Category Archives: news-commentary

Voting with the house

Confession: I’m kind of addicted to the show Big Brother. Call it a summertime guilty pleasure.

Not enough to purchase the live feeds (though I do recall one year somehow having the live feeds, and that was bad news because my productivity died that summer) but I have a separate column in TweetDeck for it, and if you open my browser and type in the letter “H” it autofills in with “Hamsterwatch” these days. So. Suffice to say, I’m pretty hooked.

There’s a phenomenon in this show, though, that’s happened pretty much since day one: voting with the house.

When house guests vote to evict a player, that person GENERALLY already knows they’re going. Eviction days are only fun when there’s a big blindside, but those are pretty rare. But it drives me crazy how often people will want Person A out, but they vote out Person B just because “that’s what the house wants.”

Expect the unexpected… I think Big Brother should add the twist that house guests are not allowed to discuss who they are voting out. I suppose then they’d have nothing to talk about. But once, just once, I’d love to see an eviction day happen in which NO ONE knows what’s coming. They all vote based on their personal feelings and games.

I’ve been chewing on this a lot lately, especially given its an election year. How often do people “vote with the house” in the real world?

This election year, something I hear a LOT is, “Voting for the lesser of two evils.” I saw a great post that disagreed with this sentiment stating that voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil. That really set me back on my heels a bit. What a way to look at it!

A friend recently posted to Facebook that they were considering voting third party this year, and a few of the comments really got to me. People saying this person might as well not vote at all, “Because it won’t matter anyway.”

Hmmm… excuse me, but it does matter. It always matters.

I remember back in elementary school learning about the voting process and how voting is done privately. You vote knowing you will not be persecuted for that vote, and that’s the beauty of a democracy: having a voice.

But in recent years, I’ve not felt that way as much. I’ve felt the pressure to “vote with the house.” I saw a very insightful post regarding this year’s election, and the very first response was, “But you didn’t say who you were voting for…”  They don’t HAVE to tell anyone. If they choose to share that information, that’s their prerogative.

Otherwise, I feel we should all stand for what we believe individually. Vote what you feel in your heart, not what your neighbor bullies you to vote. Study the issues. Weigh them in your heart and against your life and needs. Vote smart, not scared.

Words fail

If it were up to me to change
I’d turn “lies” and “hate” to “love” and “truth”
Kill A Word, Eric Church

Last night, as I watched the events in Dallas unfold via Twitter and news media, I found myself going to Facebook and starting to type a status update vocalizing my shock and sadness… only to ultimately delete it.

Words failed me.

I read other’s thoughts, clicking the like button here and there. I couldn’t even bring myself to leave a comment. Words just weren’t enough.

A recent sermon in church spoke to my heart (no pun intended), as the priest spoke on how, essentially, actions speak louder than words. Don’t just preach to love one another, actually do it. Try kindness instead of bullying. Actually reach out and help one another. Defend each other. Support each other. Love each other. Respect each other.

We no longer respect our differences. We no longer respect how similar we all are. You hurt. I hurt. We all hurt. Yes, there is evil in this world that I can’t wrap my mind around. There is evil I don’t WANT to understand. I want to counteract it with love and hope and faith that there is far more good in the world than that evil…

Tonight as I lay myself down to sleep, I will pray for peace for this world, but even more I will pray for strength for all of us to do something — SOMETHING — to make that peace a reality. It won’t happen over night, but  sometimes it takes only smallest action to have a huge effect in the long run.

Be a light in this world… not just in words but in action.