Most of my friends can’t stand — like, to the point of shrieking — the idea that I’m not going to vote for President in the coming election. I think I’ve made my point clearly, but they insist that I at least have to vote against someone, which, they admit, means voting for someone. There is no “Just Say No” box on the ballot, nor do I have the energy to promote a write-in campaign for Coolidge (not the great late Calvin Coolidge, but my cat Coolidge).
What most of my friends are missing here is that the lesser of two evils is evil. I have no duty to my God-ordained republic to enter into a covenant with evil by voting for either one of the lessers the two parties, essentially consolidated in all but name, advance as candidates.
“But you MUST vote against Evil A, even if you don’t like Evil B!” they plead.
“Then I might as well vote for Evil A in order to vote against Evil B, because I can’t abide him either. The point is, they are equally unprincipled, and I cannot vote for someone who does not represent my principles. Evil A and Evil B are both avowed statists, and are therefore unqualified in principle to govern a democratic republic. Nope.”
They don’t give up, and I don’t budge. That’s what would be so much fun about elections, if it weren’t such a bore.
Voting is a great thing, and for a long time it was a meaningful thing to me. But that was back when there were discernible differences between candidates. Now there really aren’t. God shed his grace on America, and I do believe God has withdrawn his grace from America for a season, and I can’t know how long that season will be.
I will certainly preserve my right to vote by voting for my congressional representative, local things, state initiatives, etc., as long as those things have meaning and adhere to the principles I consider basic to a republic. But as for who is ultimately elected President in 2012, I see no difference in principle among the contenders likely to advance to actual candidacy. Moreover, absent a candidate with principles I can honestly vote for — things like a market-driven economy where all commodities, including insurance and health care, are subject to the value-driven choices of a consumer market — I would consider it unprincipled to vote for an unprincipled candidate just to vote against an equally unprincipled candidate. I don’t understand why this is so hard for principled, intelligent people to understand and accept.
No one has to vote according to his principles; people can vote against the principles they claim to hold if they want to. Nor can I be compelled to vote against my principles. We still have a choice, whether to vote for someone, to vote implicitly against someone, or to vote for no one, for any or no reason. But I do think voting should be a reasonable exercise. Like taking out the trash.