Waiting in line to get into the caucus meeting, though, I discovered something I hadn't known before, something that really disturbed me: there were a number of people there who swore that if John McCain were the Republican candidate for president, they would simply not vote. "We have to teach the Republican establishment a lesson," seemed to be their line of reasoning. "They don't listen to our values, so they'll just have to lose." I disagreed with that reasoning, but putting into words why it was so troubling to me has turned out to be extraordinarily difficult.
So I was please to discover that Dave Burchett had an excellent blog post yesterday entitled, "Should Christians Sit This Election Out?" His answer was no, for several reasons. The whole post is well worth reading, but the best portion I think is right here:
If there are two choices I assume that one choice has to be better than the other. I will prayerfully decide which choice comes closer to my values and beliefs. And I will vote for that candidate even if he or she represents only a part of what I value. Something, in this case, is far better than nothing.
You know, the people of Iraq and Afghanistan have risked death for the right to be part of helping choose their leadership, even though their leadership was certainly far from perfect. Our founding fathers also risked their lives for the privilege of voting. And our soldiers in other countries put their lives at risk every day in order to preserve our right to make these kinds of choices.
None of the candidates (in either party) has been perfect. In fact, none this year, in my opinion, has been anywhere near perfect. But as long as I have a choice, I will continue to choose the person who comes closest to my values and beliefs. The privilege of participating in electing our leaders is priceless. And if, through our own refusal to participate in the process, we end up with leadership that is dead set against what's most important to us, we have only ourselves to blame.