Thursday, November 02, 2006

VOTING GOD'S POLITICS IN TENNESSEE

I've been listening to NPR and various other news media, both liberal and conservative, and continue to hear that Tennessee is one of the BIGGEE states where the election next week is going to be really important.

I know how I tend to lean when it comes to elections but I consider myself an independant and typically vote the person that I believe will uphold the values and stances that I deem as important. In the past I have voted for republicans, democrats, green party (yes I voted for Nader in 2000), and even libertarian. Do I agree with every single issue? Of course not. In the case of Nader, I did not like my options of Gore or Bush and I really believe that it is time for alternatives to an oppressive two party stystem that does not speak to or for me.

So when I came across "Voting God's Politics" from Sojourners I was intrigued. This is a platform that I can embrace. I have to admit that I pretty much agree with every single position that is held in this document. So next week my decision is being based on what I've been able to find in the candidates' positions.

Last night I rated Harold Ford Jr. (D); Bob Corker (R) and Chris Lugo (Green), trying to see how they measured up to God's Politics. They could have earned up to 210 points according to what information I could find on their websites and an independent political website and how it matched up to the God's Politics Platform.

Here are the results:
Bob Corker: 40
Harold Ford Jr: 110
Chris Lugo: 98

As always- am I thrilled with our choices? Not especially. I actually like Chris Lugo a lot but his stance on faith based initiatives simply isn't jiving with my thoughts on the "it takes a whole village" to create a whole community- that means churches, businesses, neighborhoods, schools, etc.. all working together.

For now, Harold Ford Jr. is looking like my choice- not because I vote democrat, not because I believe he is the perfect candidate, but simply because for now he appears to be the candidate that is standing closest to the platform that I identifiy with. But I'm still checking out their stances and I invite your reflections as well. Thanks.

addition:
It's 11pm, and I've been thinking again about my vote and voting my heart, my conscious and my mind. As I've looked over each candidate's positions I have a nudging to consider Chris Lugo as the person who would best represent the kind of decision maker/implementer for me. I know that this race appears to be between two people and two parties but from my perspective- unless we commit ourselves to voting our conscious and heart through prayer and discernment, the Republicans and Democrats will continue to take their power and mediocre leadership for granted. Maybe I shouldn't vote in order to try and see someone win but to add one more vote toward creating a future with more imagination and more political possibilities.

shalom,
jnorm

15 comments:

John said...

and even libertarian.

Whoo-hoo! Keep on moving on to perfection, Jonathon!

TN Rambler said...

Jonathon,
In 1980, I voted in my first presidential election. I cared neither for President Carter nor Ronald Reagan. So, I decided to vote for John Anderson...the major 3rd party candidate. That vote led to the Reagan era of Republican demogagery that has led to our situation today.

In my opinion, those of us who take seriously our duty to vote for candidates who embrace our values for more than what votes that can be generated cannot afford to waste (yes, waste) our votes on third party candidates that have absolutely no chance of winning in order to protest the choice that we have (or the lack thereof). In this race I have studied the candidate's stand on the issues (although it has been difficult) that are important to me. I also take into consideration the fact that Corker has been my mayor (I voted for him...a vote that I now regret) and my choice is to support Ford. Why? I believe that he will represent my views in the Senate, especially if the balance of power can be shifted away from the Republicans.

Is it a perfect situation? No. Could someone else be a better choice? Perhaps. But until a third party can be truly viable, I cannot in good concience vote for someone who hasn't a snowball's chance of winning. My disgust with this administration and the rest of the Republican leadership is too strong.

Sorry for the long winded response.

Wayne

anonymous said...

chris lugo has a pretty cool beard though, and you know it reminds me of abraham lincoln and everyone loves honest abe.

-abbie

St.Phransus said...

thanks for your thoughts y'all. wayne- i feel ya man. i'm torn- REALLY REALLY TORN.

Mary Beth said...

Gee, thanks, Jonathan. I thought I had decided who to vote for and then you go and make me have to think again...

St.Phransus said...

i know i know... i'm always throwing wrenches into things like this. just think about what jen has to put up with. :)

wyneken said...

I'm sorry, and I acknowledge that you do give lip service to the concept of thinking hard about the issues. But if you are capable today, after having cast your vote AGAINST the only electable alternative to George W. Bush in 2000, of still blathering on about how you "didn't like" having to make a clear but obviously, for you, too difficult a choice between Bush and Gore, then I cannot feel any respect whatever for your "thoughts."

