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Hillary or Trump: Lesser of two evils.

Reader comment on item: Why I Just Quit the Republican Party

Submitted by Brutus Balan, Oct 8, 2016 at 20:59

Robert A. J. Gagnon

I have never understood the "I could never vote for the lesser of two evils" argument. Taken absolutely, it produces absurd and even immoral results. In the Book of Isaiah we hear words commending the Persian ruler Cyrus, even referring to him as God's "anointed," because God uses this pagan to allow Babylonian Jews to emigrate back to Israel. The Scripture is not commending Cyrus as a wonderful moral man, much less as a devotee of Yahweh. He can simply be used by God to help God's people in certain limited but important spheres. Cyrus had his own reasons for allowing Jews and other ethnic/national groups that the Babylonians had deported return to their land. It was good business for smooth running of the Persian Empire.

Think of the moral absurdity of "never voting for the lesser of two evils" when followed absolutely to its logical conclusion (and illogical result). Imagine Trump running against a Hitler or Stalin or Pol Pot. I'm goin to go out on a limb here and say categorically that I would never sit out such an election but would vote for Trump each time. In my view I would cease to be a moral person if I did otherwise. Trump simply hasn't indicated that he favors the mass extermination of anyone. Case closed.

As regards the personal moral character of Clinton and of Trump, I see a moral equivalence. They both have bad characters (I trust I don't have to regurgitate the details provided in other posts). That drives the question to policy.

Since the claimed dictum "never vote for the lesser to two evils" cannot be taken absolutely it cannot be applied absolutely to the current election as a justification for refusing to vote for Trump as a means to averting the election of Clinton. Rather, each and every believer must weigh whether the negative impact of a Trump-Pence administration is morally equivalent to the negative impact of a Clinton-Kaine administration. To me the resolution of this question basically comes down to this:
Will a Trump adminisration likely produce significantly different policy outcomes than a Clinton administration over key issues such as abortion, the promotion of the "GLBTQI" agenda, religious liberty, and court appointments?

If your answer to that question is "no" because you believe that Trump is such an unreliable liar that nothing he has repeatedly promised to us about abortion, religious liberty, and court appointments (his position on "tradidtional marriage" is more equivocal) will ever come true, then clearly you should vote for neither Trump nor Clinton.

However, if you believe that, while Trump is far from fully reliable and an opportunist, he does have some limited sympathies with us on some important issues and, at the very least, cannot abandon us to the degree that Clinton would stiff us if only for the reason that he will need our help to be reelected, then it seems to me that you should give serious consideration to voting for Trump.

Not because you like Trump. Not because you are glad that Trump is the Republican nominee. You may even (like me) hate that he was nominated by the Republican Party. But you vote for him because you recognize that Clinton will go full bore against us, her "deplorables," for the next 4 years (and 4 will get you 8).

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Daniel Pipes replies:

You are putting words in my mouth. I never said or wrote that ""I could never vote for the lesser of two evils."

Rather, I consider both Trump and Hillary Clinton unacceptable, each in a distinctive way. I will not be party to either one's election.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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