I don’t know, but I’m working on it. I just started the process of thinking about the new President question this week. It really matters little to me that they have been posturing for a year a half already. My vote is going to be cast in about 40 days at the Michigan primary (Michigan is ludicrously moving their primary to January).
I have real reservations about the common Christian policy of voting for the candidate “with whom I don’t agree on everything but he has a real chance of winning”– especially in the primary. That is the fancy way of choosing the lesser of two evils, and that is what we are doing in our minds, willingly settling for someone who is just ok. Choosing the lesser of evils is choosing someone who we really don’t want to be President. And often that President is leap years away from the man we would really like to see in office.
By degrees, that is a way to sully a nation. That is a way to, in short time, expect Presidents to be less and less righteous more and more kowtowing. We don’t understand that there are alternatives to voting for the lesser of two evils. Ethically it is called choosing the greatest good. We can choose to vote for President the man who best mimics our own ideals, who is the most capable, the best qualified. And please note that this does not qualify your uncle or your pastor simply because they share your ideals. He should be capable and he should be qualified. And at the same time, he probably should be someone who is at least able to make his voice known on the national stage–that is if he intends to be the President of the whole nation.
Christians are taught to base their lives on strict, unbending principles, and then sometimes friends encourage us to abandon all hope and vote for the most likely to win on election night, because, as the the reasoning goes, we don’t want THE DEVIL taking office. Perhaps it is too easy to disregard the Bible premise about authority that “promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.” My vote is most important to me, not to the final outcome. What I do in my heart on that election day is worth more than losing the whole election by even one vote.
In some ways, I feel like I am apologizing to so many Christians around me, but I’m not. I am saying that it matters little whether my candidate ends up in office, but at the same time shouting even more loudly that we are Americans, also. We have special sorts of freedoms in this country. And you had better not fatalistically abdicate your rights because you think it won’t matter. Your vote does matter. You are voting for righteousness’ sake.
It is not wasting a vote to vote for your conscience. It is not wasting your vote to vote for a third party if that is where the best candidate is. John Q. Adams has my back here. He said to, “Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.”