Gun Rights: That's about all there is to what I look for in candidate.
If this first sentence causes you to froth at the mouth rather than causes a curiosity as to why I feel it can be so simple then you should stop right here and find something else to read. Let me explain...
The simplest fact to begin with is that an individual will not agree with any particular representative 100% of the time. I realistically am aware that politicians must represent a large group. At times decisions must be made that don't necessarily have a perfect solution. This is at least what leaders are supposed to do: lead.
So since I can't expect to get my way every time, what can I sacrifice on the altar of a representative democracy? Instead of trying to remove those things from my mental space that I don't give any thought to, how about I enumerate those things that I feel are most important?
The Bill of Rights in general pretty much sums up my feelings of critical requirements. Most of the follow on amendments are more of clarification than requirements. If the word "people" was correctly interpreted to mean "any United States citizen over the age of 18 regardless of color or gender" then the amendments could be cut down quite close to just the original 10.
So why would I single out the 2nd then?
When I boil down my list of requirements it looks to me that the two political sides become polarized between a belief in individualism or a belief in the collective. This can be observed back to the forming of the United States with the argument of Nationalism vs Federalism. The one is top down and the other is bottom up.
I believe that regardless of what government you have, a country comes down to a collection of individuals that choose to remain cohesive. The size of the cohesion and agreements varies.
The United States is a marvelous system of ever increasingly sized collections of individuals.
The basic unit remains the same though! Each person must choose their relationship to their world and the government. I firmly believe that as a citizen, I am the most basic unit of the government. With this great authority comes the responsibility to participate in society.
There is a subset of individuals that are not responsible. This subset is not responsible economically, socially, or even paternally. Left to their own devices, this subset would probably starve to death for want of an ounce of self-reliance.
I don't believe that this subset is the majority of America. I believe that Americans are individuals willing to stand up and work to survive and thrive. I believe that Americans are individuals that take personal responsibility, go to work, hug their children, pick up after themselves and live within their means to provide for themselves and their relations. This affects every aspect of what I look for in a politician.
The one "plank" that shines the belief of responsibility most clearly is in the right of the individual to bear arms. There are millions of people that own guns in the United States. Every day, these millions of individuals manage to responsibly own, if not carry these weapons, without harming anyone. This is similar to the way that millions drive cars every day without killing anyone. Murder is illegal. Assault is illegal. In general, automatic weapons are illegal. Selling weapons in a majority os situations without a background check is illegal
So when I look at a candidate, it becomes crystal clear to me where this politician stands on personal responsibility with their stance on gun control. Every day, millions of Americans handle dangerous items or hold other peoples lives in their hands. Why does it suddenly become different for this one particular item?
In conclusion, I find politicians that either are ignorant or intentionally misleading about guns have no interest in individual responsibility. I assume they are interested in legislating for immediate gain (usually theirs) rather than stability and long term success. This is a very easy litmus test to show the color of a candidate's motivation. Hence, the only question I need, "Where do you stand on gun ownership?"