The Candidate Blues

It has been a while since I have posted on this blog.  The reason for that is two fold. First I am a full-time pastor. Second I have felt called to start a men’s retreat for churches in my denomination in my state. But I expect as time moves along I will post a little more.  Now on to today’s topic.

One statement I have heard frighteningly often is that after the candidates for each party are resolved, there will not be a candidate on the ballot that is supportable. The two choices will be so bad, that the best option is to not vote rather than to vote for one of the options.

I understand what the individuals mean, of course. I watched the first debate with surprise realizing that I could enthusiastically support several of the candidates. Mostly I am referring to those who are gone now.  As I see it, Donald Trump is quite likely to become a nominee, and if you have seen my previous posts you know that I see him as having all the greatest weaknesses that Obama had.

Despite this, I will vote for him in the final election if he becomes the candidate. It is not unusual that voting for me is an experience of choosing the lesser of two evils. Why should this year be any different?  But if I choose to not vote at all I would be making several mistakes. First I would be giving away a right that this country has fought for. I refuse to dishonor my dad who served a long career in the army, and every other person who has risked their life to earn me this right.  Second I would be handing the mantle of leadership to someone who would be far worse in my estimation.

I get it when I hear there is an anger in our country. I get it when I hear that people don’t believe their vote counts. I get it when people say that politicians are corrupt. But the answer to all of these things is in the political process. If we had been more faithful earlier on in the process, then the candidates would more accurately reflect our values.  Third I would be a part of moving this country into the apathy that empowers others to rule over us instead of being accountable to us.

Voting is both the foundation and the pinnacle of this political process. It is the pinnacle because voting is our greatest privilege, it is the foundation because not voting is the quickest route to destroying our country.


Election Coverage

I find the media coverage of the election results to be discouraging.

I understand why people want to analyze when an election did not go as they expected or hoped. For example, President Obama seemed to believe the results were because not enough democrats got out to vote. Well that certainly is one way of looking at it. I disagree with his perception though, elections should be more than one party showing up in sufficient numbers to suppress the other.

A number of news sources pulled apart the election results very carefully. Classifying how people voted based on ethnicity, gender, region, age and more. They came to the conclusion that the campaigns were aimed at the wrong voters, and different strategies could have been used to woo the voters who actually showed up. I dislike this approach because it divides American’s into hundreds of niches, then seeks to tell the important niches what they want to hear. Elections should be about something other than catering to the right groups.

A final point of coverage absurdity was news stories discussing how this election will impact Hillary Clinton’s bid for the presidency in 2016. One story I saw proclaimed her to be the real winner in this year’s midterms. Another decried how disastrous it was for her. Both revealed the bias, that they were more interested in her presidential run than the races in the midterm elections.

All of these discussions are more interested in the manipulation of the voters rather than the will of the voters. Wasn’t the will of the voters, what elections were supposed to be about?