05 August, 2008

Re-grading the Candidates

This is the eighth post in an ongoing series regarding the major Presidential candidates and their views on civil liberties. This space should've been taken by a discussion on the Eighth Amendment, but I've realized I need to address an issue.

Some comments have been sent to me regarding how I handle lack of statements by either candidate. Since I have gone with the idea that "no news is good news", I have given them an A+ when that happens. But, that's not really fair.

For example, if candidate A makes numerous speeches confirming his support for Amendment Y, and candidate B says nothing at all about Amendment Y, it's hardly fair to give them each the same grade. Actually, I came to this realization on my own at about the same time, while doing research on the Eighth Amendment.

It was suggested that I give the candidates an "Incomplete" grade on these issues, but I don't think I can do that. At the end, I plan on summarizing my results and giving a "final grade", and incompletes will make that difficult.

My reasoning for giving them an A+ when this happens is because of my belief that in general, our government these days is more interested than taking our rights away from us than it is in protecting them. I still stand by that belief, so here's my solution. Instead of giving an A+ for no statements, I'm going to give a B. That way I can reward positive statements with a higher grade, and still be able to come up with a final grade. This is, of course, subjective.

As a result, I have had to go back and issue new grades in many of my posts. For summary purposes, I will include a table of current grades. This table will appear in all new posts on this topic.

Results so far:
Obama McCain
First Amendment C- D-
Second Amendment D- C-
Third Amendment B B
Fourth Amendment D+ D+
Fifth Amendment D+ B-
Sixth Amendment B B
Seventh Amendment C C

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