News • October 22, 2020

CBU professor explains the importance of voting and being an informed voter

CBU professor explains the importance of voting and being an informed voter

Riverside, Calif. (Oct. 22, 2020) – Dr. Chris McHorney, department chair of history and government at California Baptist University, has been interested in politics and history since a teenager.

“Studying politics appealed to me because of the significant impact of the government — positive and negative — on our lives,” McHorney said.

McHorney, also a professor of political science, is starting his 15th year at CBU. He teaches classes such as Introduction to International Politics, Methods of Research for Criminal Justice and World Geography.

With the November election approaching, he answered some questions about voting.

Why is it important to vote?
All Americans should vote as the ability to participate in free and fair elections is one of our most important political rights. By voting we are able to hold politicians and political parties accountable for their words (rhetoric) and deeds (policies). Approximately 2.8 billion people live in countries with governments that are so oppressive that they don’t even enjoy the most basic political rights and civil liberties. Without the right to vote in competitive and meaningful elections, they will continue to be governed by oppressive governments that have little to no regard for their well-being.

Some may say their one vote doesn’t matter. How do you respond to that?
A voter in California, a state which has over 20 million registered voters, could correctly conclude that one vote wouldn’t change the outcome of an election. However, cohorts that are less likely to vote, such as Generation Z, will have less of a voice when the government is making policy. For example, Congress is more likely to fund Social Security than higher education because Baby Boomers are more likely to vote than Generation Zers.

A lot of students get their news from social media. What is a better way?
In order to become an informed voter, students shouldn’t rely exclusively on social media for information. In addition to social media, students ought to utilize other sources of information that provide more in-depth coverage of relevant issues, such as NPR and BBC. In addition, students should leave their information silos and try to understand the issues that are important to them from different perspectives (e.g., conservative vs. liberal).

Anything else you would like to add?
When deciding how to vote, we should begin the process by viewing the candidates and issues through the lens of our Christian worldview. As Christians we should never be completely comfortable with the platform of a political party or unconditionally supportive of a politician. Our calling is to be followers of Jesus who rely on the Bible for guidance. Politicians and party platforms will always fall short of that standard.

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