Heretic on the Hill: “To govern is to choose.” Who do you want choosing?

President Kennedy said “To govern is to choose.” because that’s the job; thousands of choices that each affect some Americans one way and other Americans another way.

It’s less than seven months to the election. The national polls are extremely close. The economy is good if you’re an economist but not if you’re the average consumer buying groceries. Biden can’t get credit for creating jobs and building roads and bridges in red states. Trump is going on trial next week for falsifying business records when he paid off a porn star to keep quiet about their (alleged) affair during his first campaign. Biden is raising more money than Trump. Trump is doing better with minority voters than he did last time.

Biden’s popularity rating is at an abysmal 39 percent but Trump is only at 43. Biden is not doing as well with young voters but he’s doing better with older voters. The Supreme Court is cooperating in delaying Trump’s trial for election interference before, during, and after January 6th, but it may still go forward before the election this fall. Third party candidates may make a difference in some states. Biden is still 81 years old.

In seven months we will know which of these were factors in the outcome of the election and which didn’t really matter. Until then the best thing we and you can do is help get people motivated and registered to vote. In 2020 about a third of eligible voters, or 80 million people, stayed home. Arizona and Georgia were each decided by about 12,000 votes. Voter turnout is once again going to be the key to the election outcome and everything that follows. While SCA as a nonprofit can’t endorse a candidate, we can note the irony that the candidate who would be the best for issues that matter to secular voters is the one who goes to church regularly, and the one who would be the worst uses the Bible as a prop.

I want to highlight the Secular America Votes page now on our website. It’s a great resource for people who want to register to vote, check where to vote, get an absentee ballot, and research everything that will be on your ballot. You can also check out our Affiliates and Social Media Communications Toolkit for sampling messaging. There is also information on how to hold a voter registration drive in person or online. Secular America Votes is a joint project with our coalition members American Atheists, the American Humanist Association, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, and the Secular Student Alliance.

Anyone who wants to get more involved in campaigns should join their local party organization. They are called (party name) clubs, committees, or organizations and are usually at the town, city, or county level. You will meet like-minded people (that maybe you didn’t know were out there if you’re in the political minority), help out local, state, and federal candidates, and probably get to meet them. Elected officials know that their local party organizations are vital in doing their jobs and keeping their jobs, so they show up from time to time.

As I’ve often noted, 30 percent of the population or 78 million people identify as religiously unaffiliated. About half of them are also politically uninvolved, not doing well economically, and generally disconnected from society in a lot of ways. But the other half is politically involved and the atheists in that group are highly involved. It’s a huge voting block. Let your elected officials know that you’re part of it and that if they pay attention to the separation of religion and government they will get the support of an underrepresented and growing sector of the population.


Spreading Happiness

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