Political Overload

For what seems like an eternity we Americans have been inundated by political advertising. Radio and TV ads, flyers and pre-recorded phone messages. Talk show hosts Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage have had a heyday digging themselves into their own holes as apparently they don't like any of the candidates.

On the other side we have been bombarded by campaign ads in support of or condemnation of individuals or propositions that claim to be the ultimate solutions for the economy, health care or the war in Iraq.

According to a 2007 report on CNN,1 the cost of all this marketing will exceed $3 billion—twice what was spent in 2004. This should be a sufficient fix for even the most hardened political junkies to keep them satisfied for another four years.

Nearly everyone is upset to the point that ABC reported recently that Congress has an incredibly low approval rating of 14 percent. One constituent e-mailed me a few days ago wanting to confirm the validity of an Internet story. She summarized her thoughts, and probably yours, with these words: "This type of 'stuff' adds to the confusion of an already confusing situation," she wrote. "I guess like everything else we need to leave it in God's hands."

Interesting Precedent

She is right, of course. But where does that leave us? Do we just forget all this "confusing stuff" and not vote because God is ultimately in control? After all, what difference does my single vote make anyway?

In 1881 Ellen G. White was asked if Adventists in Iowa should vote for prohibition. Her answer was a swift "Yes...Everywhere, and perhaps I shall shock some of you if I say, if necessary, vote on the Sabbath day…if you cannot at any other time."2

More Than Issues

It is interesting that at the same time she was encouraging Battle Creek Adventists to vote the incumbent mayor out of office. (So while the counsel for Iowa voters dealt with an issue, here she was clearly focused on a candidate.) He was, according to the record, a drunk, a womanizer, a gambler and a thief. He was assuming that Adventists didn't vote and particularly since the election that year was set for a Saturday. He was wrong however. They did vote. And, as a result, he was summarily ousted from office. Ellen G. White believed that as a citizen we have the right and the responsibility to vote.

Two Recommendations

So what should we do?

First, be informed. As confusing as the propaganda is and I believe sometimes intentionally designed to be, do the research, read the voter pamphlet and vote, even when necessary, for the lesser of the evils.

Second, pray earnestly between now and November 4 that the Lord's will will be done—done on this earth, in the United States, in the Northwest and in your city, as it is in Heaven. And then we with Daniel can rest assured and say, "Blessed be the name of God from age to age, He changes times and seasons, deposes kings and sets up kings…" Daniel 2:20–22.

As Fox News and CNN, Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage and a host of others try to set the agenda for the next eight years, and as the sound bites and media ads build to a deafening crescendo, we can sleep at night knowing that His will will ultimately be done on earth.

So be involved. It is our duty.

1CNN Oct. 15, 2007.

2Herbert E. Douglass, Messenger of the Lord, Chapter 13.

"This type of 'stuff' adds to the confusion of an already confusing situation..."

Featured in: September 2008