Maximize Your Impact
By guest author Kevin Swanson
You hear a lot of people complaining about politics these days. Well, maybe that’s the way it has always been. Complaining could be therapeutic, but it really doesn’t do much to change anything for the better. “Much better to light a candle than to curse the darkness,” as the old saying goes.
Over the years I have attended a number of committee hearings relating to parental rights, homeschooling, right to life, and other matters… and here’s what I find. After hearing a hundred testimonies from the constituents, nobody is really convinced to change their vote. Almost always committee members vote on party lines. On rare occasions, a legislator might be convinced otherwise, but that’s usually because he was struck by lightning or got saved before the vote was taken. This is especially true when the legislature considers high-stakes moral issues.
Our political influence is a limited resource, especially in Colorado. If you oppose the nihilist ethics of the day or value your God-given freedoms, you are in the minority at the Capitol. Yet, I would be the last person to advocate giving up, running to the hills, and allowing tyranny to win the day. As Acton put it, “the only way for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.” Moreover, as a follower of Jesus Christ, I believe every part of our lives should be brought to the feet of the King of kings and Lord of lords. Personally we may not have a great deal of influence or responsibility in the realm of business or politics, but all should be done in service to the King.
So, what does this mean? How do we maximize our resources when it comes to politics? I recommend backing a godly candidate who runs for office in the state. There are always 6–8 candidates in any state, of whom it may be said they would pledge their lives, their property, and sacred honor for the cause of liberty. There are always a few candidates who really do fear God, hate covetousness, love the truth, and refuse handing out favors for campaign donations (Exod. 18:21). They may not be running in your district, but you will find them across the state.
Here’s my recommendation: Dedicate 8 hours of your time or $200 of your money to a solid candidate every two years. That’s not much, if you think about it. That would be only 0.08% of the total waking hours, or 0.2% of an average household income. That’s not exactly your life, your property, and your sacred honor. I’m not saying that every person is called to dedicate their whole life to politics. But 0.2% of your life is pretty minimal if you think about it.
Now, what does that buy you in terms of influence? Your single vote in an election is helpful, but it’s really not that impactful. I estimate that the sum total influence of a $200 donation to a candidate is about 100 times the value of a single vote. I’m not saying that you don’t vote. But, if you have a choice between voting for one lousy candidate over another lousy candidate vs. supporting a solid, principled candidate for office with time and money, I recommend the latter over the former. Of course, it would be better to do both. But, to dedicate 8 hours of your time campaigning for a solid candidate, would be 100 times more impactful than dedicating 1–2 hours to voting at your local precinct. Now, if 15,000 Christian homeschoolers and others would catch this vision in the state of Colorado — the state would change for the better overnight. That’s only about 0.2% of the population of the state applying 0.2% of their lives for the cause of liberty, for maximum impact.
Getting the right people elected is so much more effective than begging and pleading with bad legislators to do the right thing once they are in office. If you’ve complained about the government for more than 30 seconds in the last two years, put your energy into something more productive. Get behind a good candidate for office in the 2022 elections with a little bit of your time and money.
Just a thought.