Election Day, that is and thank God for that. This election cycle has been contentious, nasty, filled with lies and half-truths and interminably long. But, it’s also an extremely important one. The two major candidates have extremely different views about how things should be run and whichever of them wins, those views will have a major effect on this country. I’ll probably get some flak for this, but I’m going to tell you who I voted for and why. Then, you can make your own decision.
A couple of weeks ago, in early voting, I cast my ballot for President Barack Obama. I did this for several reasons, not least of which is because his policies, stated beliefs and actions are most in alignment with my own and with my interpretation of what Christian values truly are. Consistently, through the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, tax breaks for the middle and lower classes and other numerous actions, the President has shown he cares about “the least of these“. President Obama’s trip to Colorado to comfort victims of the shootings in July and his quick actions after Hurricane Sandy show his compassion for those who are suffering. His actions to pull us out of the quagmire we created in the Middle East, while less than perfect, are much more hopeful than his opponent’s saber-rattling over Iran. The President’s approach to fiscal matters, reduction of the deficit through a balance of cuts and raised revenue and his efforts to rescue major industry in trouble, are head and shoulders above Gov. Romney’s if only because President Obama has actually said what he wants to do. The fact that he’s done many of these things against the advice of others, even those in his own Administration, shows him to be a decisive and effective leader and the man I think is best suited to lead America for the next four years.
I will not be voting Republican this time, or anytime in the foreseeable future (at least until the GOP steps away from the madness it currently embraces) because that party has shown themselves to be out of line with what I consider the message of the Gospel. That is a message of good news to the poor, the oppressed and the marginalized. It is also a message to the “haves” that it is their responsibility to care for the “have-nots”. They have demonstrated this through their blatant disregard for women, the poor, the LGBT community and basically anyone that’s not rich and WASPy. I did not vote for Mitt Romney because I believe him to arrogant and out of touch with most Americans. He has waffled, flip-flopped and lied throughout the campaign and I cannot, in good conscience, trust this man to lead this country in the direction I think it needs to go.
As I said earlier, these opinions are mine and I’ll admit I hope I sway someone to vote as I did. I will not, however, demonize anyone for exercising their right of franchise; even if I disagree with their choice. Whatever you choose, go and make that choice count. As David Foster Wallace said,
“If you are bored and disgusted by politics and don’t bother to vote, you are in effect voting for the entrenched Establishments of the two major parties, who please rest assured are not dumb, and who are keenly aware that it is in their interests to keep you disgusted and bored and cynical and to give you every possible reason to stay at home on primary day. By all means stay home if you want, but don’t bullshit yourself that you’re not voting. In reality, there is no such thing as not voting: you either vote by voting, or you vote by staying home and tacitly doubling the value of some Diehard’s vote.”
Vote today, it’s important.