It’s everywhere you look right now—the internet, the news, Facebook … you can’t get away from the impending presidential election. I have read a lot on Facebook lately … tuning in more to see what people have to say—I actually love to hear other people’s opinions whether I agree with them or not. I do not like hearing people put each other down over their political differences, which is one reason I keep my own off of Facebook. I’m not interested in debating the better candidate (or political party) with other people; no one is going to change my mind and I’m likely not going to change anyone’s mind—especially not someone who is brazen enough to pick a fight with me via social media!
Over the past couple months I have been examining my own political views quite a bit. I’m not what I would call a “political person” … I’m not really all that interested in the subject, but as a Christian and an American, I have made an effort to pay better attention during this political season. I have always considered myself a Republican—ever since my dad told me not to vote for Bill Clinton in the 1992 presidential election—the first one in which I could vote. My dad obviously didn’t control my vote, but I thought Clinton was well-spoken and handsome … when I said as much to my conservative father, he encouraged me to look at the issues and then make a decision. I’ll be honest … I don’t think I looked at the issues, but I did end up voting for George H.W. Bush, because if my dad thought he was the right choice, then that was good enough for me! Besides, it saved me the time of trying to research it myself (pre-internet) and pay attention to the more important things … like boys, hairspray … and boys. Twenty four years later (WHAT? 24 years??! Sheesh.) I’m embarrassed to say that I have leaned on my dad’s opinion for far too long—he’s very well-educated, opinionated and he never hesitates to tell me what I should think, so why not? But not this year—this year I’m thinking for myself! And guess what? It’s true: father knows best! (Relish it, Dad!)
Here is where I’ve landed, and what I’ve talked myself through:
- The reason this country was founded was because our forefathers were trying to get out from underneath the thumb of the monarchy. They were tired of being told what to do and when to do it and not being allowed to do what they wanted … to me, big government is a step backward—the more control the government has, the less freedom the people have. Case in point: if I want to have health insurance, it should be my choice to decide whether or not I’ll have it, but I don’t want someone telling me I HAVE to have it. As it is right now, if I choose not to, fine, but the IRS will collect a penalty with my tax return and the government will use it to help pay for the free insurance that the impoverished are receiving. If I DO choose to have insurance, I get to pay the astronomical premiums and meet the exorbitant deductibles and still help pay for the free insurance that the impoverished are receiving.
- With that said, I whole-heartedly believe in giving to the less fortuante, but I believe this is the duty of the church (and people), NOT the government. Take welfare, for example … when the government provides free handouts, I believe it is enabling those people and not helping people get back on their feet. It’s the whole “give a man a fish and he will eat for a day but teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime” concept. I’m all about helping people out and taking care of our own, but I think there is a right way and a wrong way to do it. Maybe let’s not tell people what they have to do and give them a chance to help people out on their own. And let’s enable the church to take a more active role in caring for the less fortunate, too. If we don’t let the government control everything, the hungry will still be fed, housed and educated—that doesn’t go away just because we allow the states to be autonomous, as intended.
- I’m pro-life in every sense of the word. Whereas the argument for women to be able to choose what happens to their bodies tugs at me a little bit, I ultimately believe that choice comes down to choosing to be smart when it comes to having sex and acknowledging that sex can create a baby. If you don’t want a baby, don’t have sex. Simple! I don’t think we should stop caring about people after the baby is born (see #2), but again, I think we can go about caring for our own a little bit differently. I’ll be honest, I’m holding back here a little bit because my opinions get very strong on this subject … to the point that it’s unattractive and sometimes not very Christ-like, I admit. Killing babies is not an acceptable form of birth control … period.
- I’m against capital punishment (this doesn’t support my conservative status, I realize). Jesus calls us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. I’m not sure how to do that while killing people, and I think it’s pretty hypocritical to punish a killer by killing them back! I’m not going to lie, if I were a family member who’s loved one was the one on the receiving end of that criminal, I may feel differently—I probably would. But from where I stand right now, that is how I feel.
- The Constitution and Amendments are just as valid today as they were when written, if not more so. I’m not a historian and I already told you I’m not political so I may not know the exact reason behind EVERY amendment, but I can’t help but think that many of these amendments were written not only because of their past experiences, but also because our forefathers were worried there would be an attempt to take them away someday (free speech, right to bear arms, freedom of religion, right to a fair trial, the states having power for anything not deemed a constitutionally delegated power to the federal government, for example).
- I have a problem with authority–I always have–not just authority, but being told what to do in general. To this day I tell my husband, “You’re not the boss of me!” whenever he requests I do or do not do something … I suppose I feel the same way about the government, in general.
I don’t like our choices for this presidential election any more than the next guy (or gal). I’ll be honest, Trump’s recent “locker room talk” did NOT shake me to my very core like it did Mrs. Obama—it didn’t even surprise me! It’s not something I condone, but come on—we know the character of our two major choices—should anything surprise us? And if I’m being honest, there have been plenty of things I’ve said in private that I wouldn’t want publicized.
I have read a lot of people saying that we DO have a choice and that a third-party can win, and that we have to take a stand to make change. In theory, yes! But historically, it doesn’t happen, and this election is about SO much more than Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump … we have to look at the big picture, and we have to make an educated decision. To me, that means not leaning on hopeful ideals and ignoring the reality of what history has shown us (as Doctor Phil says, “The best way to predict future behavior is to look at past behavior”). Not that circumstances can’t change, but the reality is that the outcome likely won’t be any different than it has been in the past.
No matter who wins, there will be struggles, but I will vote for the party who holds the same values that I hold dear, not the man who is representing that party. Above all, I will pray … for all the candidates involved, and our president, no matter who wins.
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12)