Now that it has become clear that the Republican candidate will be Donald Trump and that the Democrat candidate will be Hillary Clinton, the accusations have already begun against all who have said they will not vote for either candidate. “A vote for a third party or refraining from voting altogether is the same as a vote for Hillary”, or “if you vote third party we have you to thank for Hillary becoming president”. I intend to give several reasons why this is false and why there is no need to give in to the guilt trip.
The first and most obvious reason is that a vote for Hillary is a vote for Hillary whereas not voting for her is one less vote than she would receive if you did vote for her. While this is painfully obvious, those who make such accusations seem to not get this. My first response is “oh so in that case you would be just as okay with me voting for Hillary as you would with me voting third party or just abstaining?”. To this they either reply with a resounding don’t vote for Hillary or they see where I am going with it and they hem haw around. No matter how you break it down, not voting for Hillary is always better than voting for Hillary. So on its face it is clearly not true that a vote for a third party or just not voting is the same exact thing as a vote for Hillary.
The second reason is that this accusation assumes a Republican ownership of our votes. Many of us Christians and Reformed Christians are not Republicans at all. We might be libertarians, or part of the Constitution Party, or possibly Covenanters who reject the whole system. Whatever the case may be, each election cycle the Republican Party has the same challenge as any other party out there and that is to put a candidate up who earns people’s vote. If the GOP does not put forth such a candidate they cannot assume that they own that vote and thus not voting for their candidate is the same as voting for the Democrat candidate. If you never had my vote to start with, you can hardly claim it in effort to oppose some greater evil.
Thirdly, what happens when we continually vote for the Republican candidate who is a lesser of 2 evils is that the boundaries move each time closer to godlessness and liberalism. The last election cycle we were supposed to vote for a Mormon who has been pro abortion and pro big government his entire career all in order to prevent the worse evil of President Obama. This year we are supposed to vote for the vile man who has made fun of disabled people, who has financially supported liberals his entire career, who has been pro abortion (even partial birth abortion) his entire career, who has bragged about sleeping with married women, who has made it clear that the restrictions that the Constitution put on government mean nothing to him, and who is completely unrepentant of any of it (having claimed he has never had to ask God for forgiveness), all in order to prevent a worse evil that is Hillary Clinton. So each time we support a lesser evil Republican candidate we send a message to the GOP that we will support whatever lesser evil they put forth so long as it isn’t someone as evil as the Democrat candidate.
The fourth reason is that it is faulty reasoning to blame us for whichever terrible candidate attaining office when we actually have opposed that candidate. In fact why not turn the tables? Why not say that whoever votes for Trump over the Libertarian candidate or the Constitution Party candidate is essentially giving Hillary their vote and allowing Hillary to win? If everyone who opposed Hillary were to vote for the Libertarian candidate or the Constitution candidate then Hillary might be beat (don’t take this as an endorsement by me for either of those candidates. This is for argument’s sake.). Now Trump voters will say “oh but that candidate has no shot of winning”. Well that is true so long as the Trump voters refuse to move over to our candidate. Why should I move to their candidate rather than them move to mine? Again they have no more claim to my vote than Hillary does.
Finally when they place the blame for losing to Hillary on those who didn’t vote for Trump or Hillary it is very similar to the sore loser who blames the refs, or the weather, or some other factor for every loss. With this type of person it is never just that they weren’t good enough or that they didn’t do the right things to win. It is always someone else’s fault that they lost. The same holds true here. If the GOP is to win, they need to put forth a candidate who earns enough votes to win. If he isn’t able to gain these votes on his own merit rather than on how terrible the opponent is then he and his party have only themselves to blame.
So this election cycle please, don’t pass the blame on us. Don’t guilt trip us. Don’t say if you didn’t vote for Trump you have no right to complain about Hillary winning. Rather, GOP, take a look at yourselves and ask why you didn’t earn my vote and what drastic changes you need to make to change that for the future. Or don’t do that and fade away into that has been party that used to win elections but gave way to a new party. Either way is fine by me.
Soli Deo Gloria,