Preacher Girl’s Guide to Voting
By: Susan Schrier Clouse
Whether it’s national, state or local elections, these are the primary things I look for in political candidates and other ballot issues. What are your non-negotiables when it comes to voting?
For me, I look for candidates whose words and actions echo America’s mission statement, the Declaration of Independence. How they have lived their lives should reflect their belief that all people are equal and endowed by God with unalienable rights – like life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Yes, pro-life candidates are high on my list, as are those that want to limit the government‘s power (that liberty thing) as I follow my own dreams.
Further, which candidates are committed to protecting the rights laid out in the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights….
To live my faith, and live it “out loud,” in all aspects of my life;
To speak my mind, and speak it boldly;
To get my news from multiple sources, and not rely on a single source controlled by the government, a political party or any special interest;
To be able to gather with others to protest, to express my grievances with the government, in peaceful and orderly ways.;
To be able to own and carry a gun to defend myself;
To know that due process and the rule of law apply to everyone.
To be assured that the separation of powers is maintained between the branches of the federal government as well as the powers retained by the states, and ultimately by the people like me and you. For example, the federal government is responsible for protecting the country and its citizens, entering into treaties, establishing and enforcing immigration laws, and easing commerce between the states, but power over things like healthcare and education belong to states and individuals! Too much power in the hands of a few is tyranny.
In addition to those things, I’m also looking for which candidates support entrepreneurship, promote a strong free market economy, protect private property and encourage good stewardship of the environment. Yes, I mean capitalism.
And, of course, as a wealthy and powerful nation (and as individuals) we have a huge responsibility to care for the poor among us and around the world. This not only means giving money, but also helping people rise out of poverty. Freedom and capitalism do that better than any other political or economic systems the world has ever seen. I like candidates that recognize that!
So this is my checklist for evaluating politicians and other issues on the ballot. Florida has 11 potential State Constitutional Amendments to vote on as well! Lots to study!
Sadly, all of us humans are well, human. We all make mistakes. We all succumb to temptation. Sometimes those failures disqualify folks for political office and sometimes they don’t. That is up to the voters to decide.
Prayer is an important part of my discernment process. Asking God for guidance, especially when in doubt, is essential. “Lord, is this the right person, is this the right policy for such a time as this?”
I’m an old-fashioned girl who likes to vote on Election Day and then stay up late watching the results. Then whoever wins, I ask God to give them the strength and wisdom they need for the job ahead.
Please vote on Tuesday f you haven’t yet. The future of America will be determined by our decisions.