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Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Voting Question

So, things are getting really tight here. We know the candidates. We have a leftist who would like to further the damage brought about by the president of the last two terms and a Republican that the Republicans can't stomach. They comprise two of the least liked candidates in history. Both are dangerous. The "lesser of two evils" concept doesn't come into play here. We're facing bad choices. So ... what now?

I've been wrestling (continue to do so) with the voting question. I've never been here before, but I cannot, in good conscience, vote for either of these two candidates. I ignore your "A vote for someone else is a vote for Hillary." With that kind of logic, we should simply be urging Democrats not to vote, as "A vote for someone else besides Hillary is a vote for Trump" or whomever you prefer. Nonsense. A vote for someone else is a vote for someone else. But should I vote?

An article by Ben Sasse about voting caught my eye. In it he says that "the act of voting is also a civic duty that tells people what we think America means, what we want to teach our kids about moral leadership, what face we want America to present to the world, and what sort of candidates we want more of in coming years." I think Mr. Sasse is right. It isn't about electing someone. It's about something much bigger. I mean, I've seen where candidates for which I've voted have put in judges that I've abhorred. I've seen where candidates I've disliked have run into gridlock from a counter Congress. And I always keep three facts in mind. First, the president is not the king. He doesn't rule. His (or her) election promises are, in fact, generally lies since he (or she) lacks the ability to carry them out, being only one part of the government. Second, I do not, in the final analysis, determine what that government will be. That's God's job (Rom 13:1). Third, my salvation is not in my government. Those of you who see your vote as a way to save the world have an extremely small view of "save the world".

So, how is the best way for me to vote? Some tell me to ignore it. I suspect that's more apathy than love for their fellow man. Some tell me to vote for one of the dangerous ones. Well, to be clear, all I've heard from this group is to vote for the dangerous Mr. Trump. Any other vote is a vote for evil. I don't see a vote for Mr. Trump as less than a vote for a more frightening unknown than Hillary. But if I want to teach others about moral leadership, about what face I would like to see represent America, about what kinds of candidates I want to see more of, how would I vote to do that? I don't see how a non-vote would accomplish it. That's a non-message. Yes, God establishes authority, but He uses means and in almost all cases He uses us as His means. So if I conclude that it is my duty to vote, how do I do that? As I said, I'm still wrestling with this stuff.


Anonymous said...

Put on the Black Glove of destiny; Go to the voting booth and let God direct your hand. then let the chips fall where they may.... neither candidate is going to change the course of God's plans.

Stan said...

The "Black Glove of destiny" line sounds sarcastic, but I suppose you missed my point.

God uses means, ways of achieving His will. One of His primary means is us. Further, I agree with Sasse who said that "the act of voting is also a civic duty that tells people what we think America means, what we want to teach our kids about moral leadership, what face we want America to present to the world, and what sort of candidates we want more of in coming years." My message to others and to my kids is not a cold fatalism. "Doesn't matter what you do; God will do whatever He wants."

"Do what you want; God will do whatever He wants" doesn't help me. I want to be a good steward, a good example, and a good message. Pessimistic fatalism is not it.

Bob said...

Binary approach
Does God want me to vote? yes no
Does God want me to vote for trump? yes no
Does God want me to vote for Hillary? yes no

Despite all the reasons for voting or not voting, these are the main choices come November.
yes the black glove is a throwback to another spiritual leader, using the black glove of discipline. but i digress. beware of the paralysis by analysis syndrome...
God is still on the thrown..

Stan said...

I don't know. Perhaps there is a vote for someone else that, while not changing the outcome, could say, "This is what I want for leadership in my country." Hey, what are you doing for the next four years?

Craig said...

A few thoughts.

1. As a resident in a state that will cast all of it's electoral votes for Hilary, It is reasonable to conclude that my vote for anyone for president will not effect the outcome. Given that, does it make some sense to vote libertarian in the hope of helping to establish a more viable third party?

2. I've loved the liberals on Facebook gleefully asserting that (given the fact that the lesser of two evils is still evil) they will proudly cast a vote for evil in November.

3. Some of the same folk bragging that they don;t care what Hilary has done, because nothing she's done could possibly be as bad as what (they believe) Trump will do.

4. I will vote for all of the down ballot races, because despite our statewide idiocy, there are plenty of house districts which can be affected.

5. This is the most difficult presidential election I have ever been involved with, since I don"t know what I'm going to do I certainly have no advice for anyone else.

Stan said...

I suppose you could have led with that last one. :)

I do wonder, if enough people vote neither Dem or GOP, if it might cause a "third party" movement.

I'm wondering if enough people voted but did not vote for the party if it might send a message. I'm thinking Constitutional Party. But I'm willing to consider voting for anyone that is a likely candidate (not necessarily likely to win, but likely to do the job well and more closely represent me).

Craig said...

I could have.

If I lived in state who's outcome wasn't a forgone conclusion, I would probably hold my nose and vote for Trump. (probably) But since I do, I have the luxury of voting for a third party, in the hopes of improving the viability of 3rd parties down the road. I also might leave the top line blank.

Stan said...

So you're still as up in the air on November as I am.

Stan said...

(Although I cannot hold my nose and vote for Trump regardless of the state in which I live.)

Craig said...

Yes, I am. I think I could if necessary, but I just don't know. I'm rarely greatful for our politics, so this might be the first.

Danny Wright said...

My thinking, right or wrong, I don't know.

1. The day after the election one of these two people are going to our president.

2. I will be disappointed if it's Hillary.

It's a choice, IMO, between a pig in a poke, and a pig. We're in big trouble, as we ought to be as a nation with the blood of millions crying up from the ground.