I’m voting this time because it’s my obligation as a citizen to do so. That’s not very compelling, I know, but it’s as real as I can get. I’m trying to figure out who to vote for. In all honesty, I’m not inspired by my choices. In some races it’s a little bit like voting for the political version of the movie ‘Dumb and Dumber’. I could vote for ‘none of the above’ those instances but that little noise of resistance won’t even be heard. In this election I have to make the most educated choice I can because my heart isn’t beating hard for anyone. But vote I must. People have died for the right to vote. Many around the world still don’t have an opportunity to vote in a fair and free election. By showing up and casting a ballot I’m saying that democracy still means something to me. Not voting isn’t an option for me. It shouldn’t be for you.
In all honesty we have a lot of ‘not so good’ candidates these days. Politics is not for the faint hearted. And so many good people who are excellent leaders are refusing to play the political game. Even if one does step forward can they count on other good people to go to the polls and cast a ballot? There are good candidates however. There really are. Finding them isn’t always easy but it’s important for us to look and to look beyond our normal patterns and habits. It means that we take the time to inform ourselves. That’s more work than the grumbling we usually do. It’s necessary work though.
This should be an interesting election. The Democrats will lose ground if historical trends continue. The Republicans will gain some. And the rebel factions in this election are making the political scene a bit dicey this time around.
I've been watching the ‘Tea Party’ with some fascination. I don’t love all the rhetoric and tactics I’ve seen. I do enjoy the fact that the political establishment is sitting straighter and taking notice. The ‘Tea Party’ movement might be the needed corrective for a system that’s gotten too fat and sassy for its own good. Will it have long life as a movement? Hard to tell. If it’s successful it runs the risk of becoming what it despises. In the meantime, it might be the stimulus for needed reform.
A lot of you who read this are people of faith. Many of you have a ‘litmus test’ that candidates must pass. I have my own litmus test. I’m looking for the candidates who will fight for a more just society regardless of political affiliation. Are they willing to look at points of view different than their own? Can they change their mind? Do they care about the marginalized? Do they care about the very things that break the heart of God? Are they a man or woman of integrity? I don’t expect every candidate I vote for to be 100% in lock step agreement with my political and religious point of view. I’m looking at character. If someone is willing to listen and isn’t afraid to change their mind then that person has a leg up on someone who’s rigid in thought and practice even if we’re closer to agreement on key issues.
Bottom line. Vote. That’s what good citizens do. Encourage others to vote. And continue to pray for the leaders of our country even those you don’t like. Leadership is tough these days. The issues are many. Solutions aren’t necessarily easy to come by. God’s help is needed.