Politics as Usual Part 2: Defining our Choices

This election is a tragedy. It is easy to hear Donald Trump’s tape and immediately grow hot and angry, this is a righteous anger, but this is not how we should vote. Elections and voting is an act to the believer of Stewardship, it is something God has given us in society, and as a result, it should be done with wisdom and thought, not merely passion. Before making a decision, sometimes its help to consider one’s choices. We have five choices:

  1. Push Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton to drop out of the election.
  2. Move to another country or secede from the United States.
  3. Abstain from the election, by either not voting, not voting for the top of the ticket, or voting for a third party candidate.
  4. Vote for Hillary Clinton.
  5. Vote for Donald Trump.

Option 1

I have heard that the Republicans have no means of making Donald Trump drop out of the election, but many in the party are angrily withdrawing their support and calling on him drop out of the race in favor of Mike Pence. I am fully sympathetic with this action, but lets be clear, Trump is a megalomaniac, he isn’t very likely to drop out. Similar things are true of Hillary, she has no reason to drop out.


Option 2

Impractical for myself, though I suspect if our economic practices continue as they do, more and more of the wealthy will leave the country as their business produce more and more in Asia. But this requires both means, and a belief that one is not needed by the Lord in the United States. Secession is an extreme option, that will lead to war, and a great deal of human suffering; if a state or block of states were to choose to secede, people will need to make a decision on where they stand, but I think it unwise to push for that option until human lives are already at stake.


Option 3

It has already been demonstrated why third party campaigns don’t affect elections in the direction their voters usually intend,[3] I will not regurgitate the argument. To vote for a third party or not vote is an abstention, a protest and to some an honorable one perhaps, but a protest that will have no impact on the national election, itself, or on society.

I have not seen any scientific surveys of Evangelicals, but I know a large number of them, many that are apologists, ho are choosing the option of voting third party. I will not denigrate them or throw stones at them for doing so. They are voting their consciences and it is not my place to judge them.

Options 4 and 5

                  I will treat these two together, I have noted a few Christians, friends, who have argued that Hillary Clinton is the lesser of two evils, many of them being conservatives. Their essential argument is that Trump’s blustery personality will cause us to be embroiled in wars, and will quicken the pace of America’s decline to the status of a banana republic, in some cases they step to far beyond what should be extrapolated from the evidence, at least in my judgment, but I can understand why they take that stand. I know a number of others who until today planned to vote for Trump, though recent events may have changed their minds. This is not an advocacy of their campaigns, it is not an endorsement of either Trump or Clinton, rather it is more often than not an example of voting for the lesser of two evils – we might very well wish for a president that would administrate the republic from a Christian worldview, but however desirable that might be, it is very unlikely to happen this year. In a sense, some may vote for Trump or Hillary as the lesser of two evils, let me give a defense of that position from history.


As a professor of mine recently noted about the #NeverTrump and #NeverHillary movements, issues of history and nations, sadly, aren’t that easy. In 1941 America supported Stalin over Hitler. Stalin was not the lesser of two evils, he murdered more people than Hitler did, his regime was surpassed (possibly) only by Chairman Mao in its damage to human beings. Stalin was also a more serious threat to the United States, and was aggressively expansionistic. Before America entered the war, the Soviet Union fought on the side of Hitler, and participated in the invasion of Poland (the invasion that brought France and England to finally declare War on Hitler) and the regime murdered numerous Polish citizens. Before leaving the side of the Axis, the Soviets invaded Finland in the Winter War, and Americans were as concerned about the Soviets as the Germans, and yet, Germany, while not the greater threat, was certainly the more immediate one. And yet, even before we were bombed by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor, we were already providing war material to both Britain and the Soviet Union;[1] History would tend to indicate this was the best decision that could have been made at the time; Hitler lost the war, in large part because of the way he divided his forces between an Eastern and a Western front. Practically speaking, it was either support Stalin, or lose the war.

And yet, this was not a morally “good choice,” supporting the Stalinist regime would mean the surrendering of vast territories to the not so tender mercies of the Soviet Union, and as the war progressed this was something accepted by both the British and the Americans. Instead, perhaps, our entry into the war with the alliance we made wasn’t the good choice, perhaps it was just less bad. Similarly, perhaps believers voting for either Trump or Hillary are not making a case that they are good candidates, perhaps they simply believe it is the least bad choice.

                  [1] Nor were Americans before 1941 entirely sympathetic with the United Kingdom. The UK had a history of Imperialism, something that few American’s favored, and most Americans felt that the British had tricked us into footing the bills for the first World War.

[2] See Michael Medved, The Ten Big Lies About America.