One Vote at a Time

Humorists have had a field day with the campaign that ends today, lampooning the high-minded pretensions of today's political class. And I have to admit, there is a lot that's funny about a political campaign: the name-calling, the mud-slinging, slogans insisting that "It's Time for a Change!" countered by slogans like "It's Experience that Counts!" These are the rituals of politics in America. Whether our causes and candidates win or lose, there is something unique, exasperating, wonderful, bizarre, and, yes, even funny, about politicking. And for 1995 it all comes to a climax today. And so my first word to you today is to get out and vote. Many of the candidates for office where you live may be likely targets for the satirist's pen. But we can't let that discourage us from exercising the precious right for which our ancestors fought, bled, and died. We all have an obligation to cast our vote for the candidates we think are best. This reminder is especially urgent this year. Never before in all my long years of watching—and participating in—politics have so many Americans expressed such cynicism about government, especially the federal government. Pollsters report a mood of "fear," "anger," and even "hate" among voters all across the country. An astonishing 66 percent of the American people say they don't think the federal government can solve our nation's problems. That's why so many pollsters predict historic changes in many major races today. From the courthouse to Congress, many Americans are planning to "throw the rascals out." The good news is that this deep-running cynicism does not extend to our public institutions themselves. In times past, cynicism about government has toppled many countries into chaos. But nearly 70 percent of those polled say the American people are capable of self-government—of solving their own social and political problems. And that is fortunate, for the American system of constitutional government depends not only on the consent of the governed but also on the confidence of the governed. As Christians we have a special obligation to uphold our political system. Government is an institution ordained by God for the order and well-being of society. Today we all have the chance to demonstrate confidence in our political system by going to the polls and voting. Many times in history, one vote per precinct has determined whether or not a good candidate won election to office. And many good men and women are running for office all across America today. Cast your vote for them. Many crucial issues are being decided today as well, especially at the state level, which likewise could be decided by a single vote. Cast your vote as you think our Lord would wish you to do. Remember: No matter how discouraged we are about our country's condition, history can parade countless examples of times that were worse. We Americans are still among the most blessed people on earth. If you are disgusted with government, today you have the chance—the precious privilege and high obligation—to go out and do something to make things better. Ask God for this wisdom—and then cast your vote.


Chuck Colson


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