Saturday, July 5, 2008

quick rant on politics.

Well, happy freaking 4th of July! I am awake at 12:20 a.m. because my "cute" neighbors are having a fireworks competition literally 15 feet from my house. What a fun way to celebrate the independence of this little country called the United States of America (a.k.a. "America, U.S.A., the U.S., united states, consumeristic country of the world, fill in the blank). Anyway, this day is a big day in the history of our country (so they say) and I have been thinking alot about the "p" word lately. 

Obama and McCain are vying for our votes. That is great. And I have always tried to vote in a sense, as a conscience clearing time. I think...ok, i have done my research, I think I am voting how God would want me to vote, my friends are probably thinking the same things I am thinking, you know-a sigh of relief. "Ahhhhh, ok, the duty is DONE, and I hope it matters". I would walk away feeling that I voted on my morals and ethics. Spending my duty, my half an hour in a cubby hole punching in my vote based on what I believe in on a larger, intrinsic level. And I still think I might do that-but do I vote on these larger principles even when it is an inconvenience to me?

Someone said to me, after being against universal health care for many years say, "Is it bad that I am for universal health care now that I am uninsurable?" I know this person was joking and wasn't necessarily he would base his vote on his current condition in the insurance coverage...but I can't help but think that there was a twinge in him thinking...I can't be covered now...maybe that something is better than nothing. I'm not arguing if universal health care is good, or bad, or indifferent...but that we vote mostly based on what's in it for us.

Take for instance..the multimillionaire who doesn't want to pay large taxes. This person will obviously not vote for someone who will raise their particular taxes.  The welfare mom...will probably not vote for someone who will cut welfare spending. The sick woman who has not had health coverage due to a preexisting condition will probably vote in favor for universal healthcare or something of the like. We think and vote according to our life, our lifestyle, and what will make US where ever we are at, the happiest and most comfortable. 

A few questions come to mind as we look at who we will vote for this coming fall. First is...are we thinking about what they repercussions of our vote will take on ALL the country? Every citizen? Even those without a vote? What impact will it have? Maybe a lot of us are thinking about this and make super educated votes, but mostly, I vote half-assed (excuse my language but there is no other euphemism for this), not taking the time to know all the issues and how it affects everyone in this country. I willing to stand for morals or ethics even if it means I am less comfortable? Am I willing to be selfless at the voting booth? Am I willing to sacrifice for something knowing I would not benefit? The example comes to mind is the call for caring for the poor. If it means I am taxed higher than ever, am I ok with this or will I dump my morals when it gets hard or impacts my life? Most likely...I'd look for the easy way out.

Mainly...I realized this week (maybe a little later than others) that voting is SO subjective. I want to know so badly how Jesus would have voted. If so, I'd just vote party line! I hope I am guided by scriptures and vote biblically and selflessly. But really, we have our own lens. Our own context we are making decisions in. With or without a Jesus filter to guide us. Each person comes from a different experience, a different socioeconomic lifestyle, a different place in life. Some of us will make the most objective vote as possible this Fall, but really, there is so much subjectivity within our objective vote that we can't help but vote for what benefits us. It's our nature. It's what our country was really founded on.. The life, liberty and pursuit of happiness sure looks different from the eyes of a business tycoon than a homeless man. 

Happy independence day, friends.