Sometimes The Best Choice Is To Not Choose

There are few things better than a good night's sleep. I have to admit that who to vote for has wakened me on several nights recently, in prayer as to whom to pray for, and peace to vote for the best candidate. The trouble is the peace simply didn't come in who to vote for, as much as it came in the decision to not vote in the 2012 election.

Many arguments are made about thousands who have given their lives for me to have the right to vote. The Suffragette Movement of women taking to the streets remind me of this great privilege they fought for women to have. Voting is a civil right, as thousands took to the streets in the 1960s to gain this privilege for all Americans, no matter their race, creed or color.

But the key terms here are right and privilege. While I am extremely grateful for the right and the privilege to be a part of the voting process, I also have the right and privilege to acknowledge, by not voting, that the candidates running for office have agendas and concerns that on some level affect who I am as an Evangelical Christian.

It's all been spelled out by media pundits what the character flaws are in each candidate so I won't belabor the point. Obama's moral stance on abortion and gay marriage kept me from voting for him in 2008. Nothing's changed. I thought for a while Romney might be a better candidate, but, he seems to have inconsistencies in his campaign that affects my peace about casting a vote for him as well.

So, I will exercise something greater than my right to vote, and that is to cast fervent prayers before God that He allows in office the candidate that will guide America in the best direction for the people. As I write this, a hurricane is barreling toward America's shores, already leaving in its path devastation and death. I've lived through a few hurricanes in my lifetime and know how unsettling a storm can be. Perhaps America, God is giving us fair warning; a reminder of sorts, that His Word is Truth, and altering it for our own agendas may not be best for us in the long run.

Be blessed. Pray before you vote, should you decide to do so. To be true to your conscience is to be true to yourself. At the end of the day, you will have to live with your decision. If you don't have peace, it is better to not vote and let God choose; than to violate your conscience by bowing to the peer pressure of others to just vote.

I live in a very Red state, and based on the way the electoral college is set up, always feel like in elections as close as this, my vote is wasted. A lot of people sense this to be true. America really needs to move to the popular vote, and until then, I won't waste precious time if I don't have a candidate I truly support and believe will make the nation better for the 99%.

Both of these candidates seem very Presidential. I trust whichever one wins will represent America, well, presidentially. But, which one has God deemed best? I trust I'll know in a few days after the votes are counted, and the "people" have spoken.


Hopefully the November Election Will Give Way to a Happy Thanksgiving

Taking a few steps away from the presidential campaign that's heating up for the big vote in a couple of weeks, I've begun thinking about what I'd like for my Thanksgiving menu, and, if I want to order out, or cook a holiday meal. I will be in the middle of a graduate program that I am currently going through the motions on in hopes of being done by Christmas. So, depending on my emotional energy come Turkey Day, will determine if my local deli will do the honors.

But, for certain, I am going to try to make a cornbread dressing, substituting quinoa for cornbread, and leaving out the eggs. Since the nutty flavors of quinoa taste better after a couple of days chilling in the fridge, I'll make it on Tuesday, meaning less work on the day of. Instead of a whole turkey, I will do turkey breast and a few turkey legs for those preferring the fattier part of the bird. Vegetables will be honey-glazed yams and blanched asparagus. Dessert for myself will be minced meat pie since I'm the only person I know who loves it, and I'll probably do an apple pie for everyone else.

Anyway, that's that. Stay in prayer that the election votes will give us a clear winner long before Thanksgiving Day, and that America will be able to count her blessings in peace.


A Betting Person Would Do Well To Put Money On Obama Serving Second Term as U.S. President

After all the political stomping and thousands of miles traveled to sell points on which candidate should be President of the United States for the next four years; it will ultimately simmer down to having very little to do with the 'selling' points. People like familiarity. And simply put, most people are not familiar with the life Mitt Romney has lived. No matter how genuine he tries to present himself, the shiny silverspoon life he was born into comes blaring into the hearts and minds of the people. I know people shouldn't have to be discriminated against because of their wealth; but, money matters really do come up in the conversations I'm hearing; particularly from the much younger and much older voters nearing, and in retirement. Quite frankly, the younger voters are most apathetic, but realize President Obama 'cares' enough to give them the most attention, addressing issues most relevant to their needs. Older voters realize they have too much to risk putting someone in office who's talking about vouchers.

