Rage And Discernment

I think the dividing line between voters is between rage and discernment. Some people are so angry that they are going to vote for someone that embodies their rage but will not look beneath the surface. Others might be equally as angry but are very interested in looking beneath the surface. They are more interested in voting for someone who is exactly as he says he is.

We vote only twice, once in the primary and once in the general. That makes our votes extremely important. You cannot vote based upon rage or any other emotion and hope that everything will turn as well as the candidate says. If you do, then all you are voting for is a mad man (literally) and the only hope you have is that he continues to be mad – at anyone or anything.

I do not understand the lack of interest in a candidate’s history, his personal life, and his prior decisions. All of these things tell you who the candidate really is. He can say things all day and night, but prior decisions reveal the soul. Is not the reality much more important than the appearance? The reality is what you will live with once yesterday’s illusion has faded away, replaced by today’s illusion. Perhaps those who vote for rage are uninterested in looking at their own prior decisions?

In voting, you either vote your principles, or you vote based out of other, less enduring reasons. For something you will only do twice a year, you would think people would research, pray, and think through and make no off-the-cuff decisions. That some treat voting as a trivial exercise is deeply saddening. That some put no thought into their vote is sadder still. Yet I know people who voted for popular candidates just because they were popular, as if they were electing president of homeroom, instead of president of a country.

I think at the bottom of it all is a society-wide cultural flippancy that takes too little, if anything at all, seriously. The same people who vote based on whims thought that the Daily Show was news and wear t-shirts that read, “I read fairy tales ironically.” You get what you vote for; you get what you choose. Hypocritically, these people are among the loudest complainers over the results of their actions. They have never learned that you can choose your actions, but you cannot choose the consequences of your actions. That is something that should settle deep down into our souls – consequences are not selectable.

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