Can you imagine having to spend two hours with a person that you’ve never met before?  I mean hell, let’s at least start with “the beer test” as in “could I sit down and enjoy a beer with this person?” So first you’ve got the two hour thing.  Then you need a person you can share your views freely with.  That’s a tough one too.  Then you’ve got someone who has to accept your views.  They may act like they do but I think in 2 hours you should be able to gauge if they’re a fraud or not.  Driving 2 hours to meet?  Damn.  Now when I look at this quote I realize that it’s close to impossible to like almost anyone.  There are family members I’m close with who I wouldn’t drive 2 hours to see.  So now I’m thinking to myself “if it’s this hard to have friends in your life, how does one choose a President?” Hell if it’s a President.  What about an employee?  What about someone to carpool with? What about anyone?  But let’s get back to that President thing.

Politics matter less to me

The last thing I am in this world is political.  At the same time I have absolutely no issue with describing where I lean.  Want to know?  Here we go.  I’m what you would call a fiscally conservative Democrat.  I’m probably 99.9% right down the middle but if you put a gun to my head and asked me if I were a Republican or Democrat I’d likely say Democrat.  So what does that mean exactly?  Well, I’m an entrepreneur.  That means I built my income from scratch.  So the thought of me giving any of it away in the form of taxes truly pisses me off.  I like my money.  I worked for my money.  And the thought of giving away my money pisses me off.  But on the flipside, I 100% agree with helping those in need.  So yeah, I believe in charity and helping those that are less fortunate, but on the flipside I don’t trust most charities because I think they’re corrupt.  See what I’m getting at here?  I don’t have an issue with people owning guns, but I certainly have an issue with the wrong people owning guns.  So if someone says to me, “do you believe in the right to carry arms?” I’d say “sure, but if I had to choose between everyone or no one carrying guns to curb mass shootings I’d likely lean on the side of no one carrying guns.  Feel free to send me an email and we can spar politically all day.

I share this information with you not to sway you in any direction nor to bolster my own position any further.  I share it to give you a sense of where my belief structure lies.  And on the flipside I generally accept where other people’s belief structures lie, to a point.  I say “to a point” because well, come on.  You gotta draw the line somewhere.  My line is generally drawn when people go beyond common sense and shift into the psychotic zone.  I suppose that zone’s definition is different for everyone.  But let’s just say when you go too far to the left or right, you’re starting to reach psychotic zone.  Marjorie Taylor Greene?  Psychotic Zone.  Liz Chaney?  A republican I’d likely disagree on some stuff with but I have no doubt we’d get along.  Make sense?  Good.  With that all said, let’s get to the Presidential candidates.

Who did I vote for and why?

It’s too bad that in this day and age once I tell you who I voted for I’ll likely alienate a certain percentage of people.  I’ve never seen a time in my life where who you vote for can literally end a friendship or relationship.  But here we are, 2021, where cultural and political divides are that strong.  I voted for Joe Biden.  And no, I didn’t vote for him because I thought he was a lesser of two evils.  Were both candidates top tier dudes that I’m thinking, “this guy is perfect for the job?”  No.  But it was the dinner test.  I just couldn’t see myself lasting more than 5 minutes eating dinner with Donald Trump.  Seriously.  It would be an absolute shit show talking to that guy.  He’s not intelligent, articulate, and simply wouldn’t bring anything to the conversation.

To me, it isn’t about politics when I vote for a politician.  Think about it.  How much of politics is really going to affect my immediate family?  Sure, it affects my taxes.  Sure, it affect my healthcare.  But in the grand scheme of things?  I prefer to think I control my own financial and moral destiny.  A few thousand here and there isn’t going to do much.  I may not be in the same position as many other Americans, but that’s where I am and that’s what I have to focus on.  I just want to vote for a dude who doesn’t seem too crazy.  A guy who wouldn’t put the entire population in danger.  Someone who can steer the ship and hold the fort when shit gets real.  I simply didn’t see Donald Trump as that guy.  Sue me.   And one more thing.  ANY politician who reaches the highest office in the land is corrupt in some way.  Let’s never forget that.  Which is why to me, it’s not really about politics.  It’s the dinner test.

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