Thursday, June 16, 2016

Couldn't say it better myself

This voting guide is an invaluable source of reasoning and mirrors my thoughts exactly.

Here are a couple of the gems included:

When people use variants of the “lesser of two evils” argument, keep in mind that this is only a partial statement of the actual principle of reason. The actual principle is, “If one cannot avoid doing one of two acts, from both of which will follow an evil effect, one is obligated to choose the lesser of the two evils.”  Note that the premise here, which is fundamental to the entire principle, is that you cannot avoid doing one of the two acts. For this to apply in the context of an election, you would have to be constrained to only choose one of two candidates and have no other option – you must vote and you must vote for one of the only two candidates presented to you. Is this the actual case in our elections?


Your actual responsibility in an election is to vote for the candidate or position you think should win. What you vote for represents what you choose regardless of the outcome. You are not to blame for the votes of others.
I urge you to read the whole thing.

Oremus pro invicem!


Charlie said...

The problem with voting purely in adherence to principle is that voting for anyone other than yourself requires a compromise. As a former libertarian, I used to vote purely according to principle but found myself compromising to vote for guys like Ron Paul, Gary Johnson, and Bob Barr who were libertarian but were not 100% in agreement with me. This put me in a bit of a bind because if I could compromise and vote for Ron Paul why could I not do the same with Mitt Romney? And the last four years has convinced me that Mitt Romney would have been far better than what we have now.

My return to Russell Kirk conservatism has shown to me that we are never voting for Utopia but merely voting to keep Hell at bay. All candidates are corrupt as a consequence of sin and even the best are certain to disappoint us as a result of imperfection and that includes ourselves. But I'll take King David over Nero.

The reason third parties never go anywhere is because of their inability to compromise and build coalitions. They prefer 100% of nothing to 50% of something. This is Utopia. Once you realize that this world will never be Heaven, you can make steps to preserve it from becoming Hell.

The reason I loved being a libertarian is because it allowed me to care about something without actually having to do anything about it. Much of the temptation of the Benedict Option is for Christian conservatives to embark on a similar withdrawal as the libertarians. Somehow, forfeiture is preferable to defeat. Yet, they amount to the same thing except you get to be both a loser and a quitter.

As for Mr. Trump, he and his supporters were third party people who compromised and registered as Republicans and voted for their guy. Other than that, Trump would have been just another Perot. There's a lesson there.

With Trump vs. Clinton, you are left with the choice between Hitler and Stalin. A conservative can in good conscience vote for Hitler on the simple basis that he had a lower body count. It's the same choice when Catholic pro-lifers compromise to pass legislation banning abortion except for rape and incest or when the Church tolerated slavery finding it preferable to starvation. If voting for Trump is an intolerable cooperation with evil, then paying taxes is even more a cooperation with evil. Yet, Jesus paid his taxes.

I think voting must rely on the principle of bona fides or "good faith." If the candidate betrays the good intentions of those who elected him or her, the fault lies with the candidate and not the voters. It's the same principle I use when I put money in the church offering in the good faith that the funds will not be used by the priest to procure sexual favors with a gay prostitute. But if this happens, who is at fault?

With Trump, I am voting with the good faith that he will not be as bad as Hillary Clinton. But if he turns out worse, then the blame is on him. And he is campaigning largely on that promise. He will be less of a mess than she will be. In this fallen world, this is as much as we can expect. May God help us.

Jim Curley said...

I think you know I won't agree with you.

There is a huge difference between compromising and voting for a good, but imperfect candidate and voting for "the lesser of 2 evils."

I think your "good faith" argument is a red herring. You put "good faith" in candidates who have demonstrated they deserve it-AND then if betrayed, it is the candidate's fault. (For example, you wouldn't extend "good faith" and donate $ to a person or organization who in the past and without true repentance used the money to procure abortions and then say no fault lies with you if they do it again.)

The principle is that you can't do (vote) for an evil. If you can make a case that voting for Trump is not an evil, then you may vote for him. If you can only make the case he is a lessor of 2 evils, you may not in good conscience vote for him.

I am of the latter persuasion-as you have read.

Cheers, Jim

Charlie said...

A red herring is something that misleads or distracts from a relevant or important issue.--Wikipedia

What is the relevant issue here that my red herring is supposed to be distracting us from? It is the argument that participation in democracy is to be complicit in whatever that democracy does. This what the CCC says on the issue:

2239 It is the duty of citizens to contribute along with the civil authorities to the good of society in a spirit of truth, justice, solidarity, and freedom. The love and service of one's country follow from the duty of gratitude and belong to the order of charity. Submission to legitimate authorities and service of the common good require citizens to fulfill their roles in the life of the political community.

