We’re all familiar with the marketing icon Nike rolled out in the 1980s that put the sports clothing giant on the world map: Just Do It! And while I don’t know what they thought its effect would be on the national psyche, the reality was that people responded with both their acceptance and dollars.
I remember when “working out” became all the rage. You’d see people running up and down the streets at all hours and they seemed to enjoy it. But for regular folks like me, every time we tried, it really hurt, or after a few weeks other things barged into the schedule and soon we discovered it had been weeks since we broke a sweat. We became much more proficient at making excuses than making progress on our fitness commitments.
And then Nike hit us with a simple slogan: Just Do It! Their meaning wasn’t so hidden: Stop making excuses! Stop thinking you don’t have time, or ability, or the right equipment or cute enough sportswear. Just get off your duff and do it!
So, at the risk of co-opting an old slogan, here I go: Vote! Enough excuses, enough declarations that one vote doesn’t matter, and enough pontifications about the system being broken, and not enough good choices, and yada, yada, yada! Just Do It! Open your little package, take out the ballot and vote!
And let me add one little word to the slogan: Just Do It … Well! Yep, do some research. Find out who’s going to decide on the issues of our city. Think about who will protect our interests against those who are trying to upend our traditional values. Consider who is going to be deciding what your kids will be taught, how your tax money will be spent, and how our brave law enforcement officers will be allowed to do their jobs.
Think about who shares your values on the Californian stage up in Sacramento. Who wants to save the unborn instead of treating them like unwanted, disposable trash? Think about whose financial beliefs mirror yours. Who will spend more than they should on programs and bills designed to enrich their supporters and friends?
Here’s the deal: I was told that last election less than 40% of our area’s registered voters actually voted. Folks, neighbors, friends … that’s just simply embarrassing! Get off the couch, go to your computer, research the candidates, and then take out your pen and mark your ballot. Then, mail it in and stand in front of the mirror and say “Way to go, you patriot!”
And then, if you’ve a mind and heart relationship with God to do so, start praying that, despite all our division, all our deception, and all our selfish, power-driven, politically feeble leaders, God will have mercy on us, forgive our sinful pride and hatred, and restore some measure of love of truth, love of purity, and love of neighbor in our city, our state, and our nation.
Lastly, I’ve decided not to endorse any candidates in my column this year. If you’ve read my columns for any length of time you know my values and you know how I’m voting. I’m doing this, not because I don’t have well-researched opinions on who you ought to vote for. No, my decision is simply based on the fact that you, my reader, my friend, my neighbor, need to do the work. You need to mark your ballot having determined who deserves your vote.
Yes, I know there are offices on the ballot that no one really knows anything about. I’m not talking about those. I’m challenging you to just do it … but do it well when it comes to those offices on our city level, on the Assembly and congressional races, on the local school boards, the water board, and any other offices that have major bearing on your daily life. Think about it. You have power! Use it where it can best help determine who is going to have power and authority in your life and the lives of your kids.
Just vote. Just do it … and do it well! And from me and the rest of Santa Clarita … thank you!
Local resident David Hegg is senior pastor of Grace Baptist Church. “Ethically Speaking” appears Sundays.