Taking my vote seriously
To prepare for voting, I prayerfully considered what is needed in my elected officials. These are the people that I am paying for their expertise to do the job of governing. I am also putting the power of the state into their hands. They will run their part of the government by the consent of the governed. I may be their boss, but I am giving them the power to make decisions for me. It’s like the power of attorney, I authorize them to make binding decisions for me. Only in an election am I asked to rate their performance. I am giving them an awesome responsibility. How do I choose?
First, I want character. This is generally understood but hard to define. The Boy Scout Oath and Law exemplify what I’m calling character. Someone with good morals, who will put my (all people’s) needs before their own, who is trustworthy, and acts in my long-term best interests. I am giving them power of the government over my person. They will make the rules and enforce them, and I am agreeing.
I was trained and employed in science, By science I mean the logical and transparent way of questioning and discussing our understanding of the real world. The process includes: continually gathering data, sharing the data, discussing how the data was obtained, comparing the data with our current understanding, and only then making conclusions, and having the humility to realize that the conclusions may be wrong and even need to be changed with new data. This second consideration for my vote is reality-based decision making.
Only when these two considerations are met, will I consider other characteristics such as: Are they effective? Do they have the required skills and knowledge to do the job? How do they gather information? What process do they use to make decisions? Will they be transparent so that I can understand why and how their decisions were made? What have they accomplished in the past, and how was it done? What long term effect will they have on the community?
This is my own thought process for choosing how to vote. I realize and hope that others have their own criteria. I suggest that each voter list or at least consider what they want in their elected officials.
Let the Bible admonition, “By their fruits you will know them” be the guide.