Who will you vote for on election day? Superstorm Sandy has appropriately sidelined our election day focus for a bit. According to a recent Gallup Poll published in the Washington Post, 85 percent of poll respondents say they have given at least some thought to the election. That’s down from 90 percent in 2004 and 87 percent in 2008.
As Aaron Blake says, "Whether due to Sandy (which some are suggesting could lower turnout in heavily Democratic Philadelphia and help Republicans in Pennsylvania) or lower voter enthusiasm, it seems likely we’ll see a dropoff of some kind. The question from there is whether it’s enough to matter."
I think Aaron and the Gallup folks are on to something. We vote when the issues matter to us. What matters to you?
When we vote for the candidates of our choice, we are making a statement about ourselves.
“My vote doesn’t matter!” is a myth because it denies the value we place on ourselves, and intrinsically possess. If we choose not to vote and not participate in the structures of government whether at City Hall or the local church, we make a statement about how much we value our own ideas.
Those who refuse to accept the responsibility to be involved cast of a vote about their own self-worth by their silence in the election process.
The implication of our form of government is that we all have something to say. We may not all be as loud or articulate as the next person, but let’s not forget that we are all created to be communicators of ideas.
According to Peter Block, “the core question is this: What is the means through which those of us who care about the whole community can create a future for ourselves that is not just an improvement, but one of a different nature from what we now have?” (Peter Block, Community, 2008, p 33).
Our ideas and perspectives are full of value! We are created in the image of God. We can choose to be creative in expressing our own uniqueness at home, and the office, at church, in the community, when we participate with others. We make a positive statement that we are important, our community is important, and we have something to say when we vote.
What you think about yourself is the bottom line in answering the question, “Will you be at the polls next Tuesday?”
In-between post-Sandy clean-up tasks, pay attention to the issues and the candidates who are vying for political leadership. In New Jersey, I’m voting by absentee ballot which they make very easy to obtain. Take time for living. Then vote for yourself, then for the candidates of your choice. Let others know you take your ideas seriously. I do.