Tracy you inspired me. Although, I disagree with your choice, I admire what you wrote in your letter to Joey. Although I haven't had many political discussions with my two year old, here is a similar letter I would like to leave to Jackson.
I voted this morning. This year has not been the most compelled a candidate ever made me feel but I do believe I made the right choice. It may turn out not to agree with the popular vote of my fellow Americans but I do believe that my conscience couldn't let me vote otherwise.
Although my vote for the McCain/Palin ticket was not completely heartfelt, let me explain why I chose what I did. First and foremost, I believe that character is extremely important. I think many Americans have lost the idea that character isn't something that can be overlooked. For years now our leaders have not been men and women of integrity. Most often they seem to be self loving and greedy. It is frustrating that we have come to expect the worst in our leaders.
I look at John McCain and I see a man who has displayed high moral character in so many situations --- not only his great resolve while a Prisoner of War. Although I don't agree with all he did as a senator, I do respect that he has stood up for his beliefs no matter what the political tide. He has consistently been a man of his word. He is an American hero. He is strong and proven. He understands that we cannot just give up on things, even if they become unpopular. He knows that once we have begun something, we have to finish it. He understands that what is right is not always popular and what is popular is not always right. Has he had missteps, absolutely. Has he stood unyielding for what he believed no matter what popular opinion would sway him away from doing? I believe so. He has had years to experience things like foreign policy and economic issues and has stayed true to his character throughout those times.
His opponent has not in my opinion, displayed the character that I long to see. His associations with questionable ideologies and people of questionable character themselves, makes me hesitant. His meteoric rise to power leaves my soul unsettled. His lack of genuine experience leaves me haunted by the idea that he could soon be the leader of the free world. I cannot get on board with "change" for change sake. It has to be the right change.
Jackson, you were a beautiful gift to your mom and I. I didn't know the person who birthed you. I do, however, know the one who gave you life. I know many will not agree with me, but for me, life is the most important issue. I often think about the importance of life as I look into your big, brown eyes. I consider the sanctity of human life as I hear the giggles come out of your mouth. More than once I have said, "Thank God, your birth mother chose to keep you". Your life has added so much to mine.
I have been saddened to hear people compare aborting pre-born children to death in war. The comparison is fallacious. Are innocent people killed in war? Yes. Is the primary goal of war to kill the innocent? No. The sole and primary purpose of abortion on demand is to end life. Therein lies the difference between the two. I believe that difference is monumental. This is a heated and difficult issue but there simply is no logical comparison between death in war and the calculated taking of a life for "convenience". I believe Senator McCain (and even more so Governor Palin) would fight for life with this in mind. Their opponents have said that they would not want their children "punished" with a baby. I think the difference in thinking is between blessing and punishment and that the value of life is spoken in those terms. Maybe I am sensitive to this because of our lack of being able to conceive and the true blessing your life is to me everyday. I cannot understand how anyone could call a child punishment.
Many people say that this issue is not pertinent to the political process. That it is a moral argument. Still, I believe that God would have His people take stands for our beliefs. I think time after time in his Word people were called on to do this very thing. Often in Scripture it happened. There are many times when God called His people to voice their opposition a political ideology. Think about Esther, Moses, Daniel and Shadrach, Mesach and Abednego, just to name a few. They stood up to the political leaders in their time fighting for moral issues in a very public stage. Each of these stands changed the politics of their time.
Because of these examples, I was compelled to vote the way I did. Can I stop abortion on demand in this country? Perhaps not. Still, I believe God is calling us to stand up to the status quo. He is calling us to say that there are some things that we have to fight to preserve. Just because the enemy has won this battle in the past does not mean we should give up and sit on the sidelines. Although, I doubt in my lifetime we could ever go back to become a legally abortion free nation, I do believe that God can and has done the impossible. He could again if He willed. My faith is not dependent on what I think will be God's reaction but on what I believe is consistent to His will.
Character and life are the two things that led me to vote the way that I did. Were there other "issues" that I considered? Yes. They were more secondary to my conscience and truthfully, I am not sure that either candidate articulated an argument for how they would "fix" them to make them any more important to me.
I believe that the vote I made today was for your future. I feel that the McCain/Palin ticket was the best choice to help you understand what character is all about and what your mom and I believe to be one of the most important stands for a Christian to take. I long to be an example of a Godly man and an informed citizen for you.
I wanted you to respect that character and life still mean a great deal to me. Others may disagree with whom I have chosen to believe best represents those things but I must follow my convictions. I have to follow the strong sense within me that this choice is right. Let me say, God is in control. He knew before time began how this election would come out. I pray that as you grow into a fine young American and the man of God I pray daily that you can be, that your dad's stand for character and life will be something you remember and respect.
The best part of America is that we have a choice. I respect others for their choice even if I don't understand them. I pray that you will respect opposing viewpoints as well as you grow up. I made this choice because I care about today and tomorrow. For me and for you.