This is a post of questions we need to ask when we go into voting booths. There are no simple answers.
- Is it possible Politics is just one grand morality play? If so, what does it say about our moral compass as a country?
- What does it say about our values and our seemingly unending ability to be hypocritical about the role of government in one instance against another? Is it Ok for the government to legislate against birth control but for abortion?
The issues are deep, and our tribal affiliations at times seem stronger than our moral convictions. Consider those who would rather vote for a sexual predator over a person from the other party at any cost? At any cost? Really?
Related Post: Who Has Moral Authority?
- At what point did one side consider an opposing Republican or Democrat the spawn of the Devil himself? When did political parties become the Hatfields and McCoys? Surely, we now know despots come in all sizes and from all parties so, at what point, do we start voting for a candidate instead of a party?
- Are we so attached to a two party system that there truly is no room for an independent candidate, a write in candidate, or someone who just steps up to stand for representing the people rather than being attached to the power of the post?
Related Post: Is It Time for a New Political Party?
- In this era of big egos, celebrities with no ostensible talents, fundamentalist believers of all sorts, and reality show train wreck sagas, have we also lost our ability to spot and elect candidates who believe in working toward the greater good than just one topic at a time?
- Can we, as voters, stop voting for one issue at a time and rather just vote for the best person?
- And what makes any person the better person in any one election? It can’t be their label as a party hack, or can it?
For too long, have we all been voting on the issues rather than the calibre of person? If the person standing for election is someone we can trust to be thoughtful even if we don’t agree with him or her on one issue, do we not stand a better chance that the candidate once elected might be more open to our opinion and thoughts as key votes come up for consideration?
- In a culture of popularity, wouldn’t be something if the popular person was the kindest, best person rather than the best looking and most self-centered?
- Can we start voting as we would want our kids to vote in a high school election rather than still emulating the popularity contests that most high school run offs have become? Can we not grow out of adolescence as a nation?
Related Post: Why It’s Time to Engage Opposing Views
The answers are still upcoming in elections from Alabama 2017 to 2020 elections. Most of us can’t cast a vote in the Alabama election and can only stand by and watch. Will it be a train wreck or a barometer of a changing tide? And what can one do when a pivotal election is not in our voting jurisdiction?
And here’s the biggest question of them all: How do we move forward, or are we destined to move backward instead?
Here are some suggestions to stay involved:
- Donate. Yes, give money. Not only to political parties but to companies with a soul. Or, don’t spend money on those companies who don’t support your beliefs. See our post on Conscious Capitalism. Big donors are sparing no opportunity to vote with their wallets. Vote with your wallet if you can’t vote with a ballot. You can easily donate to the party, but you can also donate directly to a candidate’s campaign.
- Write. This can include a letter to the editor of your paper, a letter to a relative in a voting state, a blog post that might get read by someone in a voting district.
- Converse. Talk in a calm voice with someone about why they think the way they do and why they consider one issue potentially more important than another. Don’t attempt to change anyone’s mind, but do attempt to get them to think about their argument. Change rarely happens in a direct debate, but you may affect someone listening in more than you know.
- Listen. Find a podcast, radio show, or conversation that explains a point of view and try to listen in. Either learn facts that help you better understand issues, or background on an issue that helps you have better conversations with those in your area of influence.
- Stay in the game. It’s too easy to get overwhelmed and give up, but democracy is too fragile and too important to stand down. We have all lost a few key battles. The goal is not to win any one election, but to improve the strength of the democrat principles on which this country was born.