Tomorrow is election day. Well, it’s one more of those many “election days” stretching seemingly endlessly across the primary season. Much attention will be placed on California and whether Hillary Clinton wins big enough to clinch the Democratic nomination for President or whether Bernie Sanders will win big enough to continue his relentless march toward what he calls a ‘contested Convention.’
But there are importance races to decide up and down the ballot in many places. Here in Iowa we have to choose the best Democrat to run against the perennial Republican Senator Charles “Chuck” Grassley. The two front runners are Rob Hogg, a youngish Cedar Rapids attorney and state legislator who as the endorsement of the Des Moines Register and Patty Judge, a former Iowa Secretary of Agriculture and Lieutenant Governor in the last Democratic Administration in the state.
I have supported Hogg in a letter to our Quad City Times published on the same day that same paper endorsed Judge. Hogg is the more progressive of the two candidates, extremely strong on the environment and with a proven record of bringing together farmers and environmental activists to find common ground and get things done.
Judge is, in my opinion, much too much in the pocket of “agribusiness” and is also (I know, this is ageism!) is in her 70s and wants to be elected at least to a six year term as senator and presumably would have to serve much longer than that to work her way up to any position of influence in the Senate.
But I encourage any and all to turn out to vote on June 7, and every time we have a chance to make our voices heard at the ballot box. Many have died to give us that privilege. Thousands stand in line in developing countries just for the joy of being able to cast their first actual vote. There is even a theological principle behind the system known as democracy:
That is: the dignity and worth of each individual. Paul says in First Corinthians, chapter twelve that “there are a variety of gifts but the same spirit.” And that those gifts are given for the common good. Elsewhere, he describes the church as a body with many members and those members, when working properly and working together, helps build the body up in love.
It is not all that different in any community. Power, concentrated in the hands of a few, will inevitably become destructive. But leaders elected with consent of the governed, and presumably, held to account by those same folks, will most likely reflect the values of the community and work for that same common good.
But the system only works if we do.
Our political system is only as effective as we participate in it.
So, vote on June 7.
And every time you are given the privilege.