Voters are Human Beings

It's way too early to draw any sort of lasting conclusions from this week's U.S. elections. Many votes are still uncounted; many essential voices have yet to be heard.

I wrote a whole book based on Christian voters in 2016, and I'm still figuring out what that research and those results mean four years later, so I write this knowing that much knowledge is yet to come.

Still, I remain a believer in two things: 1) the possibility of learning; and 2) the ongoing revelation of the Holy Spirit.

So here's something big I think I learned in 2016 that's coming to bear yet again in 2020.

We have a bad tendency in this country to dehumanize voters. We have a bad tendency in this country to sort out voters into demographic groups, because this is an age of data and demographics and algorithms, for everything from what gray cardigan I want to buy to what brand of toilet paper is still in stock in my state.

Out of necessity, in everything from baseball to baby-rearing, we've become overly reliant on technocratic solutions, believing nearly everything to be quantifiable. Democrats in particular (and this was certainly true of Hillary Clinton's campaign; less so for Joe Biden's campaign) are guilty of thinking about elections in terms of measuring out and adding or subtracting demographic groups.

This type of election analysis has created a huge cottage industry of pollsters and lobbyists and pundits, most of whom treat vast swaths of the country as data points to be fed into equations. But as I learned in my reporting for Red State Christians, every data point on a pollster's map represents a unique human being with a unique history, relationships, and emotions. 

Just as the "Red State Christians" I interviewed after 2016 refused to be placed into solid demographic boxes as a monolith of data, so too do American voters deserve the opportunity to be treated as human beings and not demographic groups. That kind of shorthand has a purpose, but it's been overly used in American politics and has led to some legitimate frustration for voters (like, I would argue, in Appalachia; or like many Latino and Asian voters) who don't fit neatly into demographic boxes corresponding to partisan allegiance.

Yet again we Americans have a close, bitterly divided election that seems incomprehensible to both polar ends of the political spectrum. And at the same time those of us who live and work in families and communities that aren't politically homogeneous know in depths of our souls that while we might disagree fervently with those on the other side of the aisle, we will also refuse to ignore the fact that they exist.

And that they too are human beings.

In the age of data and algorithms and mass American death due to a global pandemic, I am witnessing a troubling trend of dehumanization that enables an ugly and destructive callousness toward our neighbors. 

As Christians, we must battle against this callousness and this dehumanization, of the living and the dead. We must pull apart statistics to see the mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, children, siblings, friends, workers, grandmothers, and grandfathers behind reams of data. 

We must find a way to blend of technocratic knowledge with the knowledge that dwells in the heart and, as the ancient Greeks, put it, in the gut. Reclaiming that humanity could begin with each of us reclaiming the faces and bodies behind each and every single vote, and the human being that vote represents. 

Human beings, not statistics, are the building blocks of this nation. They are not easily definable. Their ethnicity or their race or their sex or their age or their education or their wealth will not always determine how they vote. Their biggest influences will never be charts or stats or ads. It will always be the ones they trust: their family, their friends, and their fellow human beings and Americans. Might we work to rebuild that trust in one another.

100% Human. 100% Voter.

Comments

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  7. This is real take it serious, who will believe that a herb can cure HERPES DISEASE in my body, i never believe that this will work i have spend alot when getting drugs from the hospital to keep me healthy, what i waswaiting for is death because i was broke, one day i hard about this greatman who is well know of HIV,cancer and herpes cure, i decided to email him,unknowingly to me that this will be the end of the HERPES DISEASE, heprepare the herb for me, and give me instruction on how to take it, at theend of the week which was seven days,he told me to go to the hospital for acheck up, and i went surprisingly after it the doctor confirm me cure fromHERPES disease I thought it was a joke, i went to other hospital the doctorthere also confirm me cure from HERPES disease then i took my friend whowas also HERPES patient to the Doctor after the taking of the herbs she wasalso confirm cure from HERPES disease .please I want every one with thisvirus to be free, that is why am dropping his email address,(drodukuherbalhealingcentre@gmail.com or his whatsap contact +2348124765093)you can visit his website https://drodukuherbscure.blogspot.com/or his blogs pagehttps://dr-oduku-herbal-healing-centre.jimdosite.com/i want you to email him he is a great man. thank you for saving my life, and I promise Iwill always testify for your good work. you can also reach me clararose2128@gmail.com 

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  10. I want to give a Testimony on how I got Cured From HSV 1 and 2. Five Months ago I was Diagnosed with HSV 1&2. I was having some outbreaks. I went to see a Doctor and many Blood Tests were done on me. My Doctor told me that i have HSV 1&2 and there’s no cure for HSV 1&2. I felt bad, I went online searching for a possible cure for HSV 1&2, I saw a post of milton buckler, a herbal Dr called Dr Abiola cured him from HSV 1 . I contacted him and told him how I’m feeling and he said his herbal medicine can cure me. He sent me the medicine via DHL delivery service and I received the medicine some days after he sent it, i took the medicine as prescribed by him. for 14days Before the completion of the medication the symptoms stopped. I went to the Doctor and carried out another blood test, surprisingly I was Negative. I haven’t had any symptoms anymore, you can contact Dr Abiola through his email address via { drabiolasolutionhome@gmail.com } call or whatsApp Dr on this number now +2348100609098 Dr Abiola also have the cure for different types of diseases like1 cancer cure2 lupus cure3 ringing ear4 herpes cure5 Genital Wart cure6 hpv cure7 hiv and aids cure8 fibroid cure 9 bareness and infertility
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