How To Choose A Candidate
By Bridgette Bryant
“Give us a king!” they shouted, not knowing that once they had one, he would hold them under his thumb.
“Give us a king!” they shouted, not realizing that they had more power without him.
“Give us a king!“ they shouted, purposefully giving up their freedom.
And so God gave them a king. I can’t help but see parallels in this story from the bible to the way things are transpiring today. With the primary elections just around the corner, it’s important to make sure we get our values in order before we take a step toward the polls.
Let’s be real and answer the question; why is it that the people so badly wanted a king? My theory? We want a king so that we don’t have to be responsible. So that when things go wrong, it’s not our fault. We want a king because it’s easier to sit back and complain than it is to stand up and help make things right.
There are two ironies to the fact that we like to put all of the responsibility in the hands of governing officials and all of the blame as well. The first is that we cannot ignore the fact that if we chose to stand up and make them do what we want them to do they would have to listen – please remember, it’s “for the people,” people. The second is that, though we want to pass off the chore of getting our nation in order to others (whom we choose to ridicule every step of the way), we also want freedom, control and the ability to fully dictate our own lives.
We see no problem with the fact that these stances contradict one another.
Next week, as a republic, we will choose our kings. And just as in days of old, we will choose them, abuse them and improperly use them.
We will berate them for making mistakes even though not one of us has not done so ourselves. Still, they will be bashed because they have decided to stand up in front of an audience and put themselves on the line (some of them for the direct purpose of making your life better). Their lives will become publicly mocked simply because they were willing to do what most people are not willing to do: get up and do something instead of sitting at home complaining and yelling at the TV.
We will select them based on the “D” or the “R” next to their name and then be surprised when nothing is getting done in legislature because they’re just bickering back and forth.
We will not call upon them to do the job that they were elected to do, which is to be the voice of the people. We will let them make bills that have hidden agendas, we will watch them pass these bills and we will do absolutely nothing about it. Then we will sit in our homes or at bars and express our anger and debate politics with friends and enemies to absolutely no avail and, even though we live in a nation that is literally supposed to be governed by ourselves and for ourselves, we will sit back, be angry and unsatisfied and do nothing about it.
“Give us a king!” they shout, unwilling to do the job themselves because it’s hard work.
“Give us a king!” they shout although they are already angry at the kings who came before.
“Give us a king!” they shout, knowing that no one man can solve all the problems.
“Give us a king!” you shout? Fine. It is time to elect your king.
When you go to the poll next week, remember what it is you are voting for. If you’re like the rest of the world, you’re very angry with what’s going on right now in government. There’s only one way to solve this problem. We have to start electing officials who are going to represent the people and not themselves. The only way to change how things are being run is to change those who are running it. If we switch out one at a time “good cop for bad cop,” we will begin to build a sustainable structure of leadership that can finally start to make a difference.
When selecting your officials, policy issues are almost irrelevant because there will always be two sides to every story. What an elected official wants to do may not be a realistic possibility because he has to get others to agree to do it as well; so how he feels about an issue is not nearly as important as who he is on the inside. Is he a man (or woman) who will stand up for what is right? Is he/she willing to fight when doing so is required? Will he/she still be interested in you and your life after they are elected? Will he/she not give in to the temptation of corruption?
If you really want to see things start to get better, this is how you cast your vote: Take the time to look into the life of the king that you are voting to place over yourself. Put down your desire to match on issues because no two people are going to agree entirely on everything. Do not seek to find a person who has lived a perfect life. You will not find one.
Look for those who are willing to stand strong when the weather is bad. Choose the person who should have quit trying to succeed a decade ago but simply does not have the chemical makeup of a quitter and thus carries on. Find the person who has given of themselves when no one was watching and there was no ballot with their name on it. If you must choose a king, and you must because even non-votes are votes, select someone different than what’s been chosen in the past. It’s the only way to arrive at a different outcome in the future.