Ask Yourself...

by Sam Melden

between now & November 8th…

Why do I vote?

Is there power in voting?

Do I take it for granted?

Do I take it too seriously?

What do I expect to happen when I vote?

How will I make sure that it happens after my ballot is cast?

Are my expectations of this person too high?

Are my expectations to low?

Where do I get my information? Why do I get my information there? Have I ever tried to get my information elsewhere? Are other people who get their information there exactly like me? Is that a problem?

How would someone of a different race, gender, religion and economic class interact with this election?

What am I afraid of?

What am I hoping for?

What is the role of my president? My senator? My governor? Any of my representatives? Am I judging them on their actual job description and jurisdiction or based on my personal expectations for them?

Am I bent on living against something or wiling to live for something?

How else do I voice my opinion and articulate my values in this society?

Does my electoral vote line up with my everyday vote?

If not, what does that say about me?

Do I vote with my dollars with the same intentionality?

Do I expect someone else to solve my problems? Even if I need help, am I willing to accept it?

Does my vote only pertain to my interests?

Am I willing to vote if the cost to me personally will benefit someone else?

How do those who agree with me live the rest of their life? How do those who disagree with my live the rest of their life?

Do I know anyone personally who strongly disagrees with me? Is it a problem if I only surround myself with people who think like me?

How does this candidate represent me to the watching world? How do they embody my view of how the world should operate?

If everyone was as informed as I am, would I be comfortable with the democratic process?

Am I willing to change? Am I willing to change if presented a compelling argument?

Am I seeking out an argument or a solution?

Is my vote an isolated action or a part of a life aimed in a congruent direction?

If it is true that no vote is a perfect solution, am I glossing over the negative sides of my cause or candidate?

If it is true that no vote is a perfect solution, am I willing to fight against the negative sides of my cause or candidate?

Is my support conditional?

Or am I willing to exhibit fidelity to my cause or candidate while challenging their short comings?

What have I ignored in the past? Will I ignore it the next time?

I believe the citizen asks these questions and thoughtfully, honestly considers the implications of what they reveal. Give it a shot.

(Also, I need to mention, I have amended a previous post to make space for the exception. I was wrong to paint with such a broad stroke, even if to make a point. You can read that here.)