I love elections, especially the presidential elections. I like hearing new ideas about public policy and watching candidates make their case as they travel to meet voters. But, the incessant bickering, name calling and political posturing of this election are enough to burn anyone out on politics. As a key swing state, and home of one of the closest Senate races in the country, we have been the lucky recipients of millions of dollars of advertising by campaigns, PAC’s and interest groups trying to earn our vote on the issues they think are important or for the candidate they support. But the political discourse seems more contentious than ever, and the daily bombardment of TV ads has caused many of us to tune out entirely.
Amidst all this, it’s easy to forget that voting is one the key ways we participate in our democracy and articulate our priorities as a society. Each of our votes makes a statement about the type of government that we believe will best serve our families and our neighbors. No candidate is ever perfect, but by voting for candidates who will prioritize economic fairness and policies that protect vulnerable communities, we make a statement about the Commonwealth, and country, we want for our children.
As most of you are well aware, the Center’s motto is Learn, Pray, Act. I encourage you to use that framework when considering how you will cast your vote on November 6th. Learn about the candidates’ positions, and then reflect and pray about the priorities of your faith tradition and how they are or are not represented in the candidate’s platforms. As a friend reminded me this week, despite claims made by some, God hasn’t endorsed any of the candidates or political parties. It is up to us as individuals to reflect on our faith and the issues we think are important, and then vote for the candidates that most closely align with those values.
Finally, take action and cast a ballot. Encourage your neighbors and friends to do the same and maybe get involved and help drive people to the polls. Though many of us can’t wait for this election season to pass, we must remember that this is our chance as ordinary citizens to make a statement about the critical relationship between our elected representatives, our families and our communities.