To Vote or Not to Vote, and What’s Important

I have been listening to a lot of talk about the election coming up on Nov. 8, an election in which we are being presented with two arguably inept individuals from which we are left to choose, not necessarily who would be the best candidate for the job of President of the  United States, but who would be worst. Many are saying that they cannot rally around either candidate and are either not going to vote, or are  going to vote for a third-party candidate or write in choice. I have heard that “Trump scares me” or “Hillary scares me”, but the truth in the matter is that we are living in scary times. When the best that this country can produce and bring to the table are these two individuals, that nobody better was able to rise to the surface to elevate themselves to a place of prominence, we become soberly aware that we are truly living in troubled times.

The truth is that neither candidate is even close to being perfect. Among other things, they have both lied, and neither can really be trusted to do what they say they’re going to do. But that is not a good reason to avoid voting for one or the other in the upcoming election. I have heard it said that the lower the winning percentage of the popular vote, the lower the level of influence the winning candidate will have, and that there is something to be said for voting a write-in candidate. But I am not so sure.

Regardless of who eventually wins, and regardless of the winning percentage of the popular vote, one of the two major party candidates will be President of the United States. With regard  to a third-party vote or write-in, such an action is essentially useless and you may as well not even go to the polls. But that, I feel very strongly, would be a mistake. There is much more at stake in this election than merely who is going to be President.

Each of us must look very closely at the issues and look beyond the societal inadequacies of the candidates. When you read between the lines of what the candidates are saying, behind the lies and exaggerations, there lies an undercurrent of truth. Keep in mind that the candidates’ plans disclosed on each issue are merely visions as to how they as individuals would retain, improve, or replace societal norms or inadequacies. But they are not being elected to a dictatorship in which they will be able to do exactly what they want  or say. We live under a three branch governmental system with checks and balances that limit the role and power of the President. At most, the President is in office for eight years, with the option of the people to affirm the job being done or replace him or her after four. The plans of the President are submitted for approval and passage by the House of Representatives and Senate, who in turn present the final revision to the President for passage. The Supreme Court is the final judge in all cases involving laws of Congress and interpretation of the Constitution, but is itself limited by the other branches of government. The President nominates Supreme Court justices, which are then approved or rejected by Congress.

When we look at this election, there is one candidate who would be the most liberal-minded leader this country has ever had. The changes that have begun under the Obama administration would continue and likely increase in intensity. Our country would continue to undergo changes that would completely redefine the face of who we are and have been since our country’s inception. She has spoken very openly of the liberal agenda that she champions. Government control would likely increase as state appropriate issues, as well as issues that have no business being under government control at all, are taken over by the federal government. There are also many state appropriate issues currently under federal jurisdiction that will remain.

What the other says is often  unconventional and frequently politically incorrect,  but determinedly much more conservative and more closely aligned with the historical roots of our culture. Most consider him arrogant, some going as far as identifying him as a jerk or a bumbling idiot. Some fear that he would take advantage of the power that is available to the President,  but he would also be the most likely to help our country return to the greatness achieved under past, more conservative leadership and, potentially unify the government under his influence. At this point, he has done little to endear himself to the party that selected him as candidate, meaning that he may not have the support in Congress to do what he wants to do from the office. But I think that if he proves to live up to his campaign promises, and proves himself to be a man of the people and business, with the economy improving as he has envisioned, this country will be much better off when his term comes to an end.

While I won’t go into detail about each and every issue that is on the table, as detailed explanations of where each candidate stands are readily available on the candidates’ websites, comparisons and explanations in abundance, I believe there is one issue in particular that needs to be highlighted that could potentially redefine societal norms in our country. The power of the Supreme Court has grown and remains largely unchecked, despite the checks and balances afforded through the Constitution. And whereas the President is limited to eight years, and those in the Senate requiring reelection every six years, House of Representatives members every two, Supreme Court justices are appointed for life or until voluntarily stepping down.

Right now, the decisions and rulings that are coming out of the Supreme Court are leaning more and more liberal and are increasingly opposed to traditional family values, faith, and freedom. This trend will continue to increase toward a more and more liberal bent if the conservative voice is removed and replaced by increasingly liberal justices. Justice Scalia’s seat is up for replacement, but there could very well be appointments of up to five or more Justices over the next four to eight years. By the time the next President’s term comes to an end, five of the sitting justices will be in their 70s, three in their 80s. If the next President finds him- or herself in a position to appoint multiple justices, the lasting legacy from his or her term will have more significance than anything else that he or she may or may not accomplish during his or her presidency.

So before you decide not to vote or to vote for a write-in candidate, realize that your lack of vote for a primary party candidate is a vote for the candidate that you feel least deserves to be in the office of President and make these appointments. If you believe that the issues that our country is currently dealing with, including abortion, same-sex marriage and sexual orientation, and attacks on religious freedom, are moving in the correct direction, then vote for Hillary Clinton. If, however, you disagree with the current trend of Supreme Court decisions and the policies that are coming out of the Obama administration, then your vote needs to be with Donald Trump.

Remember that we are not electing a pastor, and that from a Christian perspective, both candidates are flawed sinners and as much in need of salvation as we all are. But we are all going to need to make a decision between one or the other candidate based on the trend toward which we want to see our country move, whether that be liberal or conservative. If you cannot vote for either individual, then vote the party line that most closely matches your personal ideology.

But not voting or voting a write-in candidate cannot be an option with the magnitude of our country’s lasting legacy at stake.

I, personally will be voting for Donald Trump, not because I believe he is highly qualified to be President, but because my beliefs fall more in line with the Republican party line and because I believe that Mr. Trump provides a more conservative voice that our country needs right now. I also believe that if God can work in the life of either or both candidates for their own salvation as well as the betterment of our country, that He is capable of speaking into their lives through individuals within their sphere of influence. I have read that God has already begun bringing individuals into Donald Trump’s life who can provide godly advice and perspective. This may or may not be true, but it is at least encouraging. I am aware of no such information regarding Hillary Clinton, although that is not to say it doesn’t exist. No matter which candidate eventually wins the election, however, we can rest secure in knowing that God is in control of all things and that all things are going to progress according to his plan and timetable. Unfortunately, that does not necessarily mean anything good is in store for our country, and God’s blessing is not guaranteed should his plan include giving us, as a nation, up to the depravity of our own minds and our own making. But I know that this world is not my home. Through Jesus Christ, I am bought with a price, secure in my salvation with my ultimate destination, and Lord willing, yours, being an eternity in Heaven with Him.

For further reading please see:

Should Christians Vote for Trump – by Eric Metaxas (Wall Street Journal, Oct. 12, 2016)

A Supreme Decision

Democratic and Republican Party Platforms: Where They Stand on the Issues

DECISION MAGAZINE’S 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION GUIDE

Hillary’s New Constitution -(Opinion| Review & Outlook-Wall Street Journal; Oct. 21, 2016)

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