The Lesser of Two Evils: Conscience Voting

“I would rather be governed by a competent Turk than an incompetent Christian.” –Martin Luther

This post assumes that you are a Christian who believes in Biblical doctrine over denominational doctrine. That said, I am going to draw the following conclusions in the most logical manner I am able, since I am trying to display a logical train of thought using my right-brained mind. Bear with me.

The primary presidential election of 2012 is upon us. And, to my chagrin, I once again watch my friends and family base their votes on one of two things: the candidate who most agrees with their own moral beliefs, or the candidate who has the most emotional appeal to them.  I call the first group “conscience voters,” and if you are one of them, I beg of you to read on.

A conscience voter is mainly concerned with one thing: his account to God. I agree that we are all accountable to God for our actions, however, in being accountable to God, we must also be concerned with how our vote affects future generations, i.e. their long-term impact. Take the primary of 2008 for example. The evangelicals wanted Huckabee (why not? He aligned with their beliefs to a T), the practical voters and non-religious chose Romney, a more moderate but respectable choice. The moderates chose John McCain. No true majority wanted John McCain, however the 3-way split of conservatives gave us John McCain. This is a classic example of conscience voting gone wrong. McCain was never a strong candidate and was absolutely squelched by Obama’s campaigning skills.

Do you believe that a truly righteous, Sermon-on-the-Mount-living person, is represented in one of the 4 Republican candidates? If you cannot answer yes, then you are already affirming my point: we must vote for the lesser of two evils. I would venture to say that all of the candidates sin on a regular basis and are in need of grace.  So if this is true, it follows that we must choose the best of the immoral bunch, since none compare to our righteous leader Jesus. In this way we are already headed down the path of the lesser of two, or 4, evils. Where you and I differ at this point is opinion-influenced practical thought.

Let me put it this way:  I, along with thousands of Christians, vote for Rick Santorum because he conflicts least with my religious beliefs. The vote splits four ways between Santorum, Gingrich, Romney, and Paul. Who comes out on top? Well not Santorum for sure. Let’s say Gingrich for the sake of argument. Now my choice is Gingrich or Obama. I am left with a lesser-of-two-evils decision and a non-voting decision. If I decide not to vote because I disagree with both candidates, I am in effect voting for whoever wins. If I decide to now vote for the lesser of two evils, I am changing my voting style halfway through an election and have defied my previous reasoning.

Now let’s look at another scenario: I, along with thousands of other practical voters, take a step back and look at the 2008 and 2012 elections overall. I recognize the 3-way split of 2008 and the power of Obama’s campaigning skills. I put aside my emotions and say, “We cannot have four more years of Obama, so who can beat Obama?” I come up with only one option: Mitt Romney.  An unlike-able fellow, rather aloof, yet strong and presidential. A man who became pro-life because he self-educated. This is my only choice. I cannot let my emotions sway me. I become a Romney supporter instead of a Romney fan and cast my vote. Romney wins the primary and now my choice is Romney or Obama (or Santorum and Obama, or Paul and Obama). But now I have already taken the approach that I want the lesser of two evils, so the choice is already made.

Find it far-reaching if you like. This reasoning does not take into account the intense spiritual battle being waged over this important election. However, if we waste our votes on candidates who cannot even win the primary, let alone stand strong in the face of the liberal media, agenda, and Obama, we will have four more years of Obama. And this Obama will be unrestrained by re-election, and who knows what that could hold for the future of our country.

To borrow a story from a man much more qualified than me to pursuade you on this subject, think of it in light of this scenario:

Suppose I’m fleeing from a burning hotel and discover a damsel in distress on the way out. She’s helpless, pinned down by a heavy beam. For some reason, my many hours of typing haven’t resulted in enough muscle to free her. So what’s the right thing to do? If I stay with her, we both die. If I leave her there and run for help, someone might be able to get her out. The idealist reasons that practical results are irrelevant and conscience requires that a man of principle must not abandon a damsel in distress. But most people abandon idealism in these situations. They understand that conscience sometimes dictates that we do what is practical.

Conscience is dictating that you set aside your emotions this election. Your children are dependent on your wise decision. May we all look outside of ourselves as we walk into each voting booth and change the course of history.
(Change the course of history? Why yes, as a matter of fact.)

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UPDATE: If you haven’t been following this primary very closely, please view my list of pros and cons of the two frontrunners here.