I am honored to be a citizen of this great nation. I am privileged to live in a state where my vote for President actually matters. I was filled with an enormous sense of responsibility when it came to casting my vote by mail ballot (due to the birth of my daughter, Catherine Rose on 10/26!). I watched the debates. I researched the amendments and other candidates up for various state and local legislation and offices.
Public officials deserve and receive my respect and gratitude. They are servants of our city, state and country and do so much to allow us to enjoy so many civic services. My right to vote is also something that deserves and receives my respect and gratitude; hence my efforts to make informed decisions and my efforts to ensure that despite a major life event that both my wife and I would still have the opportunity to vote.
My faith would encourage me to be such a dutiful citizen. St. Paul writes in his letter to the Romans (13:1 - 7):
Let every person be subordinate to the higher authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been established by God.a2Therefore, whoever resists authority opposes what God has appointed, and those who oppose it will bring judgment upon themselves.3For rulers are not a cause of fear to good conduct, but to evil.b Do you wish to have no fear of authority? Then do what is good and you will receive approval from it,4for it is a servant of God for your good. But if you do evil, be afraid, for it does not bear the sword without purpose; it is the servant of God to inflict wrath on the evildoer.c5Therefore, it is necessary to be subject not only because of the wrath but also because of conscience.d6This is why you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, devoting themselves to this very thing.7Pay to all their dues, taxes to whom taxes are due, toll to whom toll is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due.eI am indebted to the many soldiers, leaders and citizens of America who have made it possible for me to have a voice in the government of my country.
And yet, throughout this election season, I became more and more disenchanted about the entire political process.
Being in a swing state, I am disgusted by the amount of ads - television, phone, mail - that have littered my life over the past few days, weeks and months. Not only are they annoyingly misleading and hurtful, they cost money. Lots of money. Millions of dollars worth of money. Money that could be spent helping those without shelter, without food, without clothing. Money that could be spent on something as noble as education. Money that could help to erase our national debt.
Backtrack to the annoyingly misleading aspect of the process. The "fact-finder's" rate of accuracy is probably closely tied to the political slant of the news media used to offer the supposed "truth". Coverage on television tonight, again depending on your network of choice, will offer the states' projected winner well in advance of the polls even closing. Fluctuating percentages over the course of the past few months with one candidate gaining or losing ground make for exciting news stories. After all, networks want us to watch their coverage of election night or the debates or the nightly news (and there are ads to be sold, too!). As my high school English teacher Mr. Francioli once chimed, "All news is inherently subjective."
Finally, it saddens me when these men and women who choose to be public servants lower themselves to bashing one another, smearing mud and attacking the other sides' views as opposed to promoting and defending their own.
We elect images. We are attracted to appearances. We rally behind our Mockingjay, fooling ourselves into thinking that being fiesty, witty, handsome/pretty, condescending, or even rude translates into some semblance of power.
I long for a candidate, at any level, who instead of raising funds to invade my home with advertisements does something with that money worthy of a higher calling. Think of how much good could be done.
I long for a candidate who instead of wallowing in dirt turns the other cheek and refuses to participate in a mud slinging contest. Someone who stands up for what they believe in and defends it, regardless of what the media or campaign advisors would desire or suggest. Think of how refreshing this type of purity would be.
I love our great country and I am proud to pledge my allegiance to its flag every morning with our entire school community.
And even though Superman may never come, I know that regardless of who is in any office, my allegiance is also pledged to my one and only King.
May God bless America.