Marines.Together We Served

Monday, October 16, 2006

Election Year Malaise

Every couple of years we Americans have the opportunity to decide who we want to serve as our elected representatives. Seems like we barely get past one election before the next one is upon us.

The phone at our home is ringing every day with some candidate’s office telling us how terrible his/her opponent is. We decided a couple of years ago to set up our home phone to work on “Caller ID.” This way we listen to who is calling, thus effectively screening our calls. When I arrived home a short time ago, we had two phone messages from political action groups soliciting our support. As I write this article, several more such calls have come in. I guess these personal attacks must work with a lot of people because we keep getting them every two years. I certainly have my beliefs, strongly held and forged over a life-time, but I do not believe that those who are of a differing view are evil or wish to enslave my progeny. We just happen to see things differently. In today’s world, agreeing to disagree is no longer the norm. “Why, if you don’t side with me, then you’re the devil incarnate! You are my enemy!” Or so the prevailing attitude seems to be. This was not what the founding fathers had in mind.

I fully understand the weariness you feel after listening to politicians and pundits run around during the election year like Chicken Little, decrying the ills of our society and predicting the demise of the nation if we don’t vote for them. I, for one, happen to believe the American people are a lot more savvy on the issues than our media and elected officials think.

In September, Isaura and I attended The Washington Briefing: 2006 Values Voter Summit, held in Washington DC. It was a new experience for both of us. It began with a Pastors’ Prayer Breakfast (to include spouses) hosted by Dr. Jerry Falwell. One comment he made that I took note of was this: “There is a deafening silence from America’s pulpits today when it comes to addressing the issues that affect us all.” Through organizations like the ACLU, pastors have been bullied into believing their church would lose its non-profit status if preachers spoke out on the issues. This is patently false. Preachers must, and should, speak out against anything that is a violation of biblical truth. We have an obligation to do so. What we could find to be troublesome is siding with a preferred candidate or political party.

The Family Research Council has published a number of booklets which are well done and address many concerns we face today. There is “Publicly Honoring God,” a short treatise by Justice Antonin Scalia on the Ten Commandments. Another is entitled, “Why You Should Be Involved,” a biblical case for social and political involvement. And lastly, “Judicial Activism and the Threat to the Constitution.”

Why do I trouble myself with voting? Several reasons. First, it is a right that is given to every American citizen – a right that was bought with the blood of patriots. At the very least, I owe those who paid that price. Second, I want to have a say in who serves as my representatives in the local, state and federal governments. They most likely will never know who I am, but I need to know who they are. You see, I believe character does matter! Third, I vote because I want my values and beliefs carried to the highest levels of government. I vote for those men and women who share those values and beliefs. And if they don’t, then I will try to steer them in that direction. Fourth, as a Christian, I believe it is my obligation to support my government, constantly praying for those in public office. Where government is doing the right thing for “We the People,” I will applaud and encourage them. When they make poor laws and decisions, I will call them on it. If they will not hear my voice, then I and others will peacefully vote them out through the ballot box. That’s the power of one!

In two weeks I trust you will either be going to the polls or mailing in your absentee ballot. Don’t become weary of the political process. Despite the harping of nay-sayers, you do make a difference. Look back on recent elections. In 2000, the number of votes that caused New Mexico to swing to one presidential candidate over the other would not be enough to populate a small American town.

To borrow a passage from the Apostle Paul, “Let us not become weary in doing good.”

Make a difference: Vote.

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