civil-duty-is-not-complete

So you’ll go to the polls on November 8, (or perhaps you’ve already voted). You will reject the lesser of two evils. Or vote your principles. Or support your party. Or affirm its platform. Or vote 3rd party.

Check that off. You did or will do what every patriotic American does.  Right?

And then you can sit back down. Phew!  That’s behind you. Election 2016 will be over. 

Sure, there are real consequences to what will happen on November 8. But you will have voted. You’ll be back in four years. Or maybe even in two years if you’re a real radical.  So let’s move on.

It’s time to get on with life.  

Being a Parent

If you’re a parent you’ll recall those nine months leading up to the big day. Before ultrasounds it was kind of like an election. You know that the big day is coming. You may have your preference as to a boy or girl. But you wouldn’t know which it would be until Election Day, umm, I mean Delivery Day. Boy or girl?

But then that little girl appears. She’s been your focus for nine months.  But why worry yourself with the next years of her life?  You did your job. You played your part. You became a parent. Time to go back to your busy life. You had plenty on your plate before little Emma showed up. How could you add anything else?

Yet, you realize that being a responsible parent does not afford you the option of simply sitting back down and expecting that little Emma will be self-accountable, self-ruling, or self-sustaining. 

Rather, you know intuitively that Emma has no chance of surviving, much less flourishing, without you. Her entire being is dependent on you and the commitment you will make to her (and to be certain God’s guiding and sustaining hand).

So, why is it that you know these things about being a parent or nearly every other discipline in life?  But when it comes to sustaining one of the most precious gifts you and I have been given, our blessed America, you act as if your vote is enough?  

Voting is not Enough

Surely, deep inside, you know your vote cannot be enough. Yet on November 9th, over 100 million Americans will repeat what they’ve done for the past century or two. Like Rip Van Winkle, they will slumber for another electoral cycle, leaving the Republic in the hands of broken, self-interested and, in too many instances, corrupt people.  

America, our ship of state, owned by you and me, will be left with an unaccountable captain and crew to guide it, likely on a course you and the majority of America reject. Yet, rather than stepping up and holding the captain and crew accountable, will you wash your hands, turn on your favorite TV programs or engage in your favorite hobby, and then wonder why our future is so dire?  This is unquestionably a formula for failure.

One Reason America is Failing Politically

We know, instinctively and experientially, that people, left to their own devices, and with little to no accountability, will degenerate rapidly.  But add in the opportunity to enrich oneself, with prestige, fame and even wealth, and the likelihood of self-interest and corruption skyrockets.  Too often we elect good men and women to a political office and then walk away, assuming that they will not change.  But they do.  In overwhelmingly large numbers.  

But the fault lies at our feet.  We expect too much while inspecting too little.  If we desire to see change in Washington, our state capitol, county commission or city council, then it’s incumbent on you and me to change our course.  Voting has never been enough.  In fact, it’s almost meaningless if you are unwilling to show up the other 1459 days before the next 4 year election cycle.  

Birthing and guiding a nation, like parenting a child, is a thankless and unending job.  It requires day after day, and year after year, engagement.  Anything less will ensure that the two main options offered today, Hillary and Donald, will look like saints in four years, as a lesser of two evils philosophy will continue to degenerate further into the abyss.

Is it too late to change our nation, state or community?  Only time will tell.  But act as if November 8th completes your civic duty until the next election cycle, and I assure you, our Republic will fail to recover from our current tailspin.

So, for the sake of your family, your offspring, and your fellow citizens, step up on November 9th and commit to the battle for your nation, state and local municipalities.  Future generations will either thank or curse you based on your response.

And if you’re not quite sure what to do, then reach out and let’s talk, regardless of your political persuasion.  Together we can make a meaningful difference.

Mark