Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election 2012

As many predicted, this has been a long and rough political campaign season.  Lots of accusations have been thrown by both sides.  Each had master spinners trying to make their candidates look the best on every issue.  When it comes to the candidates for president I know neither of them are as good as they say they are, and neither is as bad as the other one claims.  The past few days they have bombarded the "swing" states trying to secure enough electoral college votes to win the election.  A Facebook friend of mine predicted that one would be declared the winner and the other would challenge the results, but he wasn't sure which would be which.  According to the media the race may be close enough that my friend will be right.  I question whether there have really been that many undecided voters that required so much effort in these final days on the part of the candidates.  I've known who I was voting for months ago, and the same has been true of the vast majority of my friends.

Many years ago I learned that the best predictor of the future is the past.  I'm not a person who cares a lot about what people say they are going to do.  I am much more interested in what they've already done.  For the first time in several election cycles I didn't bother to listen to the debates.  I didn't care what either person would say they would do.  I evaluated the candidates on what they've already done when they have been in positions of responsibility.  Furthermore, I evaluated them on how closely they reflect my own values and beliefs about the issues that are most important to me.  I doubt that any candidate will ever reflect those values 100 percent which I why I look for the one who comes the closest.  These include not only my religious beliefs but also my beliefs about the importance of family, my beliefs about economics, my beliefs about national defense, as well as others.  I want to vote for those people I believe will present my grandchildren with a strong America that still offers its people the freedoms we have long held dear.

Since I became eligible to vote I have not failed to vote in a single election and that includes every primary.  While in the military I voted by absentee ballot and when at home I was usually at the polls within the first half-hour they opened.  By the time you read this post on election day I will have already cast my ballot.

I would encourage you to vote as well.  When I think of the price that has been paid to ensure the American people the privilege to vote I am appalled at the small voter turnout in most elections.  Seldom have we had two candidates that offered such contrasting choices.  Because of that this election will set the direction of our nation not only for the next four years but probably for several years to follow.

Be an informed voter.  So many people go to the polls to vote without ever actually studying the person or his or her views on the issues that should be important to every American.   An "on-the-street" interview recently broadcast showed a large number of likely voters who didn't know even the basics of our government system, the major players in our political arena, or the basic stands of the candidates.  Their vote will likely be determined by something they heard someone say that they thought they read somewhere that a candidate supposedly said about something.  It has been well said that a nation has the government it deserves, and if a nation's people elect persons to office without ever studying the issues for themselves then they have no one to blame when that nation begins to crumble around them.

Let me close by saying that no matter who wins the election, as a Christian I have an obligation to pray for that person and to respect the office he or she holds.  If you are a believer you have the same duty.  As I used to tell the church of which I was a pastor after every election, "Your candidate may or may not have won, but remember that God doesn't fly on Air Force One."  He is still the one ultimately in charge, and it is to Him that we must all look for our salvation.

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