Hold your nose and vote! I can identify with that sentiment, for I have done it more than I care to remember. But what are the alternatives?
1. Don’t vote at all.
2. Vote for someone who has no chance of winning in order to make a moral statement.
3. Get involved. Work on a campaign for someone you can gladly support. Better, run for office yourself.
I can make an argument for any of those options, but because I have no desire to be active in party politics, nor do I care to forfeit my franchise (and effectively give half a vote to people and causes I reject outright), I go on holding my nose and punching my butterfly ballot for a less than ideal candidate.
I have accepted that this is the way the world is, a mixture of desirable and undesirable traits of fallible human beings. And I know that this is the way it will be until the King of kings decides it is time to change it.
In the meantime I must defer to one of Jesus’ more difficult parables. In the parable of the unjust steward, Jesus tells a story about a worldly wise man who knew how to game the system. It’s hard to understand how Jesus could yarn a parable that casts an unjust steward as a role model, but he seems to do just that. The man is about to lose his job, so he uses the boss’s money to buy favor with the boss’s customers.
Jesus said of such, "The sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light", (Luke 16:8 NKJV) and surely they are. They can win elections and advance their agendas, while so often people of faith get themselves co-opted by one party or another, one special interest or another. We’re like the mistress that gets promised the world so long as we don’t come to the dance. They want our attention, but won’t give a commitment.
As I write this, I have no favorite presidential candidate and frankly don’t know which one warrants my vote. Every one of them is flawed, some more than others. Some are too flawed to even warrant my consideration. But I want to be wiser than the children of this generation. No politician will get my vote simply because that candidate makes the right noises at election time just to appeal to my personal demographic. And you shouldn’t be swayed by that either.
You should be as wise as a serpent, but harmless as a dove. At the same time realize that whoever wins office is a fallible human being who will make mistakes and do things we won’t like. It will always be that way as long as the children of men rule themselves. Until the Kingdom of God comes we must suffer the fools and be grateful for the occasional statesman. And our prayer should be that our freedoms will remain so that the gospel can continue to have free course in the public dialogue. From where I sit, that would be for candidates who stand for the Constitution as written and intended, Bill of Rights and all. And once elected, they should be the targets of our prayers and not our venom.
Accept the fact that no candidate is perfect. Vote for people who believe in this country and will defend your God-given rights, that the gospel may have free course.