Voting for Broccoli

I rarely speak out on topics that might tick people off.  And I’ve tried to keep my mouth shut the last few months. But I can’t keep silent any longer.

***To save you some time, I’ll share who I think might want to read this: ***

You might want to read this if you are a God-believing, poor, or middle class person. You might appreciate it if you are a self-made wealthy person. You might like it if you are down-and-out, but expect that to change, somehow, someday. If you gravitate toward true principles, then you might find this interesting.

With the premise that we are all children of God, we have to consider the greatness that lies within each of us. We were all created to succeed, to grow to our fullest potential, to enjoy prosperity: the bounteous blessings our Father in Heaven has in store for each of us. We have within us seeds of excellence!!

What does this have to do with elections?

Well, I remember being in a political science class my senior year of high school. We were studying a method of government that was based on the premise that everyone would be well cared for. Everyone would have all they needed, because the government would see to it.

I came home confused because it seemed and sounded like the right plan. But I knew my father disagreed with the philosophy, and I couldn’t figure out why. I was embarrassed to bring it up, but I finally mustered the courage to ask him about it.

“Dad, what’s so wrong with it? Don’t we as Christians want to make sure everyone has what they need? Shouldn’t a government do what they can to make sure everyone has the prosperity they want?”

His reply was profound. In essence, he said, “Leslie, it all goes back to how God deals with us.”

With that, he had my attention.

He continued, “God sent us to earth to live and grow and learn. He wants us to reach our highest potential. Many choices we make lead us to bondage of one form or another. For example, if a young woman chooses to be sexually active before she is married, then if she becomes pregnant, her 100 choices were just reduced to a small handful of choices. She must decide if she will have the baby or not, if she will keep the baby or not, if she will quit school or not. No longer is her future wide open. Her choice reduced her own freedom. Or maybe it is a sexually transmitted disease that evaporates her wide variety of choices.

“On the other hand, as we make wise choices, such as getting a good education, we are laying the foundation to be able to make hundreds of choices in the future. So many more doors open to us when we have made good life decisions. The better the choices we make, the greater our freedom.” I continued to listen. “Now, do you think God wants us all to make good choices?”

“Of course,”

“Does He make sure that we do?”

“Not really, He’s kind of left us on our own to make mistakes and stuff.”

“And when we make mistakes does He protect us from feeling the pain that comes from making mistakes?”

“No, He doesn’t.”

“So, He put us all here on earth, knowing full well that we would make mistakes and knowing full well that we would suffer for those mistakes.”

“Yeah, I guess so… seems kind of harsh.”

“What happens to a child that grows up with a parent that doesn’t let him get hurt, or bails him out every time he goofs up?”

“It ruins the kid. He grows up thinking that life owes him something. His pain is always someone else’s fault.”

“Honey, that is why we always look for leaders that understand that principle. Give us a leader who will protect our freedom… to succeed, and even to fail. Give us a leader who is more concerned about what God thinks than what a deteriorating society thinks. Let others vote for candidates who promise to protect them from the consequences of their own unlawful choices, but as for me, I want leaders who hope I succeed, but will not try to save me from myself. I have lessons to learn, too. I want to become all I can be, and that requires that I learn from my mistakes.”

As I thought about what my dad said, it raised more questions in my mind. As I got older, and married, and struggled through school and struggled to raise little kids, I often reflected on his words.

For example, I tried the best I knew how to live the way I thought God wanted me to live. But where did that get me? We were living in poverty, and the stresses that go with financial lack sent me into anger and depression. I lost confidence in the notion that the righteous will prosper. I felt pain.

And I remembered my Dad’s words and wondered what I must be doing wrong to be living so miserably. Our multiple attempts to rise out of the wretchedness were of no lasting effect. But I believed him, anyway, and continued to vote for political leaders who represented philosophies consistent with my beliefs. I believed we could make it on our own. I believed that we would somehow find our own solution to the problems with Social Security, and medical insurance coverage. We weren’t succeeding, but I clung to the principle. I voted for what was good for us, like eating our vegetables when we’d rather be eating dessert.

You know, it isn’t very common that people naturally do what’s good for them, when something more enticing is available. It’s much easier to get someone to eat a cupcake than a head of broccoli. Just as it is enticing when one candidate promises that all our needs will be met.

That makes sense, doesn’t it? Who in my situation wouldn’t want that? I suffered the pains of poverty, the frustrations of not having insurance, and the agony of unemployment. I endured the depression, the suicidal thoughts. Seven years of financial bondage and the stresses that accompany it. On a couple of occasions we reluctantly accepted a handout. But deep inside I was screaming, because of what my father had taught me. I felt that somehow I was giving up a piece of my soul, selling it away.

(I recognize that there are people that truly are in need of welfare. These are the people it is meant for. I am happy that my tax dollars are going to help the genuinely needy citizens. But I knew I was not one of them. There are too many people out there who give up searching for ways to be self-sufficient because either they haven’t needed to, or they don’t know that they have seeds of greatness and their own hidden genius. I cannot blame them for giving up the effort.)

