Do you say or believe,
- "I will vote for the lesser of two evils,"
- "Third party means my opponent will win,"
- "I'm afraid of what Viable-Candidate-Whom-I-Oppose will do, so I have to vote for Viable-Candidate-Whom-I-Don't-Fear-As-Much," or
- "Third party is a throw away vote."?
If you have formed your voting conscience on any of these four premises, not only is your reasoning based in falsehood or fear, you are a eugenics voter, not a faithful citizen.
I am speaking of eugenics voters as those who view the top two party candidates as the only two viable candidates and the only ones worthy of our vote.
They are not.
This places a zero worth and dignity on any other candidates.
This is a lie.
Here is why each of the four eugenics voter messages is either fear-based or a falsehood:
1. "Lesser of two evils" is an either...or falsehood. It is eugenics voting - they're both evil, so I will choose the one who will do the least bad for the common good. How backwards does that sound? Evil exists. Evil should not be our only choice. A lesser evil is not what is best for the common good. There are good choices.
2. "A third party vote means my opponent will win." The premise does not guarantee the conclusion. In fact, history has examples: John Quincy Adams (elected by the House of Representatives) and Rutherford B. Hayes (Congressional commission). A third party vote may mean that Congress will need to decide (SEE 12th Amendment). Whether Congress decides on the top party candidates or the independent candidate, the greater message will be that neither top party candidate earned the trust of the American people.
3. "I'm afraid of what Viable-Candidate-Whom-I-Oppose will do, so I have to vote for Viable-Candidate-Whom-I-Don't-Fear-As-Much." Again, a complete falsehood, and completely fear-based. For the purpose of the number of days in a year, the New American Standard Bible commands against fear 365 times. 365 days of the year include November 8, 2016. Fear is a motivator, but it is not a reasonable conscientious decisionmaker. Fear is, in fact, a very poor decisionmaker. If anything, recognize that there is reasonable evidence to fear both top party's candidate's ability to govern responsibly. This is a very important conclusion. Take fear, and be motivated to choose good.
4. "Third party is a throwaway vote." Firstly, third party votes are still counted. And there is not just one third party, there are at least 3 reasonably viable parties outside of the top two: Libertarian, Constitutional, and Green. If someone votes Independent, someone got up off the couch, resisted Pokemon Go, and stood in line to be counted. If a third party vote were a throwaway, there would be no independent parties at all.
This is my observation. I know a lot of people who do not like either top party candidate. I know a lot of people who do not trust either top party candidate to govern our nation responsibly. If enough people bravely say that they do not like either top party candidate and that neither top party candidate has earned their trust to govern our nation responsibly, then the numbers are suddenly viable, the polls no longer matter, and we would be truly dedicated to the call of the USCCB for a renewed politics that focuses on moral principles.
This may be a poor analogy, but it has at least delivered my point (agree with it or not) on more than one occasion: if Loki and Iron Man are the top party candidates, I will vote for Captain America. One candidate has so often skirted the law and so clearly committed irresponsible actions, it is not possible to reasonably assume this candidate would govern responsibly. One candidate is a business tycoon who has a history of business decisions that do not recognize human dignity, and whose messages as a political candidate for president continue to align with an "it's just business" mentality of dealing with people as objects to be used as a means to an end. In this current political atmosphere, there are alternatives to two unfortunate candidates, and there are several alternative candidates which we may determine in our conscience who could be candidates which do not elicit fear that they would govern irresponsibly.
In the four Presidential elections I've been old enough to vote, this is the only one in which I am so upset at the abandonment of principles of both parties and moral tenets of society that I refuse to vote for either party's candidate. In addition, this election is the first in which I'm certain, that both of the two top party candidates will not govern responsibly.
The USCCB has a page dedicated to Faithful Citizenship. And the first of their 2016 bulletin inserts is a great first document start. I ask that each of us recognize and demand in the public square that fear and falsehood do not bring truth and do not adequately develop the conscience of a faithful citizen.
Refuse to be a eugenics voter.
Recognize and take into faithful citizenship decision-making considerations the following:
1. Recognize that both candidates do not reasonably have our trust that they will govern responsibly.
2. Look very critically at all fear-based and false arguments and call them such outright in every corner where they appear.
3. Consider an independent party vote in order to establish that as faithful citizens, we reject the lack of character among leaders in both parties, the lack of integrity among politicians, and the lack of either party to grow and nurture true and responsible leadership.
4. Reject a conclusion that only viable candidates are reasonable choices.
May Faith and Reason be our guides that will lead us to Truth and a good decision made for the common good by a faithful citizen.