STOP. THINK. VOTE.
Winston Churchill supposedly said, “The strongest argument against democracy is a five-minute discussion with the average voter.” True or not—it seems that way more and more. People seem to be voting more by assumption rather than information, feelings rather than facts, and rhetoric rather than results. Oops….Let me leave the rhetoric behind and share with you some wrong and right reasons to consider before you vote for a candidate.
Here are some wrong reasons to vote for a candidate:
- Party Loyalty – Often people vote a certain way because they think that it would be wrong to abandon their party after all these years. Here’s the question that every voter should ask: “Has my party abandoned me?” “Does it still have my best interest in mind?” “Are my values important to those I am electing?” Don’t let someone use you just for your vote.
- Skin Color – What makes America wonderful is that unlike some countries we have shown that anyone—regardless of the shade of their skin—can be the President of the United States. With the same token, we need to show the world that Americans look deeper to the principles and values of our candidates. What matters is what they stand for rather than what they look like.
- Religious Faith – Americans have repeatedly shown that a candidate’s religious tradition is not as important as his moral values. A person may claim to be “born again” and still lose the re-election campaign if his values and economic policies are not ours. Thomas Jefferson—the third President—was a deist but he reduced the national debt by a third.
So what are the right reasons to vote for a candidate? Deuteronomy 1:13 says, “Choose wise, understanding, and knowledgeable men from among your tribes, and I will make them heads over you.” Let’s look at those three qualities:
- Wise – from the Hebrew word hokma. In this context, it means skills in civil and military affairs. With regards to civil affairs, the President cannot ignore the tremendous unemployment rate and the mounting debt crisis facing our nation. Many Americans are living in constant fear of losing their jobs. Our children and grandchildren need to know that we are doing everything possible to prepare a better tomorrow for them. With regards to the military, the President should never cut back on defense spending. Recent events in Libya are a reminder that the world remains unstable and unpredictable.
- Understanding – from the Hebrew word bina which means discernment. The President should have a sense of discernment as to how jobs are created. We constantly hear about how the “rich should pay their fair share.” According to the SOI (Statistics of Income) tax stats available on the IRS website, the top one percent of the wealthiest Americans paid 38.02 percent of the total income tax. If that’s not enough, the top 50 percent of the tax payers pay 97% of the total income tax. This means that half of all Americans pay only 3% of the revenue and many don’t pay any! To increase taxes on the wealthy would actually hurt the small business owners and destroy more jobs!
- Knowledgeable – from the Hebrew word yeduim. It carries the meaning of respect. The United States has been and continues to be the force for good in this world and we need a President who will inspire respect and admiration, both here and abroad. It affects the progress of democracy, business, and national defense.
So before you head to the polls – Stop, Think, and then Vote.