Voting Selflessly

My dad is running for state representative in his district, and during the course of the campaign he has heard many different viewpoints as to what is important to that person as a voter. Opinions are opinions, and I’m not going to try and convince anyone that their value system is wrong. (I don’t think I’m going out on a limb to say that gun ownership is not one of the more important values though.) However, I propose that when you vote you consider what is helpful to everyone and not just yourself. If for example, you are worried about your taxes being too high, I think it would be wise to take a step back and examine just how helpful it is to everyone to vote for a candidate based solely on how that candidate will affect the amount of money you’ll have this year.

I am guilty of voting for my own needs and wants as well, unfortunately. Since I am very involved with agriculture, I tend to base much of my voting decisions on it. I believe that the platform I push for ultimately helps fight against poverty and other important issues, but at the same I sometimes find myself focusing only on the fact that this or that decision if enacted will positively affect my farm. A reevaluation of my voting priorities is probably necessary, and I challenge others to examine their own priorities as well.

Values, people.  Values.

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About danielrosmann

I am a farmer from southwest Iowa. I raise organic cattle and hogs as well as various organic crops. I type with two fingers and average about 4 words per minute. I start many sentences with I. Also, I'm less funny in person probably.

3 thoughts on “Voting Selflessly

  1. What a great post, thank you. If only we could see that everything that affects others affects us as well. And every decision we make can affect others. I pray I can vote this way.

  2. I have just come to realize the importance on voting with others’ needs in mind since being out of school and out of the protective “bubble” it creates. I’ve spent my 6 post-college years in a small city in which nearly half the population lives in poverty, and I live in one of the most poverty-stricken neighborhoods. It’s really changed the way I think about poverty, privilege, and yes, voting. I think one of the biggest priorities that has changed for me has to do with the war; I’ve never been a fan of war, but since women can’t get drafted and I and most of my loved ones have NO intention of enlisting, I could imagine that this issue doesn’t “affect” me. But I feel sick at heart thinking of the millions of people this DOES affect, on both sides of the ocean, and it’s very important that I vote accordingly. I think we’d all do well to outgrow our “bubble.”

  3. Indeed! We must vote for the Common Good – and thus, for the other!

    I had a really wonderful opportunity this past summer to attend the Convention for the Common Good in Philadelphia, PA. The convention brought together over 800 delegates from across the USA who were determined to put faith into action. Over the course of three days we heard from speakers, caucused together and ratified a “Platform for the Common Good” which over 5,000 people have signed and which can be found at:

    The opening night featured a keynote speaker, Dr. M. Shawn Copeland, a tenured professor of Systematic Theology and African Diaspora Studies at Boston College and associate professor of Systematic Theology at the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University of Louisiana. In a beautiful speech, she noted that there is a COST to creation and that cost is the need for all of us to work and live both together and as individuals for the Common Good. She noted that the Common Good calls for intelligence, intention, judgment and responsibility and that it leads us to “friendly authenticity in which we seek one another.” Copeland continued on to say that democracy requires creativity and hopeful imagination and that it is a demanding obligation to be a citizen in a democracy. The Common Good, she argued (and I agree), flourishes only in a democracy of men and women with well-formed consciences and values and who orient themselves towards the good. As Catholics, we need to call for and embrace change; cultivate the virtue of hope through human imagaination, intelligence, sacrifice and love; and use all the resources we have (Catholic and Faith-Based organizations, spiritual writings; theologies, relationships, people, prayer) to seek and live and VOTE for the Common Good.

    “Human good is us making ourselves…It is us making us who we may become…It is us striving to make our country the best hope this side of the reign of God.” – Dr. M. Shawn Copeland [paraphrased from my notes]

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