How many would like the opportunity to vote? How many with the right take it seriously? How many think it doesn’t matter?
This morning as I filled my ballot out and scanned it into the computer at the polling place for the first time as a Buffalo resident, I really thought that it is such a grace to have this right of suffrage.
We elect “one of us.” At least in theory, we elect someone like ourselves. Sure they may be privileged, but they are not super-human. They are flawed and broken and in need of healing. They are often tempted and corruption is all too easy to fall into. Even the strongest amongst this fraternity have been brought to their knees by the immensity of it all.
We try to police them but we often enable them with the promise of our vote in return for one more favor. We turn them into superstars and media celebrities at times with out 24-7 CNNs, Fox Newses and MSNBCS.
We love to see them fail.
And there will be failures today. Stumping will beget nothing for many and for every winner there are others that are defeated. Even after the election the sun continues to shine on the good and the bad alike as Qooheleth tells us in Ecclesiastes.
The poor continue to be poor. The broken stay broken and there are things that we have little or no control over despite our tendency to think so.
Elections make us feel strong–as if we have a voice in this large country where we believe that our elected officials represent us all. Rich and poor, straight and gay, white and black.
But isn’t it true that nobody can do it all?
In a republic we are actually weakened by giving others the right to speak for us.
A government by the people, weakened by people.
As we vote today, let us pray for those who we put forward to represent us. May they know that they cannot do it all. And may we know that we need to do much more ourselves than simply elect them.
Government and the health of a nation is not just the job of those we elect.
It is all our jobs, together. In union with the whole Church and the whole country, nay, the world.
Will we care for one another, despite laws that say we should ignore those in the womb and would put our aged out to pasture?
I vote yes today.
How about you?