I told myself months ago that I wasn’t going to get into political musings on this blog. So this isn’t intended as a political discussion, but rather my own musings on trying to “remain untainted” by the dirty business of politics in our flawed world.
I often hear comments like “I avoid politics” and “I vote, but that’s it.” Sometimes I think that may mean “I vote, but don’t actively engage in supporting specific candidates.” Fair enough. Or perhaps it means “I don’t want to talk about it.” I can understand that, too.
But what if it means “I’m going to vote the way I always do because I don’t want to be exposed to the negative energy of the election?” Therein lies the spiritual challenge to each of us.
In writing this blog, I try to apply spiritual principles to everyday life. I subscribe to the idea that I am what I think about most – and who wants to think about politics? It never ceases to amaze me how we can wind up with so many candidates for so many offices that disgust us so much. “I avoid all that! I don’t want to go there!”
Neither do I, but I do. It is one of the challenges of living as a part of a community, one of the lessons we as humans must learn. To say one is disengaged from the political process “but vote, and that’s it” is to abdicate power and participation in the process. It’s irresponsible.
We hear much in the media about “uninformed voters,” which can mean “someone who doesn’t vote the way I do.” Unfortunately, most major news outlets are extremely biased, and even closely following major news outlets does not necessarily result in being informed.
Personal disclaimer: I did not vote for either presidential nominee in the primary. So, I am one of those who may be tempted to not vote, or to write in the name of my initial choice. But I won’t. (Didn’t. I voted early.)
WikiLeaks.org and projectveritas.com have released (and continue to release) bombshells. I won’t use this space to dig into the findings of either of those websites – why deny you the fun of doing it yourself?
Here’s where our challenge comes in. United States citizens have a right to vote. It is also a responsibility, not to be taken lightly. Don’t give up the opportunity to learn as much as possible about the candidates presented because it’s depressing and you really don’t like either one of them. If we took that attitude towards all distasteful tasks, the human race would have died out long ago because dealing with babies means dealing with a lot of merde.
I also urge you to avoid the easy way out. “_______ is a ________!” Ask yourself truly: am I just repeating a soundbite?
No candidate is perfect. We are all flawed human beings, and most of us do NOT live our lives planning a run for political office. Somewhere along the line, we’ve pissed some people off with careless comments. We may have mismanaged our own affairs – which provides one with great lessons. Some of the “regular” questions are easy to ask: What has A achieved? What is B’s stance on C?
The big questions facing us about our candidates are ones we never thought we’d ask, and hate the idea of having to address them: Has X seriously endangered national security? Can Y be bought? Did Z commit treason?
Am I making the right decision? Is there a right decision in this election?
Yes, I do believe there is. There is no perfect candidate, so each must voter choose an imperfect one. I am reminded of Louisiana’s 1991 gubernatorial election: “Vote for the crook, it’s important.” A choice between Edwin Edwards (who was later convicted for racketeering and served 10 years in a federal penitentiary) and former KKK wizard David Duke taught me to never say never. I didn’t like Edwards, but I held my nose and voted for him anyway.
Jesus hung out with sinners, lepers, prostitutes, tax collectors and took on the establishment of his day. He didn’t let the “bad energy” dissuade him from bringing light into the world. King David was a pretty flawed guy, but did great things for God anyway.
I’ve always said you couldn’t pay me enough to run for political office – I wouldn’t even run for dogcatcher, as the saying goes. (I’d want to take all the dogs home!) Politics challenges us as individuals, and as spiritual beings. We want a world with peace, equality, hope, opportunity, love, religious freedom. We don’t want to have to go “slumming” in the stinking gutter of the political quagmire and would just rather steer clear of it all. We don’t want to have those discussions with friends that vote differently from us. We say why can’t we just all get along?
This is the human condition, so participate. Pray for the process, our country, and the candidates. Don’t sink low. Realize that you can dive into the yuckiness of politics and still be a light in the world. In spite of her flaws, America is still an example of freedom in the world. Exercise your free will and vote.
Above all, we must realize that no arsenal or no weapon in the arsenals of the world is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women.