40 days from today, we will elect the person who will become President of the United States for the next four years. It’s a big decision. Always is. Although we disagree, we will come together as a nation to take part in this democratic process. We are blessed to have this right.
This post is not about my political views. It’s not about who will get my vote this election or who I believe to be the best choice for President of the United States. It’s not about democrats or republicans or who’s right and who’s wrong. It’s not even about trying to convince you to vote for “my guy.”
Contrary to what so many commentators say, we are not liberals or conservatives, we are Americans – every one of us.
This is about the privilege of voting, the obligation of educating ourselves on each candidate’s beliefs, record, and plans, and the importance of disagreeing civilly.
There was a time when only free white men who owned property could vote. Think of those in other countries who cannot vote – who have no voice. Voting is a privilege we all too often take for granted. Our forefathers laid the groundwork. Many others have championed and fought for equal rights so that all Americans would have the right to vote. And countless soldiers have died protecting the freedoms that preserve this privilege.
If you are going to vote (and shame on you if you do not), it is your obligation to become educated about both candidates. Don’t vote for someone because of their political affiliation, color of skin, or personality. Don’t vote for someone because your spouse, parent, or friend told you to. Vote because you’ve made an educated decision about who you believe to be the best choice. There’s plenty of information available on both candidates for you to get a decent idea of what they stand for and hope to accomplish if elected. Watch the debates. Listen to what the candidates say – not what others say they mean. And by all means, pray about your decision and the election as a whole.
Lastly, remember every person has a right to his or her own opinion – even if it is different than your own. It is possible to disagree in a respectful way – to share ideas, question beliefs, and express opinions without being hateful. Just think of what we could accomplish with a little civil discourse and cooperative discussion! :)
We have 40 days to go. Read. Watch. Listen. Pray. Then vote. It matters.