Wednesday, October 31, 2012

What if you're wrong?

I've heard plenty of voters say that the nation will be better (or okay) if Candidate A wins or if Candidate B loses -- but they haven't a clue what really makes the nation better (or okay).

Many voters say that there isn't that much difference between the candidates (as far as their superficial or slanted evaluation shows) or they're all corrupt anyway, so it doesn't really matter which one they choose.

I hear people say that it's only 2 or 4 or 6 years so it's no big deal if the vote for a candidate because of the candidate's skin color or political party affiliation.

Some voters people vote for the incumbent because experience or seniority are very important characteristics.

I hear people say that having a corrupt, dangerous or incompetent person in office isn't a big deal if he's okay on their favorite issue -- that's why we have checks and balances.

There are those whose choice is based on one or more emotions: fear, excitement, infatuation, selfishness, hate, etc.

I know people who justify lazy voting (ie don't thoroughly study the candidates and issues because God has predicted the end of days and we are there; so, since this is the end, why interfere with the inevitable or why bother?

Some voters only pray about how to vote, expecting God to reveal His will to ignorant and lazy people. They actually believe they get answers!

Many people plan to vote third-party because "voting principles" for a candidate that is guaranteed to lose is more noble than "voting for the lesser of two evils" who has a solid chance of beating the greater of two evils.

My response to all such voters:

What if you are wrong?

Regarding "checks and balances": Is it really wise to expect the government to check itself? Remember, the most essential check on government is a wise and informed voter -- not another government official or branch!

I believe that God will hold us accountable for how we vote by asking, "I gave you the freest nation in history; what did you do to preserve it?" Natural consequences also will always hold us and our posterity accountable for unwise voting.

Regarding any of the above voter attitudes, ask yourself one little question: What if you are wrong? What can be the consequences?

Liberty cannot tolerate voters who are wrong. Ever. You may not recognize it in its infancy, but tyranny always relies on those who are wrong.

If you're going to vote, get well educated on the principles of liberty, the character and agenda of the candidates, and any issues that are on the ballot. Then vote wisely and prayerfully. Be sure you are not wrong. If you're unwilling to do your homework before voting, you are being unfair to those of us who do.

It is extremely unfortunate that the election is rigged against third-party candidates. It is extremely unfortunate that the so-called "news" media enforces those unfair rules. It is extremely unfortunate that we even have political parties -- many of the nation's founders opposed them and they unnecessarily foment discord.

Nevertheless, those are the rules of today's politics. Face it, no matter how noble you think your protest vote is, your candidate will not win. If your favorite candidate were viable, he or she would have won the nomination in one of the two major parties and the subsequent convention. And, nobody is paying any attention whatsoever to your protest except for how it will harm the rest of us.

Deep down, you likely know that the refusal to vote for the "lesser of two evils" is a farce. Even your candidate is hardly perfect. And, even he or she would probably be the "lesser of two evils" in the view of a substantial portion of the voters. (Maybe that's why your candidate didn't win the nomination, eh?)

If the viable candidate that comes closest to your principles loses because you and people like you voted for somebody guaranteed to lose, you know whom to blame.

You have two choices: Play games or vote for the viable candidate that comes closest to your principles. Personally, I don't think voting is a proper time to play games.

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free. — Ronald Reagan (Address to the annual meeting of the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, 30 Mar 1961)

Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. Those who have known freedom and then lost it have never known it again. — Ronald Reagan (California Gubernatorial Inauguration Speech 5 Jan 1967)

Freedom is not a self-preserving gift. It has to be earned, and it has to be protected. — Boyd K. Packer (Speeches of the Year, Provo: Brigham Young University, 1971, p 1-7)

Freedom is not only a gift, but a summons to personal responsibility. — Pope Benedict XVI, Apr 2008

We need smarter voters.

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