I am not a particularly political person.

I have a hard time not seeing two sides, three sides, maybe even four sides, to most issues.

I am not good with numbers and I find it hard to generate a lot of energy around dollars and cents.  Politics is frequently dominated by a concern with doing the math and speculating about monetary implications.

I struggle with planning  six  weeks in advance. Politics specializes in long term projections, ten-year plans, and the economies of some imagined future just beyond the horizon that will be either glorious or bleak depending on the electoral results.

I get mired in complexity.There are just too many competing perspectives. and too much conviction on all sides. In my experience, the paradigm you start with dictates where you end up and no one is really willing to be honest about their prejudices. Objectivity and dispassion are rare in the political arena. It is hard for most of us to see beyond the influence of our upbringing, our social standing and our inherited preconceptions.

Politics likes clarity, confidence and absolute conviction. Political promises leave little room for nuance, subtlety, confusion, or doubt. Politics does not do well in the grey zone. But the shadow lands are the geography I inhabit.

I travel in the terrain of ambiguity. The world in which I dwell has few straight lines and almost no iron clad conclusions that easily demand universal allegiance. I see no maps for sale in the political realm that point the way forward with perfect precision.

I am uncomfortable with the soundbite cliche that makes a good campaign slogan and a compelling political narrative. I am suspicious of group-think and uneasy around the zealotry that appears to be necessary for the winning political campaign.

And yet….

Today I will vote. I will vote without certainty and with slim conviction that I am actually placing my “X” in the absolutely best possible circle.

I will vote because I believe that exercising this fundamental freedom is the foundation upon which rests any hope for a decent, humane, dignified society. I will vote because I believe that this simple act has the power to move us infinitesimally closer to mutual accountability and a deeper sense of shared responsibility.

The privilege of entering into the democratic process by making the short journey to the local polling station and marking a ballot wherever one may choose to place an “X” is an essential ingredient for the respectful social discourse that is the basis of any civilized community.

I want to live in a democracy. And the health of democracy depends upon the engagement of all constituents, even those who find the intricacies of the political process bewildering.

So, however inadequate your grasp of the issues may be, however much you may feel confused and uncertain, get out and vote today.

Vote for the well-being of this “World House” we share.

Vote that every person may find their place in a free and democratic land that is welcoming and gracious.

Vote for the least of your brothers and sisters, for the marginalized, the poor, the downtrodden, the oppressed, and the voiceless.

Vote for leaders who will consider justice and fairness for all people beginning at the bottom of the social hierarchy.

Vote to preserve the beautiful creation God has entrusted to our care.

This is a vote for which our children and our grandchildren will thank us in the future.

 

 

 

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