Democrat, Republican, third party or independent? Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz, Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump for President of the United States? How should I vote? Who should I vote for? Do I vote based upon the political party, how popular the candidate is, how my pocketbook is affected, or based upon who most closely aligns with my personal values and deeply held principles?
The question is, what will be the greatest determining factor that influences your decision?
Is it political party affiliation or loyalty? Let’s break that down briefly. First of all, most quickly identify the two major parties here in America, Democrat and Republican. However, according to Jeffrey M. Jones on January 8, 2014, citing a 2013 Gallup poll, after 18,000 interviews were conducted, 42% of Americans identified as independents, while 31% identified as Democrats and 25% as Republicans. See link for full article: http://www.gallup.com/poll/166763/record-high-americans-identify-independents.aspx. Therefore, though conventional wisdom still asserts the two major party control, increasing numbers show the trend toward political independent thinking Americans is growing.
Let’s be real. How many of us can even name 2 or 3 platform positions on key issues for the either of the parties? National Democratic Party link to positions on issues: https://www.democrats.org/. National Republican Party link to positions on issues: https://gop.com/platform/. Are you voting Democrat because Mom and Grandmamma told you to? Are you voting Republican because Daddy said the Democrats are coming to take your guns away? Let us be encouraged to use the beautiful mind of Christ God has given to each of us to research all political party platforms including third parties and dig deeper into their positions and subsequent policies that will affect us all so greatly. In Hosea 4:6 God warns, “My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge.” Politics is defined as the process whereby groups of people make decisions. Duty and responsibility press upon us to know the mindset and motives of the groups we place in power over ourselves, our families, our children and our neighbors. “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice. But when the wicked rule, the people mourn,” teaches Proverbs 29:2. I am ready to rejoice! How about you?
Does popularity most impact your decision? It’s true, as found in Proverbs 11:14, that “without wise leadership a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers.” Therefore, we should seek out who is popular among family, trusted friends and other credible sources as we pray, study and formulate our candidate selection process. However, in the end, it’s you and God in that voting booth. I know you don’t take that lightly and neither do I! That is why this was written, to challenge us toward a more thorough intellectual voting personal thought process. We must avoid falling into the trap of simply voting for the most popular candidate, the one whose name we must recognize, or the one whom the media pushes upon us. Equally, we must not vote against the person the media tries to disparage in front of us because of their own selfish agendas. For the sake of our children, let’s choose “capable men and women, such as fear God, lovers of truth, haters of greedy gain and place them to govern, or serve, over us.”- Exodus 18:21.
I understand the following applies to an individual’s aspirations, but indulge me a moment as I allow it to help our candidate selection methodology – “a good name is to be chosen rather than great riches.”- Proverbs 22:1. We often tend to vote based upon who promises to put the most “riches” into our pocketbooks rather than who has a “good name.” Jesus Himself, the One upon Whose shoulders government will rest completely one day, stated in Matthew 6:24, “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and mammon.” We cannot serve money and morality. However, we can choose a morally based honest steward of resources. Now, I am not contradicting myself here. I just made the argument against voting simply for a popular name, not against voting for one with a “good name”, a name synonymous with character, integrity, experience, skill, qualifications, strong values and principles that align with our biblically based beliefs.
So, will we cast our ballot in favor of a political party, a popular person, our personal pocketbook, or a principles based candidate with a backbone to lead according to biblical righteousness and justice rather than a puppet with a wishbone being pulled in every direction by those funneling finances and desiring favors that only benefit themselves and not the people as a whole? My decision has been made. Has yours?
Original Article By: Jody Trautwein