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Saturday, February 6, 2016

Can I Make a Post About Politics Without Offending Everyone at Once?

Just to be clear, that's not bad grammar you're seeing in the title.  I'm not asking permission.  I'm honestly considering whether or not I am capable of making such a post.

The answer is, probably not, but here we are on the eve of yet another GOP debate, and I am disturbed about some things.   

Look, I've been registered as a Republican for... well... forever.  If anyone wanted to scrutinize my voting record, they would find that I've mostly voted for Republicans, although there have been a few notable exceptions.  In 2012 I threw my vote to Ron Paul.  He didn't really count as a Republican, right?  Whew.  Now that that's out in the open I can probably move on with this post, since there is no one left reading it.

This time around, I have watched most of the debates for both sides.  I think it's best to make educated decisions.  Speaking honestly, I feel as if there is no excellent candidate in this race.  This is baffling to me with such a large field, but I guess it happens.

The thing that is bothering me most is the "vote your conscience" mentality that is always pervasive in evangelical circles.  I don't have any issues with the concept, itself.  Of course we should vote for people whom we believe will uphold the kinds of ethics and values that are most important to us.  That just makes sense.  But the candidates that seem to have acquired the most support based on morality are frequently and publicly arguing about which one will use the most force, which one will protect us best by killing others, which one will suppress and discriminate in such a way that we (Americans, I guess) will have more of what we want, regardless of who it hurts.  I'm not following...

And then you have a guy like Bernie Sanders.  This is not an endorsement.  This is so far from an endorsement it's ridiculous.  But I like Bernie in the, "this guy is cute like my grandpa was," sort of way.  And when questioned about faith recently, his response was this:    

“I believe that, as a human being, the pain that one person feels, if we have children who are hungry in America, if we have elderly people who can’t afford their prescription drugs, you know what, that impacts you, that impacts me... and I worry very much about a society where some people spiritually say, it doesn’t matter to me, I got it, I don’t care about other people. So my spirituality is that we are all in this together and that when children go hungry, when veterans sleep out on the street, it impacts me. That’s my very strong spiritual feeling.”

Look, from what I can deduce (and somebody please correct me if I'm wrong), Bernie Sanders does not profess to be a Christian.  He is Jewish and essentially a non-practicing Jew, at that.  And yet look at these words!  Do they not scream, "Care for the least of these!"  Because that's what I'm hearing.

Again.  This is not a Sanders endorsement, but it is an inquiry.  Why aren't any of the Republican candidates saying this?  Couldn't one of them decide to run on a ticket that promises compassion?  I have to think this would be enticing to those of us still leaning slightly to the right who might like to "vote our conscience" and who currently hear our conscience coming out of Bernie Sanders' mouth!

Well... maybe that's as deep as I want to get tonight.  At least here.  At least now. Who wants to watch the debate with me via FB comments in half an hour? 


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