Why Vote?

Okay, so this topic might seem more appropriate for this November rather than right now. But I’ve been thinking about it a lot recently and wanted to go ahead and express my thoughts. Who knows? Maybe I’ll re-post this again closer to November.

If you’re like many of us, you may be horrified at the available choices for our next president. I suspect that’s true regardless of your party affiliation.

The people have supposedly spoken in the primary elections, but since there are no consistent requirements for how the primaries are handled or what the results actually mean, who knows whether the majority of Americans are actually in favor of the  presumed candidates for each party?

That puts many of us in a quandary. If we don’t like either candidate, why vote at all?

I like what a friend of mine shared about the way elections are held in Colombia, a nation in South America. If neither candidate gets a clear majority, voters at the poll get to demand that they be given different candidates to consider.

If I recall correctly, voting in Australia is legally required. A bit extreme for America’s tastes, perhaps. Being free to make a choice also requires the freedom not to have to.

And too many Americans are convinced either that their votes won’t make a difference OR they refuse to support an undesirable candidate in the hopes of defeating an even more undesirable one.

I recently saw what struck me as a rather exaggerated excuse. Something like “I wouldn’t vote for Hitler, would I?”

I wonder whether the people of Germany would’ve voted overwhelmingly for Hitler if they’d had their eyes open. And I wonder whether that may be the situation with this November’s election as well.

Both of the presumed candidates appear dangerous to me and to a number of other Americans. I’m not writing here to advocate either party or either candidate.

What I do want to do is encourage everyone to vote in November, no matter how reluctantly. Vote against the candidate you consider least desirable. But don’t let other people make your decision for you just because you don’t want to make it for yourself. The future of this nation is at stake, whether you realize it or not.

Two remarkable quotes come to mind. One is from physicist Albert Einstein. “The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.”

The other is from theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer. “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil. God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

It’s interesting that two such different men–men from such different backgrounds–should say essentially the same thing.

Maybe you don’t care what Einstein and Bonhoeffer have to say, and you may not care about my opinion, either.

But if we end up with a dangerous president–perhaps I should say “the more dangerous president”–in the White House as a result of this November’s election, it won’t be because I didn’t do the research to choose who I think will be the more desirable person and go to the polls and vote for him or her.

It will be because of the individual Americans who–with each vote not cast–allow others to make the decision for them. Please don’t be one of them.

Donn Taylor, an author friend of mine, just had this letter to the editor published in his local newspaper in Texas. “Several letters recently have asked whether to vote or refrain from voting in the 2016 presidential election. To answer the question, I recommend the following guideline: When there’s no Messiah running, and only Barrabas and Judas Iscariot are on the ballot, we vote for Barrabas. Failing to vote has the same effect as voting for Judas. From that point it’s just a matter of identification.”

Are you planning to vote? Why or why note? How about leaving a comment?

~*~

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I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,
Roger

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Why Vote?

I’ve visited Australia five or six times over the last twenty-some years. Wonderful country,  even if it’s become too Americanized in some ways. If you question that, you should turn on a TV set in Oz and see how many American shows are popular there.

But one thing comes to mind as different. Quite different. Radically different.

Unless I was misinformed or things have changed over the last few years, Australians are legally required to vote. Can you believe that? As much freedom as Aussies enjoy otherwise, they don’t have the freedom to refrain from voting.

Hmm. How would that go over in the United States? I can’t begin to imagine the specifics, but “like a lead balloon” is the cliche that comes to mind.

As far as I can recall, I’ve always voted in presidential elections, even when I didn’t like either candidate. And I probably voted in other elections periodically, but not as faithfully. To tell you the truth, after attending a political rally as part of a political science class in college, I was so turned off by the political party system that I changed my major to English.

I say that to emphasize that I think I understand how the common man feels about politics in general. Let’s see if I can sum this up accurately. The people in Washington are all crooks, and they don’t care what we think or how we feel.

They don’t mind taking more and more of our money, which they spend recklessly, and still run the federal debt up beyond our ability to comprehend. They don’t even obey the Constitution, much less live by biblical principles. No matter what they say, we can’t believe them. And state and local politicians aren’t always much better.

Is that how you feel? While I don’t believe it’s true of every elected official, I think we’ve seen far too much evidence of the validity of these complaints and many others as well.  For all intents and purposes, it appears that too many politicians view their offices as a permanent position–permanent as long as they can keep them. A career. And it seems they’re not afraid we’ll vote them out.

And why don’t we? Is it because we feel the situation is hopeless? Is it because worthier candidates are non-existent? Is it because even the candidates who talked a good talk to get elected have let us down completely–time after time after time?

If those things bother you the way they bother me, and especially if they keep you from voting, here are some things  to consider. The 2016 election will affect America’s future as no other election has ever done. We have the chance to turn this nation around. If we fail to, America may very well end up a third world nation. If not that, we could continue to lose our rights–freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the right to bear arms–all in the name of political correctness.

What Washington needs, no matter who runs and no matter who wins the election, is changed hearts and changed lives. That’s the business God is in.  But we still need to put the right people in office.

I urge you to research the candidates–and don’t trust the media for the information you need. A vast majority of the main media sources are in the pockets of the current administration, and you won’t hear the truth from them. But there are other sources…more objective sources.

I can’t tell you who to vote for, although I could be tempted to tell you who I definitely won’t vote for. But the freedom to choose is yours, and I wouldn’t do anything to deny you that right. If you do your best to dig through the political landfill dump and make the best informed decisions you can–and then vote–I’ll be satisfied.

Sorry if I got a little wordy today, but this subject is important to me, and it’s something I can’t remain silent about. Not when so many Americans don’t vote. Please share a comment…whether you agree or disagree. As long as you do it politely and respectfully.

~*~

Links you might be interested in:

I’ll be back again on Wednesday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,
Roger