2240 Submission to authority and co-responsibility for the common good make it morally obligatory to pay taxes, to exercise the right to vote, and to defend one's country [Rom 13:7]:

Pay to all of them their dues, taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due. [Christians] reside in their own nations, but as resident aliens. They participate in all things as citizens and endure all things as foreigners.... They obey the established laws and their way of life surpasses the laws.... So noble is the position to which God has assigned them that they are not allowed to desert it. [Ad Diognetum 5: 5, 10]

The Apostle exhorts us to offer prayers and thanksgiving for kings and all who exercise authority, "that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way." [1 Tim 2:2]

When it comes to voting, we are allowed and encouraged to vote to mitigate or lessen greater evils. JP2 writes in Evangelium Vitae:

Voters are rightly concerned about the degree to which their vote represents cooperation in the evil which a candidate embraces. Obviously, voting for a candidate whose principles exactly coincide with Catholic teaching would eliminate that worry. However, that is a rare, if not non-existent, situation. Even those who embrace Catholic principles may not always apply them correctly. The fact is that most candidates will imperfectly embrace Catholic principles and voting for ANY candidate contains many unknowns about what that candidate believes and will do.

The moral distinction between formal and material cooperation allows Catholics to choose imperfect candidates as the means of limiting evil or preventing the election of a worse candidate. The justification of doing that is described above. Formal cooperation is that degree of cooperation in which my will embraces the evil object of another's will. Thus, to vote for a candidate because he favors abortion is formal cooperation in his evil political acts. However, to vote for someone in order to limit a greater evil, that is, to restrict in so far as possible the evil that another candidate might do if elected, is to have a good purpose in voting. The voter's will has as its object this limitation of evil and not the evil which the imperfect politician might do in his less than perfect adherence to Catholic moral principles. Such cooperation is called material, and is permitted for a serious reason, such as preventing the election of a worse candidate.

This is that good faith "red herring" I presented. If I am voting for Trump because I think he will put his pro-choice sister on the SCOTUS and approve of it, I am cooperating with his evil. But I don't think he will do that. But I do believe that Hillary will certainly pack the court with baby killers, so I vote for Trump to prevent this evil. He may betray my belief, but my good faith is what makes my conscience clear.

Jim Curley said...

The bona fides "red herring" is distracting and deceiving you! One only prudently extends good faith to those who deserve it in some way or have demonstrated they deserve it. Has Trump demonstrated he deserves your good faith? What has he done which demonstrates he can be trusted. Obviously you think he can be trusted, I don't.

Contributing and participating for the good of society INCLUDES withholding your vote from unworthy candidates.

Re: Evangelium Vitae, I very much doubt that JPII would believe his words would justify voting for Hitler over Stalin because of body count. Trump vs. Hilary?

I am at a loss to know what Trump would or would not do in a variety of concerning areas which would different or better from Hilary Clinton. The fact is that Trump may do exactly or worse than Clinton with SC nominations (he has come out both ways so??), abortion issues, "gender issues" , etc. etc. No one knows. We do know he lies all the time. We do know he insults women, Catholics, minorities, and others to alarming proportions.

You are HOPING that he does good despite his track record of doing and saying evil. I don't think this is enough.

If you want to think that, and vote that way, all I can say is that I hope you right.


Charlie said...

As someone who voted for Ted Cruz in the primaries, I can understand the misgivings about Donald Trump. The man is loathsome. A friend of mine and my wife both voted for Trump, and I thought they had made a huge mistake. I find it ironic to now be "campaigning" for Trump.

Let's cut to the real deal here. Republicans who refuse to vote for Trump don't want to be tainted with the potential stink that man is certain to create if elected. They don't want the guilt by association. Seeing Hillary elected is preferable because it will give those Republicans four years to try and wash the bitter taste of Trump from their mouths. They care more about the preservation of their identity and the brand of their party than they do for the welfare of the nation.

The GOP had an honorable alternative in Ted Cruz, but they couldn't bring themselves to support this man opting for giving all their money to a Bushie and all their votes to a pretty boy from Florida. The GOP is an unprincipled lot who could not vote for a man of principle, so they now have an unprincipled scoundrel on their hands as their comeuppance. They poured this bitter drink, and they must now drink it.

I am voting for Trump to keep Hillary from being elected. I will gamble on what Trump may do versus what I know Hillary will do. I believe Trump will be bitter medicine for this sick country. Hillary will be poison.

Jim Curley said...

Fair enough.