The moment of decision
Well, it finally came. I stood there yesterday, an early voting day here in North Carolina, with my ballot in hand needing to fill in the little ovals for the candidates of my choice and vote. I had a fleeting moment of sympathy for my wife in the adjacent booth filling hers out. Peggy is very precise and I knew she would take seriously the instruction to “completely” fill in the oval using that ridiculously tiny pencil they gave her. In her care to fill the entire box and, at the same time, not allow any spill-over outside the lines I knew she was under pressure. But I needed to vote and refocused my attention.
In my state the Presidential ballot gave me four choices. I could choose Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Gary Johnson (Libertarian) or I could write someone in on the blank line below. I took note of the fact that some minor candidates I had heard of were not listed; Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate for example. I could write her in if I wished.
Speaking of write-ins, there was always Jesus. As of yesterday 1,417,000 people had signed the petition to pledge to vote for Jesus. That number had been climbing rapidly but now seems to have slowed down. I don’t think this proves Jesus is falling behind in the polls; rather I suspect the Jesus-voters like to vote early.
The number is impressive however and I admit I’ve been secretly hoping that in a few of those “swing states” that He may get more votes than the margin of victory turns out to be. If so, then some of my Calvinist friends can explain to me that this was exactly what He wanted. I didn’t think I could vote for Jesus however because He seemed too over-qualified.
So how do I decide? Maybe celebrity endorsements would help. Hollywood, for the most part, seemed to be Obama territory. Country music was largely pro-Romney. Snoop Dogg made it clear he couldn’t vote for Romney because, among other reasons, “his [wife] owns a dancing horse.” Lindsey Lohan, at various times, tweeted her support for both Obama and Romney. I think if I was running for President I’d try to get Charlie Sheen to endorse the other guy.
How about voter guides? Would they help? I managed to come into possession of several of them but, sadly, they didn’t show any uniformity in the direction they wanted to guide me. Would political ads on TV, in my mailbox, and on my phone help? If I followed those, which always focused on what was wrong with the other guy, I’d be writing in “None of the above”.
But I knew I had to vote, I knew the election was important. Indeed I’ve been told that this was “the most important election in our nation’s history” by both the Obama and Romney camps. While it still seems to me that the election of Lincoln in 1860 was the most important I must be wrong because both sides told me I was. I know because I signed up to receive e-mails from both of them and they both assured me this was true. Obama’s camp sends me about four e-mails a day, which made me thankful that I didn’t sign up for their text message service. Romney, for some reason, sent only about two a week. Perhaps some of those endless numbers of tiring Obama e-mails were coming from Romney-backed hackers.
In the end I voted for the guy I had assumed I would probably vote for all along. And I am sorry but I am not planning on telling you who that is; although from the use of the word “guy” I suppose you can assume that Jill Stein is not getting my vote. This is in spite of the fact that I was surprised to agree with many of the positions listed on her web site. But I am still a believer in the concept of a secret ballot and I really want to support that idea by not telling you my choice.
I am at peace about my vote, not because I am sure it is “right” but because I am sure the purposes of God will prevail. The God who accomplished His purpose through Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus and Caesar Augustus isn’t going to blink an eye over the election results.