>i get this vibe from a number of young evangelicals like myself that they’d rather not vote than select between the “lesser of two evils” in mccain or obama. neither of them fully embody Jesus’s values, and therefore these individuals refuse to pick between them. typically when i’m presented with a comment like this my internal and external reactions are very contradictory. in my mannerisms and my speaking i feel like i come across very understanding and respectful; i nod a lot and utilize the phrase “fair enough” probably more than i should. however, on the inside i’m screaming at them asking them “how? how can you abstain from selecting one of them?”
if you are extremely uninformed then i understand not voting, but i don’t understand the logic in consciously choosing to not cast your ballot. maybe you’re trying to avoid the guilt you may feel if your selection doesn’t do a fantastic job by the time 2012 rolls around. that seems pretty cowardly to me.
but the thought i’m left feeling most passionate about is this: if you don’t vote then you have no right to complain about our country. it’s plainly put, but it’s the absolute truth. if you don’t care enough about this country to voice you opinion when it matters then you shouldn’t have the freedom to voice your opinion about the state of this nation for the next 4 years.
however, shane claiborne posted an intriguing article this morning briefly mentioning a tweaked alternative to this viewpoint:
“If you are completely paralyzed by imperfect choices, writing in “Jesus” is an option but should also come with grave responsibility. Just because you don’t vote doesn’t mean you can’t critique any more than owning stock should be a prerequisite for decrying the patterns of Wall Street. However, if we do not vote, we had better be spending every day of our lives trying to create alternative solutions to the questions of how 48 million folks can have health care, how we can live without fuel, how we deal with violent people … and on and on.”
this really is the truth. if you’re not going to select between this year’s presidential options then you better be doing everything under your power to fulfill the changes you wish to see in this nation on your own. i agree with you when you say that you can’t agree 100% with either candidate – i don’t either – there are pros and cons to both individuals, but if you aren’t going to pick what you believe is the best option for our country then you better be prepared to step up and change this nation on your own.
except my final thought is this: why can’t we do both? there is nothing that is keeping us from electing the best candidate AND stepping up and changing the world the way we’d like to see it changed. we all have the ability to do both, and we all ought to be exercising our abilities to their paramount.
so if you tell me you’re not voting, and i tell you “fair enough”, you can be certain that i don’t honestly believe that is truly “enough”. likewise, if you tell me you’re voting for mccain or obama or nader (or writing in Jesus’ name for that matter) and give me your reasons – i don’t believe that to be enough either. as a Christian, the ticket does not end with your choice on Nov 4. we all have the power to change this world for Christ; i think we ought to go ahead and do it ourselves.