Thursday, March 31, 2016

How will you vote?

What kind of a voter are you? I don't mean are you a Democrat or a Republican. I mean are you anxious or are you at peace? Are you mad or are you motivated? What's going on in your heart when you think about the coming election?

Can we take a minute and stop talking about Trump and Sanders and Cruz and Clinton and Kasich, and talk instead about you?

More than WHO you vote for, I care HOW you vote.

Please, oh please don't vote in fear! Don't vote for someone you don't even like just because you are afraid that another person would be worse. Make sure that you actually trust and believe in the person whose name is on your ballot, even if that means that you have to write someone in. The fear-mongers will tell you that you are throwing your vote away if you do that. You are not. You are responsible for your vote, not for the outcome. Make sure that when you vote, you have peace and a clear conscience about your choice. Leave the outcome to God.

Please, oh please, don't vote angry! I know that many people are struggling and frustrated with the current state of government. If you are overcome with righteous anger, then you have most likely already gotten involved at the local level in causes that you really care about. This is a good use of such energy. But if you aren't angry enough to have put your own blood, sweat, or tears behind the issue, then you're pretty much just a whiner who wants other people to fix things. Trust me, none of the politicians are going to do that for you. Some might do it with you. Sit down with people who care about the things you care about and find someone or something that you can be FOR, not just against. For a great resource about how to get involved locally to make an impact for the Kingdom of God, check out The New Parish.

Please, oh please, don't vote stupid! The presidential race gets all of the attention, but there are a ton of local races and ballot measures that are much closer to home--these matter too! Get educated about the issues, know how those measures will effect your community and your neighbors and your schools. Talk to your friends, but also try to hear the thoughts and ideas of a few people who think differently than you do. Try to understand all of the angles so that your vote is informed.

Please, oh please, don't have anything to do with the nastiness! Let's raise the level of the conversation. Don't post anything on Facebook that is cruel or demeaning. Don't belittle or demonize people who vote differently than you do. Write to candidates and tell them that the negative ads are unhealthy and wrong. Refuse to watch news stations that are incendiary.  We all hate the tone of elections, and yet they keep getting worse. It's time to say, "NO MORE!" Stop validating their bad behavior by sensationalizing it. And definitely don't retweet it.

We have a few choices to make--not just the WHO of this election, but the HOW. Keep your heart and your soul pure in the process, free from malice and spite. Because how we, the voters, conduct ourselves in this process may do more for the health and unity of our country than any single candidate possibly could.

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