• sonnyholmes

Election 2020 is a big deal. According to the researchers at VOTE SMART: FACTS MATTER there will be 11,488 political contests, involving 14,438 candidates in the United States on November 3, 2020. Truthfully, this website crossed my screen after a simple Google search of political candidate information. Their information about candidates from sea to shining sea is non-partisan and informative. I entered the names of several South Carolina candidates and received useful data in evaluating them. If you would like to visit this site and survey a few candidates, please click here.

That's really the final strategy in resisting the hype of this election cycle. We certainly need to know our own personal values and worldview, where we stand on the many hot button issues of this election, and basic information about the platforms of the prevailing political parties. Now, there should be research about the candidates on our ballots, at the national, state, and local levels. And, that's a challenging task for most of us, assembling and studying that much information. That's why the VOTE SMART: FACTS MATTER site was such a choice find. They're got election 2020 covered.

When considering candidates for office what you see isn't always what you get. Over the years our estimate of politicians and people vying for office has been lowered a good bit. It's partly because politics has become such a dirty business. There's also the dilemma of professional politicians, those who will do just about anything to be elected, and who will usually double-down to stay elected. It was a campaign issue in 2016 when citizen Trump promised to "drain the swamp". By the way, Mr. Trump didn't create that phrase. Politicians as early as 1903 had mentioned the need to "drain the swamp". In the 1980's Ronald Reagan had promised to "drain the swamp" of the vast bureaucracy driving government, the lobbyist pests swarming over Washington, and perhaps those elected officials serving a life-time in office. Much of the campaign hype at election time involves imposing term limits on those serving in Congress.

The choice between experienced candidates and newbies is perplexing for most voters. Washington is a complex city, government being the most prolific occupant. The learning curve for newly elected officials is steep. The Congressional Management Foundation provides training resources to assist newly elected members of Congress in learning the political ropes necessary to serve. Against that, those officials with previous experience can usually navigate the swamp more efficiently. Still, their being re-elected typically involves deals with political allies and factions that may be detrimental to their representation. Choosing experience or inexperience is a confounding reality.

And, that is a daunting challenge for most of us. Already, as the political heat ramps up I'm praying for the wisdom, discernment, and good sense to make sound political decisions for the November 3 vote. Scripture will guide my process. These are a few verses I'll be praying---

My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making

your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call

out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and

search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and

find the knowledge of God.

Proverbs 2: 1-5, ESV

Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding...

Proverbs 3: 13, ESV

Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.

John 7: 24, ESV

But test everything; hold fast what is good.

1 Thessalonians 5: 21, ESV

It's election season. The hype is already here and will be increasing. Each of us should know our personal values and how they shape our responses to the issues of election 2020. We should also grasp the stances of the political parties and their candidates. And, we should decide.

Join me in praying about it.

Copyright: <a href=''>tzido / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

  • sonnyholmes

Be assured, political candidates will throw a party or two when the final totals of election 2020 are tabulated and announced. Winners will celebrate. Losers will usually concede, thank their volunteers, give the press a short blurb, and weather the storm. Beyond the individual candidates, the political parties will give us a show of how party politics will shape our nation until the next election cycle. Editorial pundits will run the full gamut of dire and depressing facts of life under the newly elected regime. Party time will ooze out of the daily routines as parties capture the oval office, seats in congress, eventually the judicial appointments, and in state houses around the nation. Knowing the truth about party politics is an important strategy in being prepared for the election.

American political parties were part of our governing processes in the early years of our representative republic. When Mr.'s Hamilton and Madison wrote Federalist 9 and 10, respectively, there were warnings about factions gaining control of the government. Still, as early as 1787 two prominent groups were the Federalists and anti-Federalists, those favoring a strong central government and those desiring more states rights. Today there are 224 state-level ballot-qualified political party affiliates in the United States. The Democrat and Republican parties are approved in all fifty states and the District of Columbia. Three other parties--- The Libertarian Party (37 states), The Green Party (26 states) and The Constitution Party (14 states), complete the listing of the five major political parties in the United States.

Their political preferences and agenda items are the stuff of legalese and poli-speak, written in an approved party platform. These platforms are the official statements of the standards and beliefs of the political parties. Usually candidates for elected office campaign under the banner of one of the political parties. In most instances these candidates affirm the party platform and receive backing, financial and media support, from the party. Knowing where we personally stand on most campaign issues is the foundational principle of election decisions. Knowing where the candidates and parties stand is important too, the deal being to align ourselves with candidates supportive of our principles.

