When I first moved to the South, one piece of advice I was given, since I had a job as a cashier at a grocery store, was that there are two things you never talk about; politics and religion. I have found those are exactly the two things I want to talk about. Not necessarily because I am a controversial person, or the type of person who shoves my own thoughts and beliefs down other people’s throats, but because a person’s perspective on these two topics grants a significant glance into that person, both ethically and morally. Rather than simply finding out what people believe, I often attempt to find out why they believe what they believe.
Most of the things I write about are considered religious in nature. But here recently I have been taking a greater interest in politics. I don’t want to scare anyone away, so don’t think I’m completely changing what I am going to write about for now on.
There are a couple things I want to bring to the table. First of all, I’m not that concerned with where you stand politically or religiously. Not that I don’t care or that I believe your stance to be irrelevant, but rather that my objective is not to sway anyone’s beliefs, politically or religiously.
Secondly, because I am more concerned with the why people believe the way they do, I’d rather people be educated. Don’t tell me you are Christian just because your dad was. Don’t tell me you vote republican just because the preacher said something against democrats. Don’t tell me you hate or like a particular candidate running for public office just because your friends said something on social media.
If you can’t defeat what you believe in, then what is the point in believing in it? If you cannot, or choose not to, provide a defense for what you stand for, why not just sit down? Why believe anything at all? King David once asked the question when Goliath was defying God; “Is there not a cause?” He was willing to stand against a giant for what he believed in. Are we? We won’t even take time to check the sources of our media, or educate ourselves on the candidates, or even to go to the polls.
Do not think I’m faultless in this regard. I have not been as informed on politics as I should be. I don’t have all the answers. I haven’t studied each candidate in depth. Yet. This is not a letter of reprimanding, but rather a call to action—to me, and to everyone else.
March 1st is Alabama’s primary election. I believe this is more important than the actual election. Although I believe it is completely asinine to have only two candidates at the end of the day, especially when those candidates are complete polar opposites of each other, I think it is imperative to help in the narrowing down of the candidates. We cannot have our voices heard if our ballots are only cast on facebook. We cannot justifiably complain about the administration in power if we did nothing to prevent their campaign from winning.
This is a call to action. The action is not necessarily just to vote. If you believe voting does no good, then prove me wrong by going out to vote. Now, understand I am not asking you to vote just because it is your responsibility as a citizen, or because so many people died for you to have that right. In fact, if you are ignorant, please DON’T vote. I believe the biggest problem currently is that those who are ignorant are voting, and those who are informed don’t see voting worthwhile so they just don’t.
I know I’ve said it before, but Edmund Burke had it right when he said; “All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”
Stop being lazy.
Stop coming up with excuses.
Develop a stance.
Stand and vote.
Ignorance is not an acceptable reason in a court of law, neither is it a viable justification before God on Judgment Day. There are too many resources at our disposal to be ignorant. Who occupies our governmental offices should be important to us. And knowing who they are should be a priority.
There are offices other than the President of the United States to be occupied on the ballot, so remember that when doing your research. Whether you identify closer to republican or democrat, I truly hope you do not blindly vote red or blue straight down the ballot, just because of your affiliation, having no knowledge of the names on the ballot. If you don’t know, don’t vote.
Again, I’m not casting stones or bringing judgment; I’m just as guilty. In fact, I wrote this to me more than to anyone else. I’m asking you join me in seeking knowledge so we can make informed decisions and cast a vote for our future. Because our future is worth the investment of time.