Tony Jones and electoral decision-making…

Tony Jones: Why I Didn’t Waste My Vote

“For the third election in a row, I voted for the Independence Party candidate in the Minnesota gubernatorial election. (Yes, if you’re counting backward, that means that I voted for Jesse “The Body” Ventura – and proudly so!) This year’s candidate, Peter Hutchinson, garnered only 6% of the popular vote, but that means that the Independence Party will continue to qualify for public funding in statewide elections. And, more importantly, it means that there will be three candidates on stage again in four years…”

Read the rest of the article here.

I was especially struck by Tony’s comment at the end of his article that read “I find that the rhetoric and mean-spirited politics of the Republicans and Democrats so rarely represents my own politics that I’d just as soon vote my conscience – even if it means that my candidate finishes a distant third.”

That assertion is helpful to me as I continue to consider and reconsider how political involvement intersects with my identity as a follower of Jesus. Do I accept the status quo of a two-party system where I often find myself disgusted by both “legitimate” opponents? Or if a third (or fourth or fifth) candidate is running that I find myself much more comfortable with, is it “wasting my vote” to invest my vote in the ideology and approach of someone who has no chance of winning?

Tony’s also a member of the group that goes by the name of Red-Letter Christians. Check out their site…interesting reading and thinking. I don’t invest as much in politics as…say…a Jim Wallis or a James Dobson…and I think I have legitimate reason for that. But I think folks like Jim Wallis have an important counterpoint to the agenda of the Christian Right that seems to suggest if you’re not a card-carrying Republican, you’re about to be consigned to the seventh circle of hell. If nothing else, we need the voice of the Wallises and the Red-Letter Christians of the world to push us to think further and deeper than we tend to think…

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