The real reason a betting person would put their money on President Obama is simply because his life most reflects that of the American people on some, oft times painful level. He was born to a single mother. He eventually had a stepparent. His mother's domestic abuse allows him to be empathetic to children, and sympathetic to women who experience this silent epidemic. He ended up living with his grandparents. He went to a prestigious college. He padded his royalty status. He married and had kids. He's known student-loan debt. He's known inner-city life and the crises therein. I could go on. His life has pretty much run the gamut, and people believe he relates; he cares; he understands. However, to what degree people believe this, and how stirred they will be to show up, will be determined at the polls in November.

After last night's Vice-Presidential debate attempting to lay sole blame on President Obama for the condition of America's coiffures; and, a reminder that a man with five sons can only offer lip service to how great our military is, makes one wonder if he really knows the depth of sacrifice required on real-world America for starting wars.

This is an election for the history books. In three decades, how will the story read? Will President Obama be the comeback kid who put America back on steady footing; or, will it read as a one-term failed attempt at overcoming the real great divide in America: Partisan politicians? I can only hope it doesn't resemble the horror of 2000; dangling chads, and the embarrassment of a voting system so riddled with questions that even the world stood up and took pause. Yes, at this step of the game, if I were a betting person, and quite frankly I'm more of a "bird in the hand beating two in the bush" kinda' person; I'd have to put my dollar on President Obama's victory speech in a few weeks.


Cigarette Packaging More a Nuisance, Than Effective

In a perfect world, cigarette smoking would be as healthy as eating a piece of fruit, and it's aroma would be as perfect as an award-winning rose. But, (pun intended) they aren't. They are toxic to the body, and overpowering to the untrained senses. People who 'enjoy' smoking truly 'enjoy' smoking. It is their sanity saver. For some it is a bad habit they just can't shake. For others, too often the young, it's a way to look cool (pun intended). However, whatever the brand, and the dose of nicotine, stopping this wasteful habit would do you and the world's airspace a lot of good. But, this is not the purpose of this entry.

The government needs to stop wasting money. Putting tragic pictures on cigarette packaging seems to be aimed at scaring youth from indulging in their first pack. In this case the ads may be effective. The problem I have with the packaging is that if we're going to target cigarettes, let's not stop there. Let's put battered and bruised, even deceased women on beer cases, if that's what you call that big 24-pack I, too often see while standing in a grocery store line before the 'big' game.

Since the Marlboro man has long been banished from the small screen; let's go on and banish the silly guys sharing beer and football. Beer is a worse enemy to society than cigarettes, if you can believe that. People choose the ravages that may occur from cigarette smoking. But no one chooses to be hit by a drunk driver with beer cans strewn all about his/her vehicle. No one chooses to be attacked because alcohol affects most people, let's call 'em out, men, with a demon of nonsensical rage that allows them to say and do things they otherwise wouldn't have the courage? to say and do if they were sober.

I didn't know it existed; but October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. I shook my head at all the tv football commentators in their multi shades of purple ties; and, could only wonder if that was to convince viewers that many of them weren't perpetrators behind closed doors.

While I don't smoke, the price alone should be reason to say there has to be a better way. But, I have other vices I'm sure. I love chocolate cake, but I don't want an ad of a 500 pound person on my packaging to infer my risk of gaining weight. I love coffee; but, I don't want to be told that I might risk anything if I have more than two cups. While it's fine to put a warning label to protect the manufacturer, people have smoked for centuries. Many have lived to ripe old ages. I close with a restatement: If you're not going to target all vices, don't just target some.  For some people, smoking is the difference between sanity and jumping off a bridge; at least that's what they've come to believe. People should always be given incentives for stopping bad behavior; but, antagonizing full-grown adults with fear shouldn't be one of them.