One week from today … the outcomes of our single vote

We’ll know who the next president is and be in the history books. This was a historic election. Either we have a man of color in the White House or a woman for a vice president. Perhaps a tidal wave of voters surged to the polls. The returns will be interesting as we sit and watch in anticipation.
Was the race neck-and-neck as we’ve been hearing for some time? Did the negative campaigning make an impact? Are there more new Democrats elected to office, or more Republicans?
Are we satisfied that the current economic crisis will be resolved soon? Will it be to the benefit of the people, or the businesses, corporations and wealthy? Are we headed for another Depression rather than recession? Will people be living on the street? Are food lines in store for us? Will our parent’s and grandparent’s ‘treasure troves’ (compulsive hoarding) become useful again? Or, are we too worried about the whole thing?
What this all boils down to is – your vote matters. With less than a week to go we need to take some time and really learn about the candidates, their plans/programs and the various issues on the ballot.
I can’t think of anything more useless than going into the voting booth with no idea of who to vote for and/or what the different issues are. I confess there have been a few elections where I didn’t really understand what I was voting for and whether to vote for it or against it. I felt frustrated and foolish. I was filled with regret when I left that booth, determined not to find myself in that position again. I want to know what my mark is agreeing to!
There is always at least two sides to every issue, argument, proposal, and so forth. It’s our responsibility to study up on them. When I taught history, I just couldn’t rely on the textbook. I sought out the primary sources as often as possible. I wanted to know more about what happened and WHY.
I’m applying the same theory to the election. I know my vote matters, though there are views about that. Some think it ‘won’t matter anyway,’ or ‘it’s really already decided, so why waste my time?’
For me, it isn’t a waste of time. It’s my opportunity to indicate my opinion and have it grouped with hundreds of thousands of others. I believe in a government ‘of the people, by the people and for the people.’ Well, we can’t have a government of the people led by people someone else appointed. We the people choose them FOR the people.
We all know there is corruption in the world, in politics and everywhere else. But remember, there are still more righteous people. Who we are matters. What we do matters. Each one of us can make a difference.
Personally, I think we shouldn’t even have parties. We should hear what the person has to say, what their beliefs are, whom they support and ask questions before we pray to be guided in our decision about who to vote for. Do they believe in the right to bear arms? Are they pro-life? How do they feel about same-sex anything?
One vote multiplies. If someone wins (or loses) an election by less than 100 votes, or even less than 500 or 1,000 in a larger election, well that’s worth a recount, right? So, the one vote became a group voicing an opinion.
I looked up the value of one vote and found some interesting information:
• In 1776, one vote gave America the English language instead of German.
• In 1800, one vote in the Electoral College gave Thomas Jefferson the Presidency over Aaron Burr.
• In1845, one vote brought Texas into the Union.
• In 1868, one vote saved President Andrew Johnson from impeachment.
• In 1876, one vote gave Rutherford B. Hayes the Presidency of the United States.
• In 1876, one vote changed France from a Monarchy to a Republic.
• In 1916, one vote won Woodrow Wilson the Presidency by carrying California by less than one vote per precinct.
• In 1923, one vote gave Adolph Hitler leadership of the Nazi Party.
• In 1948, one vote gave Harry Truman the Presidency by carrying California by less than one vote per precinct.
• In 1960, one vote per precinct in Illinois would have given Richard Nixon the Presidency over John Kennedy.
• In 1973, Sally Ann Knab and James Hardy had to draw straws because of a tie vote in their race for La Honda-Pescadero Unified School District.
The election between George W. Bush and Al Gore went down in history, too. Do we really know who won? Those few votes made a difference. The public spoke. Perhaps we didn’t get heard as we should have, but we were heard nonetheless. Let us remember.
After we’ve studied out who and what we’re voting for, I suggest taking that information to the Lord. Ask Him if your decision is in accordance with His will, that our nation and our world leaders be blessed to lead in righteousness.
The Lord loves each one of us. This country was founded upon His principles, and is the promised land. We state, ‘In God we trust.’ I’ve heard it said we should pray to God like everything depended upon Him, then get up off our knees and go forward like it depends upon us. Just think of all we can accomplish when we rely on Him and work together? Our leaders need our prayers.

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