Bleh. A survey of the Chinese Firedrill that is the 2008 presidential race is nothing if not underwhelming. Sycophants and hardcore partisans notwithstanding, I don’t get a sense that anyone is really energized by any of the candidates. This is certainly no less true if one is a reflective, engaged, discerning Christian. Finding reasons to not vote for any in the field of screams is easy (see Al’s Shuck-a-Huck posts here, here and here), and stacking negatives may be the final filtering mechanism, leaving us in the all-too-familiar position of voting for the lesser of two evils.
Being a Christian and a voter isn’t as easy as it was, say, twenty years ago. We had Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and a host of other guys doing our thinking for us. With Falwell gone, Robertson having chosen an alternate reality and everyone else hopping on their respective horses and riding off in every direction, we’re left to play Think it Through all by our respective selves.
Remaining passionate about the things about which I’m passionate and voting seem to put me at odds with myself. Not voting (a route I’ve taken in more than one election), seems to be saying something along the lines of, “Do whatever the hell you want with the law of the land, the defense of our nation, the stewardship of God-knows-how-much tax revenue, and so on.” But voting for a wretch because he or she is the least wretched wretch still leaves me endorsing a wretch. Wretched.
The options, as I see them, are these:
Vote for the lesser of the available evils, hoping that the slope isn’t already so slippery that we end up in a smoking rubble over the course of the next four years, at which time we get to play this game all over again.
Abstain from the whole ridiculous process, exercising our right to remain silent…standing above the fray, demonstrating our own personal holiness whilst watching the nation hurtle toward hell in the increasingly popular handbasket.
There is no 3. Not now. Not for me.
Thing is, no matter what I choose, I’m pretty sure I’m going to feel a sense of shame and regret. If I don’t vote, I’ll feel as though I’ve not lived up to my obligations as a free man to cast a vote, regardless how insignificant one vote is, for the best option we have. If I do vote, I think I’ll probably spend the next four years in the shower, trying to wash off the stain left by condoning a system, and no doubt a candidate, who do not represent my faith, my politics or my conscience.