So in case you haven’t heard, tomorrow (November 4, 2014) is election day! And while you all can take a wild guess as to how I vote, I think that our right to vote is something very important…no matter what your political affiliation. You might be surprised to learn that I do not hate people who vote Democrat or politicians who affiliate with the Democrat party (I may disagree, make fun of, or heckle a bit but never hate.)
Believe it or not, I don’t get upset simply because someone chooses to vote Democrat (although I do typically disagree with them). I get most upset when I see someone voting who is uninformed. And this isn’t just for Democrats. I also don’t like when people vote Republican and are uniformed. I don’t agree with Christians who vote straight Republican simply because they feel they ought to or because they think it’s their moral obligation to vote a certain way.
We are all busy, I get that. I don’t have nearly as much time as I would like to research the entire ballot before I vote, but I can logically explain why I voted the way I did. All of this “I was born (insert chosen party affiliation here) and I will die (insert chosen party affiliation here)” is crap to me. What good is having a voice in the political goings on of your nation if you’re just going to throw it away?
The truth is, I don’t care how you vote…just as long as you vote informed.
In our world, voting is a privilege that we too often take for granted. Even in other nations where citizens can vote, the election process is usually just a corrupted façade. If you need examples, look at Iran, North Korea, Egypt, the West Bank and Gaza, and a myriad of other nations around the world where the voting process is merely a formality in an already rigged election.
But here, in America, our voices are heard. Our opinions matter. That’s one reason so many people are adamant about voter IDs and get worked up over any hint of voter fraud. It’s not that people are racist or mean or that we hate illegal immigrants, it’s that our right to vote is something so crucial to the way our government operates, we don’t want anything to impede justice…or our voice for that matter.
But too often, I see that we don’t fully appreciate our right to vote. Nothing upsets me more than when someone votes a particular way because they feel they have to and not because they truly believe in the candidate. I get so peeved when people throw away their vote on bad reasoning. I’ve heard, “Well they’re both bad, so I’m just not voting.”
Or this jewel of an argument: “Well if we need evil to bring about God’s plan then I’m going to vote for the candidate I disagree with the most to help bring it about.”
Both of these arguments are some of the stupidest arguments I have ever heard. For one thing, God doesn’t need your help! His plan will come about whether you vote or not; whether you side with good or evil; or whether you were Republican or Democrat. But He definitely doesn’t need your help.
But secondly, let me clarify something for you: you will NEVER agree 100% with any one candidate. I don’t care what their party affiliation or what they stand for, you will never agree on every single issue. And that’s ok.
Think about it this way, you won’t ever agree with ANYONE all of the time. Not your spouse, best friend, church pastor, co-worker, your identical twin, your beloved dog, or favorite TV character. You just won’t. Ok, maybe I went a little overboard there, but you get my point.
You wouldn’t divorce your spouse (or not marry them in the first place) simply because you disagreed on one issue. You wouldn’t stop being friends with someone because they didn’t see eye-to-eye with you on what really is THE best episode of 24. If you did, you would never get married, or have friends, and wind up alone and eating Ramen noodles with your 32 cats.
My point is that you can’t just bury your head in the sand and not vote at all simply because you don’t completely agree with one candidate. You also can’t just vote a particular way because you feel you have to or that’s the way you’ve always voted or because you were told that’s how you should vote. Take a step back, evaluate your decision, and if you choose to continue voting the same way, fine. But at least you’ve given it real thought.
You have to do your research, learn which candidates stand for what issues, and then decide which issues are most important to you. THEN, go vote!
Don’t let your family, friends, pastor, traditions, obligations, or favorite news anchor (especially the ones from CNN or MSNBC) tell you how to vote. The way you vote is something only you can decide. Pray about it and let the Holy Spirit guide you on how to vote.
But don’t be so quick to give up your right to vote. When we give up this right, we allow our voice to be silenced. And our job is to be a Voice in the Desert preparing the way of the LORD!
So let’s get to the polls and VOTE!