voting

Winston, you have lived through far more elections than I, so I have no doubt your insight is born of experience and the reflections of a keen mind. But I have to respectfully disagree with your line of thought on the election.

A man’s natural tendency is to contemplate his vote from the standpoint of how it will influence the election. I live in a state President Obama will carry handily, so other than adding to a candidate’s popular vote count, my vote means nothing. But with my own experience has come this insight: A man ought to think about his vote not from the standpoint of how it will impact an election, but of how it will impact his soul.

I can’t vote for the moral equivalent of play-doh. I can’t vote for a candidate who’s rearing to plunge us into full-scale war with Iran, who doesn’t seem to have any problem with a government indefinitely detaining its citizens without trial or due process, who has no inclination to roll back the surveillance-industrial complex or our overseas empire, whose agenda will further bankrupt our Republic, and who insists there are circumstances legitimizing infanticide.

I have made such compromises before, each time convincing myself I chose the lesser of two evils and therefore made the best possible choice under the circumstances. Then the choices, brought to us by the party establishments, got progressively worse. But they’re the electable ones, we’re told, and so we come to heel on the platform, whipped into position by the messaging apparatus of the same ruling elite that prospers regardless of who wins. I’ve had enough.

Does this make me impractical? Hopelessly so. More than a few people who know me well would accuse me of such. But on a regular basis I watch men pinch incense to the gods of pragmatism before sacrificing their principles on the altar of expediency. A man cannot do that for long without it having an impact on him. His votes don’t change the fate of the nation, but they do change him, and not for the better.

Our Republic will not be saved by elections, politics, and certainly not by the faux statesmen we’re told are “viable.” From the standpoint of a man’s soul, the vote he cast yesterday is of the utmost gravity. From the standpoint of salvaging what’s left of our Republic and rebuilding Western civilization, what that man does in his family, his church, his community, his life’s sundry associations, and in the countless moral decisions he makes each day will, in the long run, have far more impact on the culture than whatever he does in the voting booth.

Contemporary partisan politics is a binary language, and the only way that will change is if enough people refuse to accept the contrived choice between 1 and 0. If that makes me impractical and irrelevant, so be it. Part of what it means to be a conservative is to learn from experience, and I have voted for the “lesser of two evils” enough to learn that when it becomes a consistent necessity, it’s time to consider a different course.

The times are dark, my good Winston, and the fault is indeed ours. Thus have we made the world.

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