So even though we were destitute, I continued to vote for leaders who were more committed to the strength of the American military causes than the ones who wanted me well fed. Give me leaders who will protect me from enemies so that I can be free to search for the answers on how to provide for myself. Free my mind from the worry of bullies so that I can spend my concentrated effort on how to tap into the hidden talents within my own God-given potential.

Don’t protect me from the natural consequences of my actions. Don’t promise to keep me healthy. Don’t promise to rescue me from everything I struggle with.

Of course, I want all of these things. But I don’t want them from the government

Let me find the power within myself to solve my problems. Let me feel the pain so that I might discover the remedy. Let me discover what I can improve about myself so that I can enjoy the rewards of living in harmony with God’s natural laws. Let me discover them, and choose with my own free agency to live them or not. Let me struggle so that I might grow. Let me fall so that I will learn.

Let me be.

So what is the government for, anyway? It is to do what I cannot do. I will vote for the people who understand their role. It is not the role of government to meet all of my needs.

For example, it isn’t the government’s job to make sure I have one. It isn’t up to them to pass initiatives that make me feel better about my poor choices. Their role is to throw down the murderous, evil influences that threaten our ability to reach our own greatest potential. It is their job to provide us with as much freedom as possible.

One thing I know for sure is that the more government does to take care of its people, the higher the taxes. And the higher the taxes, the less freedom we enjoy. If our free agency is the one thing in which God will not interfere, then I deduce He would prefer leaders that do all they can to preserve that free agency.

All politicians must tax us to some extent. Pay attention to their philosophy, though. Are they taxing us to spread the wealth more evenly, thus discouraging the ambitious; or are they taxing us primarily to provide for those who -truly- cannot help themselves, and for a strong military force that provides the protection we cannot provide as individuals? If we must be in bondage to taxes at all, let it be to purchase our liberty.

Should the government raise the minimum wage and increase taxes on the wealthy? Has anyone ever stopped to wonder who it is that provides all those minimum wage jobs in the first place? Should the entrepreneurs be punished for their ambition? Or should we encourage more entrepreneurship so that more jobs will be created for those who prefer depending on others to supply them with jobs?

If you work for minimum wage, and you don’t like it, it is within your control to begin changing your circumstances. Don’t wait for the government to raise the minimum wage. Doing so only causes the cost of living to go up as companies have to pass the increased expense along to the consumers… including the minimum wage-earners!

Here’s another issue to consider:

Life itself is the greatest gift we have. I am sorely disappointed in any political leader that feels it is the government’s business to prevent people from tampering with the way in which human beings EXIT life, but shies away from any moral stance on the subject of how a human being ENTERS life. Society seems to be unanimously in opposition of murder, for example, but dares not take a stand on the conditions surrounding the creation of life. Since when did that become an issue of religion, rather than the basics of healthy society?

My own realm of influence can discover, even create, solutions to my own problems. My health, my income, my family. Let the government protect my liberty, and I’ll rely on God to show me how to prosper.

After all, it is In God We Trust.

Granted, it’s easier to turn to the government for solutions to our personal problems. Therein lies the Cupcake. But the real answers, the lasting, substantial, life changing answers come from our Creator. Vote for Broccoli, and then get to work searching for the answers to the dilemmas in your own life. Let’s learn to provide for ourselves, and be self-sufficient. Financially, emotionally, spiritually.

Candidates who are passionately committed to pulling down the powers that threaten our liberty (even if it has to be at the expense of programs intended to make life easier for us) – that’s Broccoli. We’ll find our own solutions to our own immediate problems as we seek them. “Seek and ye shall find.” It’s a promise. But relying on government to solve our problems will hamper our quest for reaching our own greatest potential. Let us be free to succeed, or to fail.

That’s just what God does: He helps us succeed, or He allows us to fail. And if it is a system good enough for Him, who are we to think there’s a smarter system than that?

“Those who trade liberty for security will have neither!” John Adams

Leslie Householder

This Post Has 17 Comments

  1. Sue

    EXCELLENT post! I would love to meet your Dad, too… All I have really to say is:


    All the best –


  2. Greg

    I am giving you a standing ovation right now. Thank you!

  3. Christine

    Thank you so much for putting your thoughts down, I agree with you entirely. I am from the UK and we have the same issues, unfortunately I am unable to say what I feel as people get angry with me, they accuse me as being wrong, bad even to think that people who choose not to take responsiblity for their lives nor take care of themselves and their lives (albeit with help, where mostly needed, with guidance & encouragement)should be allowed to have everything they desire (let alone need) taken care of.

    When I speak as you do in your message, they look at me as if I am mad (forget that I too have struggled badly but still did it for myself and pulled myself out of the mire (not entirely and still working on it)they say that is me and I am different. This is not just the beliefs of those people going through a hard time either. How sad that they see things that way.

  4. Justin

    I have to agree completely with Gary. I had/have the exact same thoughts and feelings as he has about governments intervention the affairs of this world. I was watching a video last night and was thinking how much like Hitler’s Germany we have become, both internally and externally. No, we are not actively taking over one country after another, but what are we doing around the world anyway? Wherein the constitution does it give the authority to be stationed Hither and Yon? Where does it give the right to take from you and give to me or from us and give to them, whoever them may be?