In fact, consider this sentence, which pretty much sums up everything. "I did not like my options of Gore or Bush and I really believe that it is time for alternatives to an oppressive two party stystem that does not speak to or for me." It's really all about you, what you like, what you believe, and who "speaks to or for me."

Grow up. There are 6 billion people out here who are NOT YOU. We're awfully damn sorry if you don't like the choices you have to make, but playing this self-righteous game of make-believe -- pretending that whatever vote makes YOU feel good and wise and superior is the correct vote to cast -- is contemptible.

Wayne was more kind and diplomatic about this, but frankly, I am sick of people who are intelligent enough to understand the gravity of the issues we face, but lack the moral resolve to do the only possible thing that can help. Have fun with your self-inflated philosophical dilemma. Maybe the real world will still be around when you decide to join it.

Kevin Rector said...

Wyneken was mean and ungracious in his comment. I disapprove of his message.

Whit Johnstone said...

If you don't want Coker and a Republican Senate, YOU MUST VOTE FOR FORD!!! This race is really, really, really close, and which party controls the the house could hinge on your vote. Please, for the sake of the nation, if you belive that torture is allways wrong, and if you want to keep Social Security the way it is, and to end the war, and the awful deficits, then vote for Ford.

St.Phransus said...

wyneken,
i'm so gracious that you know me well enough to know whether i am paying lip service to thinking hard on these issues or not, and are able to articulate it with such astuteness.

"Grow up. There are 6 billion people out here who are NOT YOU." Here again, thank you for knowing me so well that you recognize my greatest fault- I'm stuck in a 7 year old's body and I suffer from multiple personality disorder (8 billion personalities).

"We're awfully damn sorry"... I'd love to know who the "we" that you are representing is and if you'd be so kind to have each one come to my blog and respond in the comment section- my stats might just go from 55 readers to 59 or maybe 59 + 8 billion.

Not to assume anything about you but I am assuming that you:
*vote democrat (almost always)
*see the current administration as not only bad for our country but dangerous to the world (as do i)
* attribute the current president's re-election in 2000 partly to nader and those who voted for him.
* speak for everyone who is not me (or at least 8 billion of them)?

Ok my response to all of this rhetoric is this:
1. Sorry

2. This story ain't about me or you my friend/comment advesary. Your calling me to the carpet is just as indivdulist and self centered as what you are claiming of me.

3. If you believe that much changes drastically whether its a democrat or a republican that we've voted for then i'm afraid maybe you've let your Unk Sam tuck you into bed and tell you bedtime stories for too many years.

4. When I first started collegee my aunt told me that I voted democrat because I was young and idealistic. She said that when I got older and had a family of my own that I was responsible for I would see that the republican party is the party for those who want a responsble and financially stable and sucessful life and society.

That was 12 years ago and I agreee, I do want a responsible and sucessful society, one that my children will grow up happy in. But I look around and I don't see our politicians being very responsible. I don't see either the Republicans or Democrats being very good caretakers of our earth or our brothers and sisters here and abroad. You are right, this isn't about me, but that is exactly why I won't GROW UP. In fact I would invite you to consider drinking from the fountain of youth. Instead of settling for the STATUS QUO that Unk Sam has spoon fed you at bed time since you were wee high, consider using your voice and vote to INVEST in a different future.
Thank you for your views.
jnorm

Anonymous said...

When George Washington left the office of presidency he warned of two things:
1. A close relationship with Britain (They had just finished fighting for their freedom)
2. A two party system (He believed that it would usurp power from the people)

In 2000, I voted for Nader, so I guess I am just as much to blame as Jon is. So you can come over to my blog and berate me as well. But its my vote and I will vote for whomever I want to. You can do whatever you want to with your vote.

St.Phransus said...

Whit- you MUST vote...? That sounds a lot like the current Christian president's style of directives.

Until you become the next Christian dictator of our country I'll stick to voting the way I "discern" is best.

shalom friend,
jnorm

Joel Thomas said...

Voting in my first U.S. Senate race at age 19, I switched my support in the last week from Democrat Ed Edmondson to Republican Henry Bellmon, the incumbent. A lot of my Democratic friends were dismayed. How could someone who worked in McGovern's campaign two years earlier do such a thing? Well, I thought it through and I had my reasons. People have the right to try to politely sway you, (so, I'll put it out there, I'd prefer you voted for Ford) but I don't live in Tennessee or claim ownership rights over your conscience.

After being told by a couple of ministers in 2004 that those who voted for John Kerry (and I did) risked going to hell, I've become more sensitive to the rhetoric that is often used to try to intimidate people to vote a certain way.

St.Phransus said...

thanks joel.

John said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.