The Privilege and Responsibility of Voting

Everyone knows that voting is a privilege. Not every country allows their citizens to choose their government officials. Even some countries who have elections rig the outcome, so that it is not really the voting of the people that elects an official. It is a charade.

I am very fortunate to live in a country where I get to have a say – realizing that even though my vote counts, the candidate of my choice may not be elected. I often say that I don’t have a right to complain if I don’t vote. So, I not only understand the privilege that is mine, but the responsibility that goes along with that privilege.

Voting is more than a right. My responsibility is not only to cast my vote, but to do so with as much information as possible. Unfortunately, that means filtering out the prejudice of the media and the innuendo of the opponents. In America, this has become more difficult than ever before. It is a shame that politicians don’t have enough positive things to say about themselves and their own agenda that they must take up their advertising time with accusations against the other candidate.

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Particularly distasteful are those politicians who are so careful about their stand on an issue that it is really difficult to find out what they believe. Many of them wait to see how the population sways on an issue – then they will go that way. Whatever happened to integrity? Francis Bacon, Sr. (English lawyer and philosopher 1561-1626) said, “It’s not what we eat but what we digest that makes us strong; not what we gain but what we save that makes us rich; not what we read but what we remember that makes us learned; and not what we profess but what we practice that gives us integrity.”

In the end, of course, only God knows whether what we say matches who we are and what we believe. He does make it clear, however, that He will judge us accordingly.

“For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil. But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgement. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12: 34b-37).

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