". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Election

Compared to previous election years, I have blogged very little about the presidential election. I suppose that is due in part to the fact that I am posting less overall. But I think it is also due to simply not knowing what to say. Not only am I at a loss for what to say, I have been at a loss for what to do. It goes without saying that I will not be voting for Clinton. But the concerns I have about the Republican nominee have led me to the conclusion I also can't vote for him. At various times this election cycle I have revisited that decision, asking myself whether I should reconsider it. Are the stakes so high that I must ignore all my doubts and do something that everything within me recoils against?

That's what a lot of people are saying. But every time I have tried to picture myself in the voting booth, bubbling in the circle for Trump, I have been caught up short. People say a vote for Trump is not a vote for the man but for what he represents--a platform or set of promises or cabinet. In other words, a strategic vote.

Okay, then. If a strategic vote is all I have, that leaves me with Gary Johnson. He is the only other candidate on the ballot in Oklahoma and the only third-party candidate who is on the ballot in all 50 states. The Libertarian Party is the party with the best chance of cracking the two-party dominance of our electoral process. I am not a great fan of Gary Johnson. I have not put a bumper sticker on my car or a sign in my yard. I know he's not going to win. But there is no chance, in my state of Oklahoma, that Hillary Clinton is going to win. Oklahoma will go for Trump. So I see a vote for Gary Johnson as a vote against the system that gave us two such woefully unsatisfactory candidates. If my vote can help send some sort of message, however small, or if it can in a tiny way weaken the two-party stranglehold on the process, I consider that to be a better use of it than throwing it away on a candidate I can't abide who is easily going to win my state without me.

So to those who have suggested that someone who casts a third-party vote this year is setting himself up as somehow holier-than-thou or up on some sort of high horse, spare me. If I were truly acting out of some elevated idea of principle I would refrain from voting for president altogether or write in a name that the state of Oklahoma would promptly throw in the trash because it doesn't count write-in votes. But I'm not doing that. I'm compromising. I'm holding my nose and voting in the way that I think my vote will have the greatest impact. My suggestion to anyone reading who is still undecided is that you do the same. What that actually means, I don't know, as it varies from state to state. God bless you as you try to figure it out.

I look forward to the day that I can once again cast a vote for president that I can be proud of.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

"What is meant by daily bread?"

"Daily bread includes everything that has to do with the support and needs of the body, such as food, drink, clothing, shoes, house, home, land, animals, money, goods, a devout husband or wife, devout children, devout workers, devout and faithful rulers, good government, good weather, peace, health, self-control, good reputation, good friends, faithful neighbors, and the like." - Luther's Small Catechism, The Fourth Petition of the Lord's Prayer

So, if God tells us to pray for "devout and faithful rulers," why is it so misguided to suggest that we might also want to vote for some?