Inspiration for a reality check
We act like it's the dilemma of the millennium, what we will do in a voting booth on November 8, 2016. Pollsters and forecasters are plotting the path of the coming storm and it looks like some of the computer models the hurricane watchers give us as a new storm moves up the east coast. With the political winds blowing in so many directions landfall is still hard to predict this far out. Right now the talk is about brokered conventions, third party candidates, the Republican establishment, a Trump nomination, cross-over voters, party loyalty, and difficult rhetorical questions: would I even think about voting for a Democrat if Donald Trump is the Republican nominee? Lost in the currents is the "what" of all of this, outcomes that have been obscured by the "who". We've become so polarized by the light on the candidates that the planks of the respective party platforms have become secondary considerations.
If we're going to get real about this election the question every one of us must answer is "what will I do on November 8?" So, think about a simplified scenario: Trump is the Republican nominee, Hillary Clinton the Democratic. The only political decision in the Presidential ballot will be whether or not I'll vote for the party candidate of my traditional preference, cast my vote for the party that I have usually opposed, or just log out mentally that day and take a pass on the whole thing. So, what will you do on November 8? There are basically four alternatives---
1. You can skip the presidential vote and cast no vote. Either one is offensive to
you and so you'll simply skip over that line.
2. You can write-in a candidate. Mickey Mouse and Alfred E. Newman may get
some write-in votes.
3. You can vote the party line.
4. You can vote for the candidate of the other party.
Go the www route and find out how the notables plan to answer this one question that Tuesday morning.
Right now I'm undecided. Generally I touch the screen where my straight Republican ticket is registered. I don't consider myself a low information voter and so the party line isn't totally political naivete. No, there's the "what" of the election, the party platforms. My straight ticket usually happens because I have an spiritual problems with several of the Democratic planks that translate into a no vote for any of them. The "what" of the election season is often so lost in our consideration of the "who". Last time around I really had some problems with Mitt Romney. But, he stood strongly on the GOP platform and I voted for him even though he troubled me in several areas.
Here's my plan. Years ago I discovered Luke 12:12. It is a promise Jesus gave his followers when they were threatened with inquisition before the Jewish rulers in synagogues or other tribunals. He promised---
For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.
It is a promise I prayed every time I stood in front of a group to preach or teach the whole counsel of God. Now, I may be taking some license with this particular text but I have extended this promise to include my actions as well as my words. In those times when crucial decisions had to be made I did my homework, prepared to the extent that was possible to a mere human, and then prayed for divine guidance. In this regard the promise was more---
For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to do.
If that's twisting the promise for my particular needs then I'm guilty. God, please forgive my presumption.
Can I vote for Donald Trump? He's not my choice. I'm supporting genuine conservative Senator Ted Cruz for President. Even so, if Senator Cruz isn't the Republican nominee I may have personal convictions about skipping the election or voting for a Democratic candidate. There's this platform thing that will not let me go. And, the Democratic platform usually has planks that I just cannot support.
So, I'm depending on divine guidance for the inspiration needed to get real about election 2016. Jeremiah offered another promise that I'm also calling on when I really don't know what to do---
You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:13, ESV
He will show the way, and I must follow. That's the only way I can get real about election 2016. Everything else is just...politics as usual.