Study Every Political Candidate Before You Cast Your Ballot

To The Reader’s Forum:

I’m writing this letter to communicate a few life lessons learned that now impact my voting in the upcoming election. When I was in school, I remember witnessing the inauguration of President-elect Dwight Eisenhower in January 1953. The adults in my family did not discuss voting, and I’m not sure that they ever did vote. In my high school social studies class, we students were encouraged to vote — as one of our privileges and duties — because we lived in a democracy. After graduating from high school, I went into the military and never thought of voting. After the military, I went to a state university college and in my classes, there was no mention of my right and responsibility to vote — so I didn’t.

About six years after graduating from college, I got involved with a group in a local election and voted for the first time in my life — straight party line. I did not even consider the qualifications of the opposite party candidates, as I was so focused on seeing the candidates I was working with get elected — which none were!

After this experience, I decided that my social studies teachers were right. I needed to study the issues and then vote for the best qualified candidate. I followed this process for several years and felt like I properly exercised my voting privilege/responsibility.

My perspective onvoting underwent a drastic change when I reached my early 30s. At that time, I was a born-again Christian and I realized that I now needed to measure candidates for office, and their positions, against Biblical values. As a Christian, I needed to support those candidates whose stated positions most closely aligned with the Bible. I realize that this position is likely only held by other Christians, but it does serve to allow for grading candidates on issues like abortion, court appointments, current POTUS, tax policy, job creation, etc.

In conclusion, I encourage all Christians to evaluate political candidates on their positions and to vote for those candidates whose positions most closely align with Biblical values — especially those running for federal and state offices.

Joseph Hewson

Ashville

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