Saturday, November 11, 2006

The No Vote Cop Out

The No Vote Cop Out -or-
I’ve never been invisible before

I read about some folks who didn’t vote this last election; claiming some kind of new found freedom from within that transcends the injustices that might be imposed by the regime change. One person I know only as
kylben, wrote that he’d finally achieved some magic plateau of freedom and had removed himself from the fray by not voting. He was not sanctioning another person to run his life, having risen above that. ( link via title bar ).

This reminded me of a scene from the movie Little Big Man where the blind Grandfather, while under attack by the mounted soldiers, is led to the safety of the river; being told that since he didn’t see the soldiers in his visions it means he’s invisible.

“I’ve never been invisible before” the old Indian smiles and laughs as he walks gingerly to the river. The soldiers who are destroying everything and shooting everyone ignore him completely. “My heart soars like an eagle.” This works great in the movie; now let’s try to remember that movies and reality sometimes don’t make for a good fit.

There is a difference between standing on grand principles which govern individuals to lead lives that permit inner peace such as those taught by our Savior during his ministry and those responsibilities which are associated with good citizenship here in the United States of America. The freedom or peace which kylben claims to have found can be achieved anywhere and is not dependent upon any form of government. The collective success or failure of our country depends on the concerted efforts of each citizen to express his/her opinion regarding the running of the country at the polls.

I read where a concert pianist in communist China was incarcerated for many years as a political prisoner; his crime, playing music which was deemed unacceptable in that communist country, music that had its origins in Western culture. The time spent in his prison cell did not deprive him of his music as he pictured the floor as his personal piano keyboard, practicing each piece that was recorded in his mind until his eventual release.

The human spirit has the ability to rise above any and all challenges regardless of a particular religion. It is my belief that the Comforter or Spirit is a gift from God, a gift which will lead to an endless progression while in mortality and into the eternities; that “peace “mentioned in the scriptures.

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27

The responsibility to voice opinions and desires through the process of electing fellow citizens from among us is not to be taken lightly. We must decide the direction of our country one vote at a time; call it the “agency” of a nation. I have written on this subject previously, that our country was the Lord’s gift to provide a land where the government reflected the desires of the governed. With the acknowledgement of divine intervention in the affairs of men go some fairly straight forward warnings not to abuse or neglect the requirement to be a righteous people. There are many references in the Book of Mormon concerning this land as the land of promise and also the obligation of this people to live in accordance with God’s will.

“And if the time comes that the voice of the people doth choose iniquity, then is the time that the judgments of God will come upon you; yea, then is the time he will visit you with great destruction even as he has hitherto visited this land.” Mosiah 29:27

The voice of the people mentioned in that verse implies that those placed in positions of leadership are the result of having been voted into those positions; to esteem that responsibility with such little regard sends a message to our Father in Heaven, no different than turning away from his teachings to follow the commandments, a sin of omission, if you will, for not taking your stewardship of citizenry and magnifying that responsibility.

We are perilously close to a point in time where the voice of our country is evenly divided; the one side espousing a secular independence from God and all things holy while the other remains constant in obedience to the commandments mentioned in the scriptures. The idea that it doesn’t matter who is elected to represent us as a people, that the damage inflicted on the governed or good that can be accomplished while in positions of power is not only incorrect; but could be considered a statement of ingratitude to those who fought and sacrificed to establish this nation. In similar context, the decision to refrain from participating in basic civic duties, voting being central to that purpose, sends a message to our Creator that we no longer desire His blessing in support of our nation.

I cannot accept the false premise, “I’m above that, I’m already free and nothing they can do will in any way shape my destiny or my peace.” In case you missed my point and without stepping too far into the mire, “What a crock!”

Many years ago my wife and I tested the waters of multi-level marketing, with some small degree of success. It was important to invite others to become part of our operating base, either as retail customers or as independent distributors to increase our overall production. I’d invite folks to share a dream, something which would motivate them to spend additional time working, to build a business of their own. They would provide me with the “carrot” that would be held out in front, something to remind them that all the extra effort was worth it, that they were building on their dreams.

I had one fellow, a friend from church who seemed like a sharp and driven individual. I asked him what his dreams were; perhaps a nicer house, a new car in the driveway, vacations that didn’t require having to stay at a relative’s house in the spare bedroom and things like that. Instead I got a “crock” answer; “Whirled Peas”, I like that bumper sticker, something about wanting to share the Gospel with the rest of the world. The fact was he didn’t want to admit that he had material desires that might challenge his poorly thought out strategy for accomplishing worthy goals that would improve his financial edge and provide for his family. He gave me a smug “holier than thou” blow off and went his way. I have news for you; it’s a lot easier to help others if you have the ability to provide those materials necessary, the path to hell is paved with good intentions.

I’m afraid the “I didn’t vote, I’m above that now” response to a clearly defined civic duty is nothing but a cop out. “I’m at peace with the world and all my efforts to help elevate them from the hole they are in”, requires that everyone wear washable brown shoes. We are responsible for thoughtfully preserving a structured society that will continue to bring down the blessings of our Father in Heaven, anything less leads to that deplorable state which removes those blessings. You have a responsibility to vote for those who will more closely follow the same high ideals that you have chosen for yourself, even when the choice may only be for the lesser of two evils, that choice must be made.

I failed to mention that I originally was led to kylben’s article via Old Whig’s Brain Dump. I send my thanks and apologies to Al for the oversight.

I’ve submitted this as my entry for the next Carnival of Liberty which supports independent ideas and philosophies.

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