There have been gigabytes – perhaps nearing terabytes – of digital ink being spilt by those who get paid to do so to influence the average American citizen (certainly at least those activist enough to vote in primaries/caucuses) which way to vote.
In fact, a certain talking head has come right out and made his thoughts pretty absolute, no matter how things turn out by the conventions this year (more on this at the bottom of this posting).
My advice? They’re only partially right.
This is how I’d recommend any American citizen to vote.
If you’re in a caucus State, you get an additional chance to hear out a representative of the candidate regarding their stances and opinions on issues. If given the opportunity, think of the top three things that most concern you and ask them. Then listen to their responses and make a judgment.
For those like me who’ll be voting in their State’s primary, the process is significantly shorter – simply show up to vote and do it.
A primary is meant to gauge the relative percentages of all remaining candidates. It is therefore your opportunity to vote for the individual who best represents your views. Don’t be afraid to vote that way. This is primary season, not the General Election.
Furthermore, as a Christian, I believe there is supernatural accountability during the primary process – therefore, make it count!
Once completed, you’ll have done your duty and will await final results.
When the General Election comes around, I’ll repeat the same questions:
If your primary choice isn’t the eventual nominee, will the nominee be better or worse than (let’s say) Hillary Clinton? Why or why not? Specific evidence to back up your claim will beat out subjective emotionalism every time.
Is the eventual nominee better or worse than Barack Obama? Why or why not, again, with facts, not just what someone tells you to think?
If the eventual nominee does not 100% align with you on certain issues, why would that be a problem with you in voting for them (if this is true)? You do realize that there has never been, nor will ever be, a perfect candidate?
Perspective: the elected office holder of the presidency will always have five hundred and thirty-five other individuals through whom all legislation must go. In a good four-year term, discount fifty percent of campaign promises as passable legislation. Of the remaining fifty percent, discount that down to about an optimistic thirty-five percent and you get the idea of a best-case scenario of original campaign ideas actually making it to law in that same four-year time span.
Choosing a candidate is important. Finding the perfect one is, at best, practical foolishness. Primary voting is for idealism; General Election voting is for practicality.
Choose the eventual Democratic nominee if you think the country is doing great and you want more Socialism. Choose the eventual Republican nominee if you want to get back to what was working before Barack Obama assumed leadership. Going third party (assuming the Republicans don’t get hijacked on the way to the convention) assures current inertia holds.
As a final thought, there is a talking head who is apparently comparing voting to salvation, to wit: “How terrible it is that you are are willing to gain the world with Trump and lose your soul in the process.” While this could warrant an entire posting to properly address, I’ll put it simply — responding as a fellow American citizen with nothing more than a blog to post thoughts.
First of all, nothing within Christendom (in the widest sense of the word) equates the free gift of Christ’s salvation with voting in a presidential election. In fact, to put things equally bluntly, there’s evidence in the New Testament that those who attach other means of approaching the Gospel of salvation outside of Jesus’ blood, power and grace are adding to themselves curses instead of blessings.
Secondly, it is equally the responsibility of each individual to soberly approach the electoral process on their own terms and with their own minds as it is with hyperbolic reaction; the former is a rational approach — the latter is based on thinking with someone else’s mindset, which is rarely a good combination.
Once again, you are responsible for your own vote, and nobody else’s; I always tell folks that it’s none of their business for whom I actually vote. In that sense, as mentioned, I believe you’ll be accountable for that vote. At the same time, there is a definite difference between the primary process and the General Election.