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Friday, 20 April 2012

Choices and Responsibilities

For over thirty-five years – more than half my life – I’ve lived in Scotland. With some Scottish blood running in my veins as well (my mother’s side of the family emigrated to Wisconsin from Perthshire in the 1850’s), you’d think I might feel Scottish by now.

But it’s a funny thing, I still feel, at heart, American. Although to be fair, my perspective on world affairs and politics is much more European now, and when I go ‘home’ I feel foreign there, too.

These thoughts have arisen because today I received my official sample ballot for overseas voters for the presidential primary election taking place in June in California. I still have the right to vote for President, and the ballot also has the candidates running in the primary election for California state senator. I never vote for anything but President, though, because I don’t know enough about the myriad of candidates running for other offices and don’t feel it’s right for me to vote people in who may affect residents by raising or lowering taxes etc, when I personally remain unaffected.

President is different though, because the President affects more than just the US, and I am so aware of the sacrifices women suffragettes made to gain the vote for us that I feel it a responsibility to vote when I am informed and can. And also, I still have to file a federal income tax return every year, so that legitimizes my right to vote.

So, I open the papers and see that as a Democrat, my choice of Democratic candidates for president has narrowed to – one. This is normal, because the incumbent president nearly always seeks a second term, and his party normally endorses him.

So basically I don’t have a choice, and there is no point in voting until November when the choice will be between Obama and the Republican candidate. 

But I do have a responsibility, as a Christian, to be praying for the right man or woman to win the election, and then to be praying for that person to be making decisions which are good for the nation and the world.

I need to take that responsibility seriously.

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