1) National defense. The number one priority of any nation's government is the protection of its people. We are at war, whether we like it or not; keeping our people safe is our government's most important responsibility. When considering whether we ought to vote or not, we must consider whether there is a significant difference in which candidate will keep our nation safe.
2) The appointment of Supreme Court justices. Undoubtedly the new president will face vacancies on the Supreme Court. Justice John Paul Stevens is almost 88 and is unlikely to stay in office for another four years; and Ruth Bader Ginsburg is nearing 75. With so many Supreme Court decisions currently being 5-4, whoever becomes the new president will likely determine the direction of the Supreme Court, influencing public policy powerfully for maybe as long as 30 years. Even if a particular candidate is not ideal, we must ask ourselves whether there's a difference between the candidates in their likelihood of choosing justices who will uphold our values.
Today's Wall Street Journal has an excellent article on the topic entitled, "Dobson's Choice." It's not a long article, and it makes a critically important point about why we ought not to abdicate our right to be involved in choosing the next president. Here's a quote:
Mr. McCain's harshest critics argue that his judicial picks could easily be as bad as anyone tapped by Mrs. Clinton or Mr. Obama. This is caricature, but even if it had merit, the likes of Mr. Dobson would be trading the risk that Mr. McCain picks moderates for the court for the certainty that his opponent would appoint liberals.
Especially if you are frustrated with the status quo and considering whether you even ought to vote this November, please take the time to read the article and consider carefully the core issues involved. (This article is only accessible to non-subscribers for 7 days.)
Do we dare risk the safety of our country and the makeup of the Supreme Court for the purpose of making a point?