Two articles at Inside Catholic helped me form (or really confirm) my final judgment going into this election and going ahead in the future (although I might add that I haven't voted for a major party candidate in the the November presidential election in many years).
The first article is by Steve Skojec. Here are some key passages:
We've heard a lot of talk this election cycle (and the one before it... and the one before that...) about stopping a great evil by voting for a lesser one. And yet, the only certain outcome of constantly choosing the lesser of two evils is the perpetuation of evil. As for mitigating the damage, when you're headed straight for a concrete wall, whether you're going 90 miles an hour or 100 is about as immaterial as you're going to be once you get there.
...There are some who argue that a vote for Baldwin -- or Bob Barr, or Alan Keyes, or Ralph Nader -- is a vote for Obama. The logic escapes me. The only vote for Obama is a vote for Obama. If you want to point fingers, point them at the tens of millions of people who are voting for him. A vote for Baldwin, on the other hand, is just that -- a vote for Chuck Baldwin.
....After months of angst, my decision to vote third party was simple, regardless of Baldwin's prospects for victory. Simply put: When you vote for a candidate, you're telling the other parties that you will support candidates similar to that one. The political field is a lot like the market: If enough people buy a thing, you'll start to see a lot more of it. Every vote for McCain is another reason for the GOP to run another candidate just like him. Every registered Republican who votes third party sends the message that the candidate we've been given is not up to snuff.
And then there is this gem by Fr. Robert Johansen. Again, some key snips
The idea that we need to align ourselves with the party or candidate who most closely lines up with Catholic teaching is fine, as far as it goes. The problem is that it does not go far enough: It is hardly the robust, evangelistic, sanctify-the-world posture that our vocation to holiness and call to apostleship requires. In the fourth century, St. Ambrose stood up to and rebuked the Roman emperor Theodosius. Were he transported to our own time, I cannot imagine that he would find this policy sufficient.
...So where are the Catholics in politics? The teaching of the Church and of our bishops instructs us to take our faith as our starting point and build our politics around that. Instead, we choose our politics and then see how we can shoehorn it into our faith. We find ourselves having to explain away the conflict between the tenets of the Faith and our political allegiances in order to defend our Faustian bargain.
If Catholics were really serious about "transforming" our parties and politics, things would look much different than they do today. For example, where is the Congressional Catholic Caucus? There is a Congressional Black Caucus, a Congressional Hispanic Caucus, a Serbian Caucus, and even a Congressional Boating Caucus. So where is the caucus devoted to bringing Catholic representatives and senators together across party lines to promote, defend, and advance Catholic teaching on matters of justice and the common good? Imagine how much could be accomplished by Catholics in Congress who joined together to put the Faith first in shaping their agendas.
...So what is the solution? First, we need to quit prostituting ourselves to the political power class. We have to stop serving on the advisory boards of parties and candidates who advocate intrinsic evil. Furthermore, we have to be willing to say "Enough! We won't play along anymore."
...Will any Catholics step forward to lead us beyond the constraints of the two-party game? Whether it means a third party, or making our power felt within our existing parties by changing the rules of the game, something must be done. If we are to fulfill our call to sanctify the world, we must engage in politics in light of the gospel, and not by the categories of those more concerned with elections than the Kingdom.
I reflected quite a bit on the way back from the city last evening (before election returns started coming in.) I half-jokingly have a presidential bumper sticker for '012 on the sidebar. But maybe I should be running for county council or state legislature now. (49 seats in the SC legislature ran unopposed this year.) (Although I'd be much more at home in a soup kitchen than in a state house.) Maybe its time to put a fledgling party together as has been proposed in the past. But while the Democrats celebrate, the Republicans soul-search, maybe I ought to be doing some of that too.
And before I forget, there is a great article on Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's thinking at The Distributist Review. Check it out.
Oremus pro invicem!