There is a misconception in our culture today that if by now, less than a month before the presidential election, a person still doesn’t know who he or she is voting or, they are either idiots or completely apathetic… or both.
I have a friend who is undecided…
Ok, let’s be real– this friend is me. I don’t know who I’m voting for or if I’ll even vote at all (GASP!). Before any hater tomaters start flying, let me make this clear: I do care. This is my country, I love it, and how it will be run in the next for years does concern me and I know it will affect me. I understand all that– I’m not apathetic. And while I’ve had my share of idiotic moments, I think, overall, I’m a decently smart chick. I’ve paid attention to this political season as it has progressed and I know the issues.
“So,” you whisper, narrowing your eyes to see if I have spots or horns. “What is wrong with you, then?”
My problem is that I don’t like any of the candidates. At all. One candidate sat in office while the economy got so bad that my university closed and I couldn’t (and still can’t) get a job after graduating. Another candidate says he has great plans to help get America back on its feet, but refuses to say exactly what those plans are… in addition to continually changing his stance on multiple issues. The two of these guys are the only truly viable options to become president, and neither of them can be counted on to be true to their word, because they are constantly twisting or completely disregarding the truth. The only third party candidate I would possibly vote for is aligned with my views in several ways, but makes me raise my eyebrows on quite a few issues.
I’ve been programmed by education and culture that it is my responsibility to vote. While most people shrug it off in a non-presidential election, not voting in a presidential election is often viewed as ungrateful, sinful, and a pledge of anarchy, especially in the Church. While I do believe that I should, whenever possible, exercise my right to vote, do I really believe that it is better to vote for what I perceive to be the lesser of two (or three) evils than to not vote at all?
That is the main question I’ve been struggling with. I want to vote– I really do. But in order to vote, I will have to decide which issues are most important to me (I would normally say that character is an important factor as well, but that ship has already been sunk in this election). No matter what, the person in office will be someone I don’t agree with on several issues. I’d like it to be the person I agree with the most, but that’s still a tough call to make.
There is so much lying, doubletalk, and vagueness about the economy, taxes, and healthcare that it feels impossible for me to decide who might actually be able to get the job done, and do it right. The candidates’ track records have been measured on different levels of government, so it’s hard to know if a new tooshie in the chair behind the desk would truly make things better, or if the present tooshie just needs more time.
Then there are the social justice issues. The Democrats are known for helping the poor. I like that. The Republicans are known for standing up for the unborn. I like that. But as a Christian, there are a lot of nuances for voting based on these issues. As far as I’ve read, no new abortion legislation will be passed any time soon, on either side. I agree with the many who say that it is the Church’s job to take care of the poor and to leave the government out of it… but we haven’t been doing the greatest job of that, have we?
I know these aren’t all the issues. These are just a few of the questions I’m asking. As you can see, I have thought about them. I have voted in the past, and I plan on voting again in the future, hopefully with far greater conviction about which choice is right. But, in the meantime, I’m stuck (I was kind of hoping last night’s debate would turn into a full-on brawl, so I could go all Angela from The Office and say, “I will respect the results of the duel!”).
So I’m asking you for help. Here’s your chance to influence my vote, instead of ranting on Facebook. Tell me why I should vote for the candidate you endorse. Or why I should steer clear of the voting booth on November 6. Let me know in the comments. Why should I vote for Mitt Romney? Barack Obama? Gary Johnson? Should I write in Amy Poehler? I want to know. If you have good sources to back up your arguments, please include them. I especially want to know why you feel your candidate best aligns with your Christian faith. One condition: no negative comments. I don’t want you ragging on other candidates. If I see a disrespectful comment, I will delete it. We’ve had enough mud-slinging this election.
Don’t worry, though– I’m not going to vote (or not) based solely on the response here. For one thing, I’m going to pray about it (probably I already should have been doing). For another, it is my decision in the end. I’m not asking you to manipulate my vote, I’m asking you to help inform it.
For those of you who are just as undecided as I am, here are some good articles that I’ve found helpful and/or comforting:
The Election: Thoughts From a Christian Independent (Undecided or not… this is an amazing read for everyone.)
COMMENT: Who should I vote for and why? Go for it!