Okay, I’m just going to jump in here and give my very deep and profound thoughts on this election cycle…
In seriousness, I urge and invite you to take a step back for a few minutes. Put down your arms, unclench your fists, unclench your teeth. Let go of your outrage and disgust. Let go of the fear that Devil 1 may win instead of Devil 2. Let go of your desire to control the outcome. Again, LET. GO. Of. Your. Fear.
This is a safe space – you are free to speak, to take time, to think things through, to be wrong, to not have all the answers, as long as you do so with charity and receptivity. Let’s not assume the worst about each other.
Eight years ago at this time I was a wreck. I was physically ill at the thought of Barack Hussein Obama possibly winning the white house. I’m not exaggerating! When he won I was devastated. It took me days to recover; to think about anything positive; to stop grieving. And indeed since then every single thing that I feared has happened. But I learned something; I have no control over this. The United States is in moral decline and has been for a long time. My measly vote every four years can’t stop the shipwreck. God was and is inviting me to lean on Him more.
Okay. Now I’m going to lay out an argument that I personally find persuasive when it comes to any voting decision. I haven’t had much practice at this, but now seems like a good time to start.
Fact #1: My vote has no impact on the outcome.
Say it with me, “My vote has no impact on the outcome.” I’m serious. Go to your county website and look up the results of the last election you voted in. For example, in 2012, my precinct had 1083 votes, 688 Red and 384 Blue. Fourty-three thousand people voted in my county and 4.7 million in my state. My county went red, my state went blue. My vote would not have changed the precinct result, the county result, the state, or the country result. Not a single tally was within one vote of going a different way. I submit that the same is true for you.
Fact #2: My vote is like any other decision that I make.
I research the issues, being careful to try to understand all arguments and the good motives that are behind them.
I consult the Catholic Church’s non-negotiables.
I consider the candidates; their character, credentials, and position on the issues. I do not consider the color of their skin, their gender, their income, their party, or how much/little media attention they have received.
I pray and choose the person who appears to have the moral strength to make decisions that are in the best interest of the country.
So, let’s recap:
Like any other decision, I will have to answer to God for it. I have to go with what my informed conscience says.
Fact #3: There is no more at stake in this election than any other election.
Do you realize that we have probably thought that every four years since the founding of United States of America? Of course there is a lot at stake. First and foremost is your salvation. Are you voting out of fear and a desire to control? Are you voting for someone who is an advocate or champion of grave evil? Are you ambivalent to their support for one grave evil because they agree with you about another grave evil? Are you voting for someone or against someone? Have you done diligent research? Have you consulted God and the Catholic Church?
Fact #4: People will try to persuade you to make a choice that you are uncomfortable with.
People you love, people you respect, well-known people, people wearing collars, people wielding power and influence… They will endorse and condemn, persuade and promise, and try to sooth that troubled instinct inside of you that says, “I just don’t trust that person…”
Don’t let them. This is YOUR decision, not theirs. They will say that if you don’t vote for so-and-so that you are actually voting for someone else. They will say that if you don’t vote for so-and-so that you are turning your back on innocent victims. They will say you are throwing your vote away, or you’re being impractical, ignorant, self-righteous, etc. Hogwash.
People fought and died for my right to vote, I don’t want to waste it on someone that deserves to be in jail.
Fact #5: People are free to think and choose differently.
You may completely reject the argument that I have put forth above. You have the right and intelligence to respectfully disagree and obviously make your decisions in your own way. I will not blame you for the outcome, and I expect you will give me the same courtesy.
May God bless you abundantly, and save our troubled country.