Saturday, July 30, 2016

Voting's vexation

This may be my only post explicitly on this year's presidential election.

Recently I've read many arguments on various social media arguing that the only moral choice a voter can make in voting for president this year is voting for Clinton. I've read similar arguments that the only moral choice for president is Trump. I've even read something written by a person who I would expect better from arguing that voting for one or the other is unavoidable. To which the only response can be, Not true. There will more than likely be more than two candidates for president on your ballot.

It seems to me the mistake we're urged to make by many is that because Trump is a morally unacceptable candidate we must therefore vote for Clinton. I agree with the premise, but the conclusion does not necessarily follow from it. In addition to supporting abortion she now wants to overturn the Hyde Amendment and make us all pay for them. She has also been shown time and again to lack both honesty and integrity, operating in a grossly unethical manner, which she seems to believe is her privilege. She is also an intransigent war hawk and not a very dependable supporter of religious liberty.

Whether you want to acknowledge it or not, you have more choices than Clinton or Trump. All you have is one vote. It is only your vote for which you bear moral responsibility.

On another thread today someone was trying to tell me that a conscientious decision not to vote was akin to watching a mugging and doing nothing, which is just shows how poor is the logic we're applying to this election. I also tire of this is being "an election of the lifetime," which is nonsense. Look, in our country, either every election matters or no election matters.

I don't mind saying that when it comes to voting, not just for president, but other offices, I agree with what Ted Cruz urged at the Republican National Convention: vote your conscience. I would also urge you to inform your conscience. Don't know where to begin? Try the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Forming Conscience for Faithful Citizenship.

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