This post is not about picking a side….
Everyday when I log on to one of my various social medias, my feed is overwhelmed with posts of people complaining about something one or both candidates said or did, something they saw in an ad campaign, or who we should vote for followed by some very biased explanation as to why.
Following the last two debates, my feed was equally flooded with posts from people complaining that coverage of the debate interfered with their regular programming, and I hate to say it, but I felt the same way at first when it “interrupted” some show that I had been planning on watching. I can say that, in general, politics has never been something that I have been interested in. I have fallen into the category of people who seems to be unimpressed by campaign ads, bored by debates and who isn’t held by any specific loyalty to any party. In the last election, my first, I voted. But, I didn’t give much thought to who I was going to vote for before getting there. I went because I felt tied to some societal duty as an 18 year old citizen of this country. As the ads began playing and the conversation surrounding this election began, I felt much the same as I did last time. Required to pick a side, but not feeling much like it mattered. I mean this is something we do every four years, and I am just one person, does my vote really even count that much?
Then, a few weeks ago, I saw something that stopped me in my tracks. It was a post from a person who has lived in this country, legally, for many, many years but just recently became a citizen. This person looked towards this election with excitement and freedom. They said something along the lines of, “I can’t believe that I finally will have the PRIVILEGE of voting in this election, I can’t believe my opinion finally matters.” This person has never been able to vote for has long as they have lived here, but more than that, they had come from a country where their opinion never mattered. They were not asked who they preferred to lead their country, yet had it forced upon them. They didn’t have the ability to voice their opinion, let alone send out post after post complaining about their leader. The person leading their country may or may not have the interest of its people at heart, and its people would have no civil means of changing who was in control. This person has waited years to have their voice heard in such a simple way, and they are so grateful for this opportunity coming up.
I think that this is what is most important about our elections, yet it is the one thing that we tend not to focus on. As a country, we get so wrapped in the little things (or big, yellow, feathery things), that we begin to miss the point. We are given the opportunity to vote. We can think for ourselves and decide for ourselves. We focus so much on the things that we don’t like, that we forget to be grateful just for the ability to cast a vote.
So maybe, even if its just for today, be grateful for the government that we have, for the freedom that we have. I know as well as anyone else that our system of government isn’t perfect, but whose is? The only thing that is perfect is the leadership of God. As a Christian, I will choose to pray for whomever is chosen as the winner of the election. I will prayerfully consider who to vote for, and I will be thankful that I get one vote.
The sad truth is that despite having the ability to vote, most of you who talk so negatively about the presidential campaigns will not take the time out of your day to vote on November 6th. I challenge all of you to stop and think about the issues that are most important to you, to carefully consider who you would prefer to be the leader for the next four years, to get out to vote on election day and to be thankful for the opportunity. There are people all around the world who would give anything to be in your position, don’t take it for granted.