Political Commentary Part 2: Why Deciding Who To Vote For Is Tricky

(Updated: I am a terrible writer without a proofreader. Also, the reaction has been as expected. :()

I will not vote for Barack Obama. My rationale is simple: he holds a vastly different ideology on what government should be than I do. VASTLY different. So that part is easy. I don’t need to take time to line the items out. Read the conservative punch-list of complaints against him. You’ll get the idea.

The problem is, I don’t think I can vote for Romney either. For lots of reasons. Lining them out here would be irrelevant to my point, and it would cause many (who have already done so) to try and convince me that the wise thing to do is compromise my convictions. Sorry. I cannot do that “..for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. God help me. Amen.” Martin Luther.

Apparently, from the reaction I get to this thought when I express it, I will be single handedly responsible for Barack Obama’s re-election. “A vote against Romney is a vote for Obama.” I’m sorry, but I reject that idea. My personal vote for president (as opposed to congress) actually counts for very little, unless I am someone of influence, and thus sway masses upon masses with my choice. My job, along with yours, is to vote my conscience, and to make a lot of noise about why.

If I can sway a few folks to be able to vote with a clear conscience, rather than feel trapped into casting a vote for someone they are not comfortable with, all the better.

(And yes, yes, that discomfort should come from an informed understanding of the issues.)

So, unless something changes in the next couple weeks, I’ll likely be making an infinitesimally small blip on the third party circuit, making a non-maintream candidate’s percentage rise by a completely unnoticeable amount, in part as an objection to the way the RNC is being run, as evidenced by the candidates put forward in the last two years.

I am glad that in my system I am not forced to cast my lot in with candidates who have policies I detest.

So to you, I say, get all the facts you can. Shut off the news and read the candidates’s Web sites. Check their facts. Do you homework on world history, economics, philosophy, and theology.

Christians: pray, read your Bibles, seek direction, reject the idea that you must toe a particular party line, believe in the absolute meticulous sovereignty and care of God, believe in the Holy Spirit who guides us, and go vote as your conscience leads you.

I’m curious to see the outcome. Soon, we will know whom God has chosen to be the next leader of the United States.





3 responses to “Political Commentary Part 2: Why Deciding Who To Vote For Is Tricky”

  1. Brian Avatar

    Matt I really like your post! “My job, along with yours, is to vote my conscience,” – absolutely.

    I also think that everyone’s vote, regardless of it is cast for a mainstream or third party candidate, is an “infinitesimally small blip.” So since it doesn’t count, numerically speaking, go vote for the candidate that you support. Obama or Romney don’t need your vote, you are useless to them; statistically speaking.

    The key is that we stay engaged, aware and wise to what the candidates are saying. We should vote according to our conscious and convictions.

    I think there are a number of interesting side topics to your post that could be explored more fully too:

    1. Apart from a hundred/thousand or so media/web-personalities, how many votes can you win for your candidate of choice? I doubt it is enough to change the statistical insignificance of your personal impact into the election.

    2. Do people like to vote for the winner? Do trends predict winners and/or attract voters? Is viability another name for this?

    3. How efficient are we at swaying others to jump over to our candidate? On a recent Op-ed piece in the NY Times, Reasons Matter (When Intuitions Don’t Object),* the author argues that reason (using facts and logic) rarely persuade people. Many of us humans have intuitively made our mind up about the goodness (or bad-ness) of a subject and are therefore rarely moved regardless of the logical reasonings confronting us.

    1. Matt Heerema Avatar

      Brian, thank you for seeing through my horrible writing skills.

      Are you noticing that most folks our age agree with this stance, and most 20 years older object? Or is that just me?

      1. Brian Avatar

        That is a good question too. I really don’t know. I doubt it has much to do with age, I’ve encountered people from all ages showing a logical fault in this area. In general preserving our democracy (allowing people to vote how they want) is essential.

        My goal is to be informed and help others be informed. My job is not to persuade them to vote for who I want them to vote for. We all need to filter all the facts through our VotingAlgorithm and figure out which of candidates is the one for us.

        I think we (citizens) get caught up wanting our candidate to win… when the real goal of a democracy is that we want people to be informed and cast their vote.

        Does that make sense?

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