You can Google your way around all of the party politics and campaign issues. Below are six web connections that may provide information you need to make wise election decisions. Each line is annotated for content. Click the "Here" blue button and you can read a short article about political parties in the United States, and the platforms of the five most prominent political parties. Each of us should read and study them to determine our vote in the November 3 election.

Brief Wikipedia article about political parties. Here.

Democrat platform. Here.

Republican platform. Here.

Libertarian Platform. Here.

Green Party. Here.

Constitution Party. Here.

Wisdom should be our guide in such detailed study. Election 2020 is going to elect a President, Vice President, all 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, 35 of 100 seats in the U.S. Senate, 13 state and territorial governors, and hundreds of state and local offices. We will all need wisdom is making these decisions. Practical James wrote his Epistle with wisdom as a central theme.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without

reproach, and it will be given him.

James 1: 5, ESV

Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his

works in the meekness of wisdom.

James 3: 13, ESV

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of

mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.

James 3: 17, ESV

It's going to be a wild and tumultuous election season. This is the kind of wisdom we need, the wisdom from above. Pray for it. Examine the issues of the political parties, and be prepared to resist all the hype, so with wisdom from above, we can cast our votes on November 3.

Copyright: <a href=''>tzido / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

  • sonnyholmes

Another meme caught my attention several months ago. Campaigning in a crowd of anxious voters the political candidate was hoisting a red-white-blue banner of flags, political party emblems, glitter, spangles, and people images. The bold lettering read "TISSUE IS THE ISSUE". And, or course, the multitude was on the edge of riotous terror. On that day it was the most urgent concern for most Americans. You know, the toilet paper shortage, those weeks last April when the laws of demand far outstretched the laws of supply. Favorite store shelves were empty and people were in panic mode. The pandemic wasn't nearly as frightening as life without toilet paper. So, OK! That's far enough. We'll let it go right there. Days to remember. And, for one, I'm glad we're not back there as election season creeps into view. I mean, how many of us would really want "TISSUE IS THE ISSUE" to be the prevailing election slang on November 3, 2020?

So, what are the issues in 2020? As in most research analytics it depends on who you ask. Every people group from sea to shining sea has favorites in the preferred political issues list. Seniors want this, college students that, minorities this one, privileged whites that one, the working class the one over there, welfare recipients the one down here, left-handed folks the ones on that side, right-handed citizens the one on this side. It's one of our favorite election season games, the issues decisions, what the many candidates will choose as their campaign fodder. Capturing the whims of the American electorate is perhaps our most researched marketing pizzazz. I mean, think about what is at stake for the candidates and their political machines. Guessing the issues can mean the Oval Office, a seat in the Congress, or perhaps the unemployment line next year. Connecting to the voting population may be as simple as guessing the issues that will define the election.

Pew Research compiles data about issues that influence our voting population. Their research throughout the year has identified the changing demographics of American voters and our opinions about the issues of election 2020. You can review their data by clicking here. It's a vast compilation of their research. Be sure to study it with care. Also, the Gallup organization has surveyed the American voting public to determine the prime political issues of election 2020. You can read a summary of their research by clicking here. Each of these sources present the issues of election 2020. There's diversity in their conclusions and in their approach to surveying the voting public. But, they do provide scientific study of the nation's preferences and give us some information about the issues at hand in the coming election.

Pulling a switch or marking a ballot in election 2020 is the prerogative of every American voter. Sometimes our vote is cast to a particular candidate or a political party, or to an issue we've championed as personal. That is our right. Still, knowing the many issue matters of every candidate on our ballot is a significant voting decision. Our first step in navigating the hype is to be aware that it is coming. Our second preparatory strategy is to know where we stand on the many overall campaign matters. But, yes, we need to know the issues of the election at hand. They touch our lives in so many ways. We should know them all and vote them with passion.

In the Old Testament Joshua served the people of God after the able leadership of Moses. Before entering the Land of Promise he challenged the people---

Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the

gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. And if

it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the

gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in

whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Joshua 24: 14-15, ESV

Joshua gave them options. The people had to weigh them and decide. And, that's where we are in election 2020. We have options too. And we must evaluate them and choose our selections as voters. No, tissue is no longer the issue. Deciding what is the issue is our deal right in the months ahead. Here's a prayer that we'll decide wisely.

Copyright: <a href=''>tzido / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

CALL ME: 1-843-607-1903​

© 2014 by finishperiod. Proudly created with