I have a job, several of them actually. I have everything I need, and then some. I've learned to be gratefully content with very little. This has made far more difference in my life than an elected official ever could.
I'm still going to vote today, and I am grateful I can. I'm thankful for women like Alice Stokes Paul, who was a suffragist and an American hero. And as a woman, I'd like the government to stay out of my decisions regarding my body. When the Presidency, House and Congress were all controlled by the "pro-life" party, and they had the chance to make whatever pro-life law they wanted... the issue of abortion didn't even come up. Our values become abundantly clear when one looks at our historic acts of commission and omission.
There are other reasons I'll vote today.
Presidents Washington and Lincoln believed it was not enough to win a war, they had to win in a way consistent with the values of their society and the principles of their cause. They insisted that prisoners be treated with the same rights they were fighting for. It is shameful that recent administrations have embraced a doctrine of preemptive war, torture techniques including water boarding, extraordinary rendition, classifying prisoners-of-war as "enemy combatants", breaking the Geneva Convention, and the concentration camps in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. I mourn the loss of over 162,000 civilians and combatants in Iraq and Afghanistan. I am sad that the historic peace churches were largely silent in the face of these moral atrocities. I am grateful that the current administration repudiated the Bybee Torture Memos in 2009. Let's choose leaders who can stand with Washington, and Lincoln, and Churchill, after all, they lived in equally perilous times.
Helping the poor has always been the Church's foremost responsibility. Sadly, the American church has been far more preoccupied with the prosperity doctrine than with ministries of compassion and mercy. Therefore, the government has been called upon to care for the least of these. However, when an administration faces the choice of feeding poor children or fighting wars to control the world's resources, the voice of the poor goes unheard. And if the church lacks compassion or mercy, from what source will a civilized society find it? And so we see the vilification of the poor, making it socially acceptable to ignore and abandon them, and this quickly becomes an issue of life and death. So how "Pro-life" are we when our people starve, and die from preventable diseases?
As a person of faith, I gain nothing when my friends and neighbors are denied basic civil liberties because of their sexual orientation. I could not cast a vote for any candidate, knowing he would deny basic human decency to my friends and neighbors.
America is fast becoming a place where the gap between rich and poor is more remarkable than ever. Our politicians are beholden to special interests, neither Democrat nor Republican are above reproach. The wealthy, especially corporations, influence politics to protect their interests, while the poor have only their vote, and increasingly, that basic human right is denied them.
Increasingly, we create exactly the kind of country our ancestors fled.
Please vote today.