    Where does Father tell us to vote for the lessor of two evils? (Reading between the lines.) What is the difference between one political party and another here in the great USofA? I believe this people have gotten just what they deserve. They have in congress just what they are. The same kind of people. Thieves and thugs and liars. Those with no morals or principles and that is who we are, by and large, in this land of slave and home of the knave.

    God is now letting us suffer the pain of our choices as a nation and it looks to be pretty painful before we can get our hand away from the fire this time.

  5. Jenmarie

    I knew that’s the way I leaned politically though I couldn’t break it down like that to help teach my children. Thank you for putting it in its simplest terms so I could better explain those beliefs to my children.

  6. JW

    Should we vote for someone OTHER than McCain or Obama? Here’s a message someone sent me that I think is worth posting here to add to this conversation.

    I don’t know this person, but she makes an interesting point:

    “…I was going to write someone in on the ballot. … I realized that if I wrote someone in, I would be handing the election to Obama. …[McCain] is the only candidate close enough in numbers to possibly win. If we don’t vote for McCain, we would essentially be throwing our vote at Obama. …We need to think about the repercussions of our vote. …One vote could make the difference, and with so much hanging in the balance, it could REALLY make a difference.”

  7. JCN

    Powerful, Leslie. Very Powerful. I am going to forward this to my son’s High School Government teacher (for one). Maybe I can influence a few of the next generation with a succinct explanation – yours.

  8. Rochelle Beach

    Leslie thank you for expressing your opinion on such a serious matter. I sent a copy of your email that I received from you today to my mailing list. I added this paragraph in the way of an explaination:

    Never before in all of the history of these United States has there been such an important time for all freedom loving people to vote and vote to maintain our freedom.. Once freedom is lost it is only regained by bloodshed. Under normal circumstances I would not send anything of a political nature to you. These are not normal times we are up against the battle of our lifetime. We need to stand together to up hold the principles of the Constitution. We are up against a war to maintain our God given right of choice. In the political climate of our day our Founding Fathers would be declared far right wackos. I received a wonderful email today from my friend Leslie Householder that deserves a serious and thoughtful read by you. It is no longer about being a democrate or a republican it is about being an American. The real isssue is not the economy it is about saving our consitution.

    My maternal grandparents, parents came to these United States to seek a better life and by the providence of a god they were saved from the slaugther and horror of the concentration camps.

    I have noticed that the same conditions that have existed in other countries that gave rise to despots exits now in our own country.

    We live in dangerous times. Thank you for taking a stand for freedom. If people really want to know how far down the road to socialism we have gone as a country I recommend a reading of the communist manifesto. It is a real eye opener.

    God help us all.

  9. GivenMercy

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I have always said that we need a government that will protect our rights – not take them away. You have put so well into words what was already in my heart.


  10. Rebecca

    I really appreciate this post. I sometimes have difficulty expressing my political views, but this summed it up very well for me. I forwarded this link on to others because I found it so powerful.

    Like the previous poster, Gary, I think it’s critical not to limit ourselves to only the two choices the media presents, but consider all of the candidates and choose the best one.

  11. Gary

    Leslie, I thoroughly enjoyed the escalator video. It very well depicted how many people think.

    I also agree with most of what you wrote. I say most because when reading between the lines there seem to be a few things missing. You seem to imply that we only have two choices in the election, one who promises to make us all equal, and the other who promises to let us determine how equal we will become. I see two more choices. There may be other candidates running for the Office. We can also choose to not vote for anyone running for the Office, thereby indicating that we do not approve for any that are running. We must, however, go and vote on all other issues to show that we voted.

    Also when I read your article I got the impression that you feel it is our government’s place to protect our liberty and the liberty of everyone else in the world. I hope I am wrong in this part that I read between the lines. It is our government’s obligation to protect us from those who would like to control us. It is not our government’s right to interfere with the rights of other countries to do the same for themselves.

    Just like it is not our government’s obligation to see that the wealth is spread more evenly among our citizens, it is not our government’s obligation to see that every country in the world has the same as we have. It is up to those countries and the people that live in them.

    Gary Gile

  12. MRose

    I have never understood why I disagreed with candidates who wanted to make everything easier. I now have a clear path to the voting booth. Thank you sincerely!!

  13. LP

    Thank you soooo much for this article and the video link. I have been discussing the candidates and what they stand for with my children. I have explained things to them but I don’t think anything can explain it as clearly and quickly as the escalator video! It is perfect for explaining that WE are in control of our future. I have always told my children, “It’s not what happens to us in life that matters, but what we DO about it that counts!” And this video and your message explain this perfectly.
    Thank you,
    LP in Idaho

  14. The Bundrocks

    Well said Leslie! It’s exactly how I have been feeling although not had time to express it in those words. I couldn’t agree with you more.
    Thank you!
    Stephanie Bundrock

  15. Faith St. Clair

    Thank you for putting your thoughts down. They were clear, inspiring and urged me to put things into perspective.

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