Attention, friends, for a very important message!
I was going to wait and write this post – or something similar – closer to the end of October. But a couple of days ago Rebekah and I became two of the very first people in the United States to vote in the fall 2020 elections. (Btw, it wasn’t some random ballot that landed in our mailbox! We applied for it, we were thoroughly vetted, all sorts of info has to be matched, it was as secure as showing up in person…)
So it’s happening, it will be happening for the next several weeks, and I want as many people as possible to consider what I am about to say.
- First, please vote. The more people who participate in the process the better off we all are. America is a huge chorus of voices, and the symphony of sound becomes richer, more harmonious, more complex, more resonant, and more inclusive the more completely it represents the rich, diverse, beautiful, impressionistic, polyphonic masterpiece that is our nation.
- Vote from your own heart and conscience, not in lockstep with those who want to absorb your free choice into their agenda – often via misrepresentation and manipulation. This means listening to many voices, doing your own research, understanding how flawed we all are, and making an informed decision.
- Our government was designed – by the founders – to function best in response to productive compromise. Extreme views can encourage helpful debate, but then it is the moderate legislators who work together to get things done. Leadership must encourage cooperation and should never revel in divisiveness.
- Consider character more than party. America works better when we respect the people we disagree with. It’s a given that we’re going to disagree, so common threads such as decency, integrity, grace, constancy, compassion, reliability, and morality must override party politics. (Read this – “Leadership Defined” – for my more complete reflection on leadership)
What I’m sharing today is a snapshot of the process I use to help me determine how to vote in an election. I recommend it. The last thing this country needs in this tense, fractious time is for any of us to abrogate our responsibility to be thoughtful, careful, well-informed, and prayerful when casting a ballot.
There is more, of course, but this is enough for today. I don’t often do this, but I’d like to pray with you at the close of this post:
Loving God, this country we love is in the throes of a contentious election. Help us to honor the calling we have as citizens to be fair, civic-minded, open-spirited, and gracious in our dealings with one another. The privilege of being a U.S. citizen comes with commensurate responsibilities, and the blessing of being your children comes with expectations too. Teach us your ways, Lord; and, please, heal our land. Amen