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Before You Vote

If you, like me, have pressed the pause button before completing your absentee ballot, and it just happens to be at the presidential candidate column, I offer the following thoughts for you. This is not for the certain, but for the uncertain.

When, in the course of human events, or an election cycle, I ask myself, has voting demanded so much of me? I have voted since Reagan’s first presidency, and the fact that I designate it as such may give you a further clue into my usual voting history. If I’ve lost you at this point, I understand. If not, please feel welcome to read on, whether we agree on the issues or not.

I’ve missed a few cycles, especially those when I was giving birth to, and caring for young children. I’ve also read the debate about whether voting is a right, a privilege, and/or and obligation. I understand, too, the frustrated ones who are throwing their hands up and throwing out their opportunity to vote. It certainly is tempting. But I’m not going to take the bait. It seems too easy. To miss this vote would be to miss participating in one of the most exciting chapters in American history. It has its moments of disgust, yes, but with a certain amount of bloodthirsty excitement. Lest you begin to blame us all for that, recall the last series you watched on Netflix and tell me you aren’t bloodthirsty.

What I can’t recall, to my horror, is ever making my voting a matter of prayer and extensive research. It simply was a knee jerk reaction to who I was at the time. Not so this year. The temptation is greater than ever to ‘celebritize’ the candidates. And so many of my opinions and views are deeply rooted in things I cannot even articulate. I tend to conduct ‘research’ that is really just gravitating towards the idea I wish to prove right. And so do you.We must be honest about this. If you are the praying kind, I’m guessing more prayer is spent on your decision than ever. At least I hope so. So there’s the silver lining in the grey tinged clouds of the mess we find ourselves in. The fact that we do trust, or at least still print on our coins, that we trust in SOMEONE greater than the current circus, is some cause for hope. If nothing else, this election brings home the point that those we thought could ‘save us’ cannot, in fact. It’s a hideous awakening when you have been lulled to sleep in your party of choice.

If, after I cast my ballot, it all goes south…what then? This reminds me of the old joke about the rules:

  1. The boss is always right.
  2. When in doubt refer to rule number one.

The first rule is for me is to trust God. If I vote and later wish I’d made a different choice, refer to rule number one. We are not as Aslan reminds Lucy in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader given the knowledge of ‘what might have been’.

Is there corruption at many levels in our country? Certainly. Corruption assumes dishonesty and thievery on a grand scale. Is there bigotry and a lack of love towards those who are different than us? No question. Bigotry assumes an underlying arrogance and self-aggrandizement. These fundamental problems are not new, but we should not be surprised to find them in public officials when we recognize them in ourselves. Disheartened, yes, but we who know our own hearts know better. Must I do my homework? Of course. Will I regret my choice? Maybe. Will I respect your personal decision about your vote, or lack of one? Absolutely.

The concept of America is one of unity. It assumes civil discourse and mutual respect. This must survive and it depends on all of us.

Can we be stronger together? Can we make America great again? Can we build our best America yet?

Why not?




Artistic specialist, wonderer, idea maven, mom of four, and two more. Words and notes are my media of choice.

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