The other day, I read aloud an editorial column listing numerous ways that GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney should change his campaign strategy before appearing in last night's first presidential debate. When I was done, my son Wyatt said, "That's what they all say. What they forget is that we're not voting for a person, we're voting for an idea."
According to U.S. Census Bureau records, almost one third of American citizens did not vote in 2008 because they were not registered voters. That's disturbing. Millions of people around the world are denied the right to cast ballots, while here in the U.S., all Americans 18 and older are granted the right to vote by the U.S. Constitution. Are you fulfilling the responsibility that accompanies that right---are you a registered voter?
In The Political Animal, Dr. Jeff Myers declares four realities that debunk the myths that have prevented American Christians from becoming more like Christ and changing the world through political involvement, which obviously includes voting.
Truth: God is concerned with His glory, which according to Psalm 57 covers all the earth.
Myth: God doesn't care about politics.
Truth: Authority in a democratic republic rests in the people. To refuse involvement in politics is to disobey God's commands to submit to authority.
Myth: It's not my problem.
Truth: Politics is evil-just like you and me.
Myth: Choosing between the lesser of two evils is evil.
Truth: Politics gives us the opportunity to encourage community based on biblical principles that best represent the contours of the world as it actually exists.
Myth: Politics doesn't matter.
Refraining from being informed and wise about politics is to shirk the responsibility that comes with our right to vote. If you're not being part of the solution, then you may be part of the problem, Myers, who also serves as president of Summit Ministries, frankly points out. Voting is the most elementary act a citizen can take. Your one vote does make a difference. Rutherford B. Hayes was elected president in 1876 by one vote in the Electoral College. That vote came from one Indiana congressman elected to the Electoral College by the vote of one man who insisted he be taken to the polling place on election day even though he was sick. Whoa…a president of the United States was elected by a sick man who was stubborn enough to vote!
Today, go to commit2vote2012.com, click the Register to Vote tab, find your home state on the map--info regarding your state's voter registration deadline will pop up--and just do it. Then for the next 4 weeks, spend 20 minutes a day researching what principles each candidate represents. And on Nov. 6, vote--because ideas really do have consequences.
Diana Smith is a farmer's wife, mom of 9, and grandmother of 7. She's lived in Phoenix most of her life and is passionate about equipping her children to stand up for truth.