Up until the selection of Gov. Sarah Palin a little less than two weeks ago, many people that I read were looking at Sen. McCain as the Lesser of Two Evils. They didn’t want to vote for him, so they were planning on voting against Obama. In fact, even Rush Limbaugh talked endlessly on how this election was going to be all about Obama—it was his to win or lose.
Of those that are choosing either not to vote, or to cast a vote for a third party candidate, KimC, at In a Shoe, expresses their sentiment when she says:
It’s trite but true: a vote for the lesser of two evils is still a vote for evil.
The problem is that this reflects a poor understand of man and the Scripture.
All Men are Sinners
We all sin. We all fall short of God’s glory.
At this basic level, apart from Christ, we’re all evil. I don’t know about you, but when’s the last time you were actually sure about the eternal state of a elected official? It’s not often.
So, at this level we can’t expect to not vote for someone that is not perfect.
Perry proposed that we could/should use a set of qualifications, which certainly is a plausible way of going about it, but it avoids the issue rather than addressing it—mainly, qualification differ depending on the individual.
But then that’s not judging whether a person is evil or just doesn’t meet the qualifications. One has a moral connotation whereas the other does not.
And that’s why the title of this post is such a loaded statement. It’s one thing for you to say that you cannot choose to support someone because they don’t meet what you believe the qualifications are for the position. It’s another thing to call the people running for office evil—or to imply that you’re choosing between evils.
Who Will You Vote For?
However, I say all this to say I understand where they are coming from. I understand, because I’m not fully comfortable with McCain. I don’t believe I’m choosing evil if I vote for him in November, but I also don’t know if I’m comfortable enough to vote for what he stands for.
How about you? Do you have reservations about both candidates, or do you push them aside to get the best probable candidate possible?
10 thoughts on “The Lesser of Two Evils”
My dad told me never to discuss politics and that is something that has stuck with me until this day. It’s good advice, because at this point in the election season I feel there is a lot of tunnel vision going on with voters. They latch on to one candidate and regardless of what they do or say they’ll be supportive of them until the end. I find that unless you spend day and night researching what each candidate is about you end up never knowing everything. And there have been many past candidates that have preached one thing and done another once in office. I will tell you that I’m independent and will probably always be, because I dislike all the funny stuff that goes on with each of the parties.
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I don’t believe it’s choosing evil either. You hit the nail on the head – we’re ALL sinners. I wouldn’t even go as far to say Obama is evil – I disagree with just about everything he represents, but does it fall under my jurisdiction to call him “evil”? That’s a strong word. I have however used the phrase loosely before when discussing the election; I refuse to vote for Obama and even though I don’t support everything John McCain stands for, I feel that even though he’s far from perfect, he is still a better choice for my vote. Is that wording a little better? 🙂
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@Colleen: Your dad’s a wise man– but you still need to know what you believe and how the candidates stack up against it.
@Rachel: Well, it’s either they’re all evil or some or evil, or some are more evil than others? I mean, Pres. Bush called Saddam evil. As a comparative term, however, I would think that there are people far more evil than either of these two men.
Although I may not be in lock-step with McCain on every issue, I have found that he represents my values much better than Obama. I also don’t agree with Mrs. Palin on every issue. Yet I find that having McCain/Palin in office would support my values better than Obama/Biden. There are certain things in Obama’s record (and statements he has made) that don’t jive with me. I think Obama is a great public speaker and I do love to watch him inspire people. His speech on fatherhood was fantastic and I was glad to see him take a stand for family. At the same time, I find that I cannot support a candidate who believes wholeheartedly in abortion. Him not voting for Born Alive Infants Protection Act is extremely disheartening. Yes, I don’t know if the climate of abortion will ever completely change anytime soon. By the same token, I’d at least like to see someone in office who aims to reduce and restrict abortion and does see it as a big wrong in our country. I also do not like his statement on “clinging to guns and religion” in his belittlement of small town people.
McCain seems to be more consistent in his beliefs. He isn’t perfect, but I find that at least he will fight to reduce abortion and that he will defend our rights as citizens to enjoy freedom of religion.
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@militarywifey: Right– it seems to me that you’re more of a “best fit” than looking at it as “lesser of evils”. This is the way I’ve looked at it.
Every time we get close to an election, I just realize how much I hate politics… and our 2-party system – ugh, don’t even get me started…
oh, but your post was good, it just reminded me of my frustrations 😉
@ChristianPF: That is part of my problem with the current political scene. I would love to have more viable candidates– I would have liked to see Hillary run third party as well as– oh, I don’t know, Huckabee run third party as well. If you had actual contenders, I think you could blow away the two party dynamic. That is, if you could get the press to actually cover you.
Part of the problem is that people with big enough names to get the attention won’t detract from their party.
When I think about where we are as a country right now I am very frightened. Somthing in my heart tells me that the choices we make in a few weeks may afect alot more than our pocket books. We have changed so much. We are selfish and self centered and we seem to be so blinded by what we feal economically that we are forgeting about security or even what is right. I don’t know if Mccain will bring us out of this economic crisis, truthfully things will not change over night. But I know america is not stable with the world right now. This world we live in no longer fights man to man. There are things very scary out there and in a moment all I love could be gone. When I think about whats more inportant to me the money in my wallet or my life. I will chose my life before anything else. And if I wanted to pick a leader who would do the most rational and keep me safe I know that Mccain would be that man with his sound experience and military experience. Do I think I’ll get rich out of no where and the economy will turn around. No, probably not. But I’ll be alive. Because Obama will not stand and show himself in way that is real. I can not stand and support what I don’t know and what my heart says will be unwise. My mom always said the devil uses a little bit of truth that maskes a lot of lie. not that I’m tring to be Christian, but his plan sound like its exactly what we what to hear and it sound like he’s masking alot of lies. and that exactly what that saying means. Look in your heart and tell me if you see differently.
@Maria: I’m a realist. I believe that Jesus Christ will return and the world will be judged, but at the same time I do not believe that the destiny of the world is tied with America. Europe used to be the whole known world, and when Christianity eclipsed there, it moved here. It may eclipse here, and God may have a plan for another continent before the end, I don’t know.
What we need to do, as Christians, is to realize that Christianity thrives in persecution. That it severs as a refining fire. That’s not to say that we should wish hard times upon ourselves, but that we should not fear them.
Which is where this discussion of the lesser of two evils goes. Part of why we choose to vote for the “one who has a chance to win” is that we buy into the line that if we do not, the worst things imaginable will happen. When we buy into this fear, we forget that the heart of the king is in the hand of the Lord, and we neglect his power.
Definitely something to consider this election season.