I would like to dedicate a blog post to my thoughts on voting for impact. I rarely post about specific political issues but I really feel that this issue is worth a post.
First, I think it is important for each individual to decide what his/her motivation is in voting. Individuals can have a plethora of reasons for voting. Those reasons will affect how we vote. One may vote out of obligation/duty to the country or those who have sacrificed for the freedom to vote. This is honorable and is one of my reasons for voting but there is more. One may vote to gain bragging or complaining “rights” or to make a statement. One may vote according to a pet issue. Eighteen year old citizens may vote solely on the idea that they have finally grown into the right to do so. But, there is more. While some of these are strong reasons to vote, most can lead to legalism. And, I have to ask, can any of these reasons be the entirety of the motivation to vote?
I believe that there is so much more. Because I cannot sever the real world impact of my vote and it’s consequences from who my conscience says is the best person to receive my vote, I will vote to have the most impact for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (not a guarantee of happiness…but that is another post all together…*smile*). It is easy to get hung up on the “statement” of the vote, but in doing so, we can miss out on the blessing of what it truly means to live in a democracy…having an impact on the world around us. So, if you agree that a vote should be cast to have the most impact, then the question that follows is how does a vote have the most impact?
In a general election when the election is coming down to two parties, a conservative vote for a third party candidate will have no positive impact on the election. I am not opposed in general to third party candidates. But, in an election where there is no conceivable way that the third party candidate can win, a vote for that candidate is a statement vote. It will not have an affect on preserving life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I have had conversations with those who willingly admit that their third party candidate would not win. Yet, they would vote for conscience and make a statement. Meanwhile, real life issues (and life itself) are on the line. While the election four years ago was not close and the third party votes probably did not put our current president into office, this year the election is much tighter and a third party vote could very well be a vote against life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
So, as you study the candidates, judges, and propositions that are on your ballot this election, let me encourage you to consider the impact that your vote will have for protecting the most life, preserving the most liberty, and supporting the pursuit of happiness. Let’s not make statements this year. Let’s vote to have an impact.