I won’t tell you how to vote – but I am asking you to think about what drives your decision

He has told you, human one, what is good and
        what the Lord requires from you:
            to do justice, embrace faithful love, and walk humbly with your God. – Micah 6:8


Okay, peeps, this is very important. It’s hard to categorize me politically, and I seriously want it to stay that way. My history of presidential voting should give you some insight: I became a citizen February 15, 1985, and I haven’t missed an election since. I voted Bush, Clinton, Dole, Gore, Bush, McCain, Obama, Clinton. Local races reveal the same level of diversity.

When we lived in Florida my Op-ed column ran weekly in The Tampa Tribune. Evidently my opinions  had some influence, because I was approached by more than one political “exploratory committee.” The Democrats asked me to consider the School Board and both parties wanted to talk with me about the Florida House.

If you’re wondering, I said “No, thank you,” every time.

Things that get my attention:

But I am very interested in both the process and the people we elect to serve. Things that get my attention when I am preparing to vote include:

  • Character,
  • Humility,
  • Integrity,
  • Compassion,
  • Proven ability to build consensus,
  • The ability to recognize when she/he is wrong,
  • Willingness to reach across the aisle,
  • Authenticity,
  • A genuine love for God,
  • A sense of humor,
  • Sharp intelligence….

Let me tell you, friends, the last thing we need to be thinking about when we vote – especially for executive positions – is party politics. I do not want the leader of our country (or our state), or our members of Congress to be beholding to anyone but the American people and, hopefully, God.

The reason I mention the Almighty is not because I believe being a Christian is a prerequisite to holding public office, but because I honestly feel that a personal, humble understanding of who we are in relation to God helps facilitate our greater calling to serve.

Believe me, it is not my place to tell you who to vote for. What I do want you to think about, however (and I’m speaking to all 6,687 followers of this blog plus the tens of thousands of people who stop by to visit) are some of the things I mentioned in the bullet points above.

No-one is perfectly qualified:

There is not one solitary human being in this entire nation who is a perfect candidate for high office. Because of that indisputable fact, I tend to be drawn to individuals capable of saying something along the lines of: “I am not sure that I have all the bullets checked off, the complete knowledge or vision America needs, or the various ‘must-haves’ everyone is looking for… but I promise I will do my best to make sure we are united, and healthy, and encouraged, and working together to get the job done.”

The bottom line for me, is that we all understand how much we need each other, and that we all acknowledge this important truth: “We are all wrong probably fifty-percent of the time, and every one of us has a lot to learn.”

Hmmm. Maybe I should move “humility” up to the very top of the list.

I charge you to…

Regardless, friends, I charge you with the important responsibility of putting party politics aside and asking important questions about integrity and morality and humility and faith.

One more thing. Vote. Vote with thought and prayer and intelligence and research. Vote. Let your voice be heard. We will be talking about this again later, you can be sure.

writer Derek Maul lives and shamelessly pontificates in Wake Forest, NC

So don’t try to guess my choice for president, or governor, or local dog-catcher. Instead, follow my lead and kick party politics to the curb. Ask the right questions. Pray the right prayers. Listen to the voices of the underprivileged and the dispossessed.

And remember what God requires of each one of us: “To do justice, embrace faithful love, and walk humbly with your God.”

Can I get an “amen”? – DEREK

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