Kevin Costner played the role of Bud Johnson, a beer-guzzling dead-beat dad raising a clever and too-mature-for-her-age daughter named Molly, in the 2008 comedy “Swing Vote.” On election day Bud’s daughter sets off a series of unforeseen events resulting in the nationwide presidential race being decided by just one vote: Bud’s.
Now, personally I’m a sucker for flicks like this, so I thought it was funny and poignant, despite the 38% rating from Rotten Tomatoes. So, I thought about this movie today, and for some reason it stirred up in me a few pointed questions of my own.
If tomorrow’s election came down to one vote, and it turned out to be yours, have you voted yet? Do you plan to vote if you haven’t yet? If not, why not? If yes, do you have a clear path to why you would vote a particular way, or are you like Bud Johnson, waiting to be wooed by the candidates?
What’s at stake here? Why should I be writing to you about voting in an election where you may have no interest at all?
First, let me just say that this will be my last article about voting, for a couple of years anyway. I think I just heard an audible sigh of relief from all over the world… ha! You think I’m making this up, but this blog is being read in 119 of the 193 recognized nations around the world. So it’s not just you folks in the United States that are ready to move on. It’s also some folks in Canada, India, Australia, United Arab Emirates, Philippines, South Africa, Germany, Denmark, Ireland, Italy, Brazil… well, you get the picture.
Second, the founders of our nation wrote that “all men are created equal.” This didn’t mean they were ignoring we are in fact all different in terms of appearance, personality, skills, character, morals, etc. In their minds we are all born with inherent, natural and unalienable rights, which include “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” At it’s core this means no person is born with a natural right to rule over all the others without their consent. It also means that governments are obligated to apply the law equally to everyone.
So… here’s the thing. I’m encouraging you to cast your vote after doing a couple of basic activities.
First, pray for wisdom according James 1:5 (see my previous article here), because this is exactly what God wants us to do.
Second, re-read what the founders wrote above, and ask yourself, “which are the men or women whom I consider best qualified to uphold these ideals, and protect my freedoms?”
Third, do not abdicate your part in the responsibility of preserving freedom. Your part is to go vote. It is a right to be cherished for sure. But not one just to be put on the mantle and looked at, but never touched or implemented. This is a “messy” sort of right… it has to be handled… this right to vote must be exercised.
If it came down to it… if you could preserve freedom… and it took your one vote to do it…
Well, would you?