Voting Your Conscience

By Deanna Spingola

15 Feb 2005

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Whether we exercise our voting privileges or not, most of us are affiliated with a political party for one reason or another. It may be because of family tradition or occupation associated influence. Ideally we should select our party because we endorse their platform. Unfortunately many individuals are ignorant of what their party actually stands for. It takes more than just looking at an obscure list. Perceptive people look at the voting records of our elected officials and ignore passionate campaign promises. Does he/she really represent our values? Prior to an election one says whatever it takes to persuade the uninformed voter – it is all rhetoric. Voters naively want to believe their candidates. We just do not want to believe that we may have been lied to. Few people pay astute attention to politics after the election. Obliviously some assume that the elected will function according to the will of the constituents. Political actions, as well as questionable political appointments, after the election actually reveal what he/she stands for. Usually those actions and appointments bare little resemblance to the campaign promises. Incredibly, even as the elected official disregards previous promises, his/her followers justify or manufacture excuses for those actions.


Most people voted either democratic or republican in our recent national election of 2004. Apparently relatively few voted for alternative candidates. After all, our friends and our national history teach us  that voting for a third presidential candidate is a wasted vote. Obviously, we want our vote to count so we vote for who we perceive to be the lesser of the two evils. The fact is the lesser of the two evils is still evil. The path to destruction is the same whether we vote for the democrats (Socialist Party A) or the republicans (Socialist Party B). Either comrade candidate will lead us toward their same objective of one world government. The parties are just taking turns depending on the logistics of the Senate and the House and what freedom robbing bills they can easily get passed without the voters catching on.


History should also teach us that neither party, no matter what they promise in the heat of an election, will ever really attempt to eliminate abortion, abide by the constitution, enforce immigration laws, punish the guilty, clamp down on or get rid of activist judges, protect religious freedoms, vote themselves a wage reduction or accept social security instead of an outrageous pension large enough to support a small country, reduce runaway federal spending or get us out of the UN. One could easily add a multitude of other items to the list. But big campaign donations, special interests and subversive agendas speak louder than the will of the voters.


Citizens should become aware of what their political leaders are doing. However, with biased media which also includes conservative talk radio the chances of this happening are slim. Many people would rather be entertained than informed. Many just do not believe that their government would systematically deprive them of their rights. I am sure there were German Jews who felt that way right up until they were loaded into a boxcar. Even when confronted with evidence people reject or deny what seems impossible to believe. The bigger the government lies the more credibility they have for some individuals. The media assists in the charade. It is typical to silence the voice of truth by discrediting the messenger. That has always been the usual tactic in any censored environment. And with the majority ownership of the media we are indeed in a censored environment.


What is one to do? Realistically the chances of a third party presidential victory are unlikely. The two (or one, depending on how you look at it) major parties are entrenched like an aggressive cancer upon our society. The cancer, with its tentacles, has corrupted the entire body. We live in the society, as described in the scriptures, where good is considered evil and evil is considered good. The bible is now considered hate speech while filthy language is freedom of speech. Perceptive people, aware of the dangers, are often regarded as conspiracy theorists or just nut cases. We resist taking a stand because of how we will be perceived by others. We are also discouraged by the magnitude of the opposition and the overwhelming task.


So, why would anyone leave either of the major parties? Who wants to join a minority party that will probably never win? What is wrong with just following the crowd; what is wrong with being in the majority? Everyone likes to be on the winning side – but the winning side of what? The answer is integrity. Party membership means commitment as well as complicity. When the party we belong to does not represent our values and beliefs we need to muster the courage to take a stand. A wise contemporary church leader, Gordon B. Hinckley, has encouraged us to stand for something. When a voter avidly endorses the candidates from the two major parties he/she is endorsing what those candidates do or fail to do. Commitment to a political party must never be placed before our commitment to the higher authority - God. When we join a group, a political party or a church we are telling the world who we are. We must understand that we are defining ourselves and our values.


When an individual is baptized into the church that I belong to that individual makes a covenant with God. If that individual honors their part of the covenant, then God will honor His part. The member’s part of this covenant includes the following:

1. I am willing to mourn with those that mourn.

2. I am willing to comfort those that stand in need of comfort.

3. I will stand as a witness of God at all times and in all things and in all places, even until death.


I think that the above is probably similar to most Christian doctrines. Christians are supposed to witness in whatever circumstances we find ourselves in. So do we endorse a party that vows to protect family life but continues to sanction abortion? Do we vote for those who promise to uphold the constitution but intentionally and inevitably trample it? Do we vote for someone who says he wants to win the war on terror but leaves our southern borders wide open? Do we vote for a party that promises to strengthen our communities but promotes an innovative economy which means trading with countries run by tyrants whose citizens work at slave labor wages which eliminates American jobs – all the while voting pay raises for themselves? Do we continue to vote for those who have repeatedly shown that they lack personal integrity? How can amoral people who cannot be trusted lead us anywhere but to destruction? When the wicked rule, the people mourn.


When we enter the voting booth and vote for that alternative candidate we are taking a stand. We are saying that we will not be an accomplice in the slaughter of pre-born,  innocent babies, the starving to death of helpless, disabled people or the destruction of the lives of our fellow Americans in illegal, undeclared wars. Our vote will not mean victory. It may not make any difference to anyone else. We will be in the minority. But being in the minority has always been the lot of those who choose obedience to God rather than submission to the rule of man. Whether in the lion's den, the fiery furnace or the voting booth we need to take a stand. Our choice may be meaningless to others but I believe it means something to God.


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© Deanna Spingola 2005 - All rights reserved

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