At least once every four years, I wish I could seek asylum somewhere else. I wish I could skip campaign season and vote from afar.
I really can’t stand politics. So much fighting, slander and backbiting–from all sides. Tell me what you believe, not how bad the other guy is! I’ve seen some really nice people (both Christian and non) say some pretty horrible things when it’s under the guise of a political opinion, as if that makes it ok. Many people simply change when they start talking politics and, frankly, it scares me. So I tend to stay away. I have only a few people that I’ll discuss politics with because they can be calm and objective. Those last two adjectives are key, and rare. Half of those conversations are just me pumping my friend, Raechel, for information because she’s in law school and a walking political dictionary.
My friend, Daron, has always said of me that I don’t “play the game” and what he means by that is politics. I’ve never liked politics when it comes to relationships or the workplace or church. I frankly don’t see the point. So I simply don’t participate. I try to be me wherever I am, go figure. That’s hard enough, so anything else just seems like too much work.
Don’t read the above and hear me say not to vote, or participate in the process or do research. I think you should do all of those things. I think they are important because they move society forward. I’m simply saying I don’t like it. But in reality, I don’t have to. It’s not my system, just one I’m a part of. And I am extremely thankful for those who fought for the right for me to do so, therefore I don’t want to take it for granted. I’m not taking it for granted, but I’m not hugging it either. Kinda like when you say you don’t like someone but you love them because Jesus does. 😉
As with many aspects of my life, I just don’t feel I fit into politics. I don’t consider myself a Republican or a Democrat (or an Independent, though I am quite independent). I don’t think that if you’re conservative, you must be a Republican. I don’t think if you’re an environmentalist, you must be a Democrat. I personally feel we are all a little too complicated to fit into on column on a ballot. I try to find who most lines up with my beliefs, thoughts and opinions, and I go from there. (Side bar: if you are unsure who to vote for but want to take those ideas into account, check out www.ISideWith.com. I totally wish they had local and state on here, too.)
With the election season coming up, I ask you to remember only two things before and after November 6.
1. If you are a Christian, please choose what kind of Christian you will be. Will you be the kind of Christian who only checks the box, and then says and does whatever they want regardless? Or will you be the kind of Christian Christ asks us to be? I think all the Christians I know would say the latter. If that’s the case, please remember you are called to pray for your elected officials and obey them. Sure, you can be disappointed that your guy/gal lost if that’s the case, but that doesn’t give you free license to bash and forward hateful emails about the winner. Unity is not uniformity. You can disagree with the person, but you are still called to pray for them and obey them. Make the best of the situation and quit giving the rest of us who are trying a bad name. If more people prayed for their leaders, who knows what would happen? Your leader may just surprise you. And if not, hey, you get the chance to vote him/her out later. But the point is, be the Christian described in the Bible. The other person is not the devil incarnate (most likely).
2. Christian or not, I’ll share with you a little story from Rob Lowe’s autobiography. Fascinating, by the way. There are a lot of jaw-dropping stories in his book, but one of the things I loved most was when Rob described his visits to the White House. The cast of The West Wing was invited several times to visit the White House over it’s AMAZING seven seasons. He says that he visited under two different administrations, a Republican and a Democratic. And he said that he was struck by the fact that, when it all came down to it, these were guys who were fathers and just doing what they thought was right. It didn’t mean he liked everything they did. But he truly believed that these men were handling a very hard job the best they could, and were simply acting according to what they thought was the right thing to do. I loved that. So simple, yet so profound. We have terms like armchair quarterback (yes, I do know a few sports terms) and backseat driver, but I probably hear more commentary about what people think they’d do as President than anything else. Ignorance, in my opinion. I mean, come on, this is the most powerful person IN THE WORLD. You know what most of us would do in that position? We’d be in the fetal under the desk in the Oval Office praying for our four years to pass. It’s hard work. That’s why hardly anyone runs. When push comes to shove, 99.9% of us don’t want that job–nor should we have it. So, let’s cut these people some slack. You don’t have to agree. You’re entitled to your opinion. I’m not taking that from you. But let’s be careful how we act on that opposition. These are just people who made it to a big-time public decision-making level who, in their heart, are just trying to do the right thing.
If your guy/gal loses, the world will not end on November 6. And if your guy/gal wins, it’s not a time to gloat. Remember, we still have like a whole month after that according to the Myans, so let’s make it good. In all seriousness, though, be a good citizen. We all live here.
Do you research. Participate in the process. Vote.
Just remember to give some grace. Plenty has been given to you.