It’s Election Day in America. You should go vote today.
As I said the other day, I voted early, and in spite of my general pessimism about the good that can be done politically for the needs of the world.
But I still think you should go vote. And when you do, here’s what you should be thinking about.
Think about voting for the person who wants to really help other people, in actual, material ways.
Avoid voting for the person who thinks helping people means hurting them, demonizing them, taking something away from them, or restricting them.
Vote for the person who centers compassion, mercy, justice and love.
Avoid voting for the person who centers economic growth, profit margins, and the building up of worldly treasures.
Vote for the person who speaks positively of our communal life together, as a society and as people dependent on relationship and community for thriving.
Avoid voting for the person who promotes a “go it alone” ethos, who touts rugged individualism and every-man-for-himself type ideas.
Vote for the person who demonstrates sympathy and concern for the hurting, the sick, the immigrant, the stranger, the weak, and the destitute.
Avoid voting for the person who encourages envy and emulation of the powerful, the strong, the rich, and the ruthless.
And most of all, remember that your duty to your fellow human beings doesn’t end when you walk out of the polling place. In fact, it’s just beginning. As John Howard Yoder once wrote, “(Voting) is one way, one of the weaker and vaguer ways, to speak truth to power.” Challenging entrenched power, and building a better world that works for everyone on it, involves so much more than your vote. It involves you building relationships, practicing love, desiring justice, and working in any large or small way you can for the world you want to see.
Go vote today.