4 Reasons I Will Not Vote for “Him”…or “Her”
Welp, the time has come. It’s time for that group-walk we take as a nation every four years where we elect a President. It’s the apple of the eye of our “something like a democracy” governing system. For some of us it feels like a walk toward maintaining the momentum of an Obama administration that has given us great gains in our national character. For others of us it is the opportunity to walk away from, what many of us feel is akin to an abusive parent. For those folks, though the “non-Obamaish” option isn’t perfect, at least he’s a new caregiver who, hopefully, won’t burn us with an iron like Penny in the “The Evans Get Involved” episode of Good Times.
Still, there is another group, the one which I find myself a member of, who feels like this election is a walk through a pseudo-democratic lion’s den. It’s a very delicate trek between two lions: one who will kill for fun and another who will kill because she’s hungry. Both will tear us apart but one simply because it is his pleasure as a lion, the other because her belly needs filling. In the end, we feel, we’ll still just be left an unidentifiable mess with pieces of our conscience and Christ-like character strewn about.
This vantage point, the lion’s den, is precisely what has led me to exercise my “democratic” muscle by writing in my vote for the next President of the United States. Now, of course, I have had to swat away ridicule from friends, loved ones, and even people who are neither, who think this is a terrible idea.
“Well, that’s just a vote for __________ then”, she said.
“As long as you know you’re wasting your vote.” quipped the homey.
I have people who love me and who I love back that are giving me the James Evans scowl because I’ve already committed to NOT committing to either of the two major candidates. But, I’m not mad at that. This is likely the most passionate election since President Obama’s first. So, I know onlookers can be really frustrated by the thought that we, the write-ins (and our non-participatory comrades, the conscientious non-voters) are helping move the world toward some level of anarchy. I can appreciate the concern. I take it all into consideration. That’s the reason I’m willing to give a very personal look into the thought process behind my decision. While these aren’t my only considerations, they are the primary thoughts. So, let’s get to it.
1. I will not vote out of terror of what may happen in the future.
I’m human (surprise!). So like my fellow humans I have fears. I have concerns about all the possible ways I may have to face mental, emotional, and physical pain based on decisions I make and uncontrollable circumstances I may encounter. However, I am also a disciple of Christ. Such being the case, I am learning that I have a choice between being driven by a trust in my Creator’s will and design for my life or, to the contrary, being driven by what circumstances and other humans can cause to happen to my life. I trust someone who is greater than any politician. I trust someone who is greater than people in general. Surely that sounds like hyper-religious drivel to some folks, I know. But, such is life. So, when I am anxious or fearful or timid or straight up “skurred”; I lean on the assurance of the only person I know who can keep me safe. He is not running for President of the United States. He is King of the Universe.
2. I will not vote for a candidate who doesn’t appeal to good moral principle in their decision making.
Humans do good things. Humans do bad things. Humans make terrible decisions. Humans make great decisions. All of these statements are true. However, there is a difference between humans who do any of those things based on good moral principle and humans who do those things based on, well, anything other than good moral principle. Sometimes humans do bad things for good reasons. Sometimes we do good things for all the wrong reasons. But, the reasons matter. And if there is no foundation for the reasons or if the reasons are simply very very bad, then I wouldn’t want that person running a lemonade stand, much less a country. I don’t want a President who is like a leaf and floats in whatever direction the wind happens to blow. This doesn’t mean that the person has to be perfect. Clearly, that would disqualify all of us. But, we all know when we are dealing with someone who we believe generally “has their heart in the right place” and is competent enough to know how to apply that to crucial decisions.
3. I will not vote against my own moral principle.
Abortion, LGBT issues, poverty, immigration, racism, sexism, classism and so on…we all have our “non-negotiables”. Some of them are pretty straightforward. Some very complex. Some are major parts of a candidate’s platform, others are written into the fine print of their nuanced language. Whatever the case, I know my non-negotiables. And they are just that: non-negotiable.
4. I will not vote as if eternity is in the balance.
People die. Empires rise and fall. As a citizen I am called to do my duty to participate in the civil affairs of America specifically. However, as a disciple of Christ I understand that nothing humans create lasts forever. I know that people and the cultures they make up come and go. Like the tide of the ocean, there are ebbs and flows. While I vow to remain aware that the political decisions of today will reverberate into the future, the fabric of eternity will not be torn because ________________ was elected President of the United States of America in 2016. Again, as a disciple of Christ, I will keep in mind that there is a divine plan at work. There is an unseen method to every frightening madness the world can produce. I rest in that. I find peace in it.
-a brute connoisseur