Only do what only you can do…VOTE!
Well, today is THE DAY. It has been a long and annoying year of dirt slinging, commercials, and debates. This election season has brought out more overt racism, bigotry, homophobia, and general disregard for other human beings than I have experienced in my life time. In a country where we have historically prided ourselves on being a melting pot of diversity, the visual sentiment over the last year seems to be focused on making a one ingredient soup, totally void of the flavors that make for a well-balanced dish.
Let me be the first to say “I absolutely hate this political season.” It has brought out the absolute worst in people. By the time we analyze every comment someone makes, read between the unwritten lines, and dissect every action to try and determine whose side the other person represents, an invisible yet palpable wall has formed a definite rift in relationships previously intact for years. I have experienced it first hand during this particular election season. This election has brought about great division of friends, families and churches.
Romans 16:17 in the Bible says “I appeal to you, brethren, to be on your guard concerning those who create dissensions and difficulties and cause divisions, in opposition to the doctrine (the teaching) which you have been taught. [I warn you to turn aside from them, to] avoid them (Amplified version).” The very nature of politics is divided with Republicans, Democrats, the Tea Party, the Libertarian party and more; each side representing what they believe to be the “right” way to run these United States of America. We, as Americans, divide ourselves based on our economic situation, our family’s voting history, or our personal experiences based on one or more key platform issues. We vote for the candidate we believe will support our personal causes and beliefs. The truth is, we vote based on hope. We hope the person campaigning actually supports what they say they support and does not go rogue once in office. We hope the person campaigning is truly the public persona they portray in the media. We hope that when we cast our vote, the leaders we vote for are leaders of character and will have the best interests of all people at heart overall. Let’s be clear. There is no way we can know every political candidate personally. We can only go by what the media chooses to portray. However, there is a quote from Maya Angelou that I choose to live by. “When people show you who they are, believe them.” I believe this presidential election has clearly revealed the character and ideals of each candidate that we need to see to make informed choices at the polls.
The democratic process says we have a say in who is elected to lead us. Every political candidate needs your vote and my vote to become an elected official. I urge each of us to vote today. I often tell people, “If you don’t vote, then you cannot complain about anything that happens over the next two or four years.” For those who do not believe your vote matters, I say not voting is also casting a vote, for whatever happens. Your inaction is an action. You are leaving it up to everyone else to speak on your behalf. People have given their lives for our individual right to vote. Only do what only you can do. Wait in the lines and vote! See you at the polls!