I typically stay away from writing about current events and politics, but this catastrophic election won’t leave my mind. Yes, I will lose some readers over this, but I can’t help sharing some thoughts.
I know if you wait for the perfect candidate who you agree with on every single issue you’ll be waiting forever. I get it. I’m not asking for a saint. I’m not expecting a candidate I can agree on with every economic, environmental, educational, social, and foreign policy.
All I’m asking for is to have the option to vote for a candidate that has a sense of the sacredness of human life and the dignity of the human person. But apparently that is ASKING TOO MUCH. I can’t find that unicorn of a candidate. Not in Trump or Clinton. Not in any of the prominent 3rd party candidates like Gary Johnson or Jill Stein.
So maybe this candidate I’m dreaming of doesn’t exist. But if they did exist, he/she might believe the following:
- Killing innocent civilians (including children) with drones is barbaric and immoral.
- The most vulnerable of our citizens should be protected beginning at conception. The answer to a crisis pregnancy is compassion, assistance, and support for the woman in crisis, not the death of an innocent child.
- The use of torture is absolutely incompatible with the dignity of the human person.
- Targeting and killing the families of terrorists is an unthinkable crime, not a means of increasing national security.
- The disabled should be valued and protected, not ridiculed. The termination of the lives of the unborn if they are not deemed “perfect” is abominable.
- The elderly are valued members of our society and the legalization of euthanasia will leave individuals deemed “burdensome” vulnerable.
- Women are not sex objects but equal in dignity and value, not worthy or unworthy based on their physical attractiveness.
- Each person has equal value not dependent on his/her country of origin, religion, or skin color.
- The poor also have equal value and dignity. A nation that ignores the needs of the poor is not a Christian nation.
I dream of many other things, but this simple list all points to the basic, crucial belief that human beings are valuable. That human life is sacred. Acknowledging the dignity of every single person on this earth is essential and safeguarding their lives imperative. Is that really so much to ask? Apparently so.
I hope you can see that I’m not telling you who to vote for. I’m not attacking the Republican, the Democrat, the Libertarian, or the Green Party. It’s complicated and I think Christians can disagree about the best course of action. But I am pointing out that as Christians, the very core of our political and social ideals should honor the sacredness of human life and the dignity of each human person created in the image of God. I don’t see that truth supported in the words of any of the political candidates in this election.
As I said, I’m not waiting around for the perfect candidate that supports each of the environmental, educational, and social ideals I hold. But I don’t think it’s too much to ask to want to vote for someone who believes in human life and the sacredness and dignity of that life.
Because someone’s going to say it…
But Trump is pro-life! Yes, I am aware that in recent months, Trump has changed his views on abortion and wants to align himself as “pro-life.” No, I don’t consider someone who promotes torture, treats women as sex objects, and mocks the disabled to be a person who understands the sacredness of human life in any meaningful way. And the carrot of pro-life supreme court justices to overturn Roe v. Wade has been dangled before Christian voters many a time. Nothing about this man makes me believe he is a champion for the vulnerable.
So you’ll vote Hillary? I have no intention of voting for someone who not only supports abortion but approved drone strikes that murdered innocent children during her tenure as Secretary of State. Refusing to play into Trump’s courtship of pro-lifers does not equal a vote for Hillary.
But Candidate A is worse than Candidate B! Are they? Maybe. While I understand the attempt to pick a lesser of two evils, I see two candidates with no respect for human life. They are shockingly similar.
Not voting for Candidate A is a vote for Candidate B! This simply isn’t how voting is supposed to work. This only makes sense if you don’t find both options abhorrent. It’s also poor logic. If not voting for Candidate A is a vote for Candidate B, then not voting for Candidate B is a vote for Candidate A. See? It just doesn’t make any sense.
But you have to pick one! Why? Listen to someone much smarter than I am, Alasdair MacIntyre, on when you’re faced with two intolerable candidates. Read the whole thing. But: “In this situation a vote cast is not only a vote for a particular candidate, it is also a vote cast for a system that presents us only with unacceptable alternatives.” Something to think about, friends.
Do I know how I will vote? No, I don’t. I will be researching third parties. Let me know if you see a unicorn. In the meantime, I’m not going to champion a candidate who opposes the most basic Christian beliefs.
Final thought: I sincerely hope everyone appreciates the delightful patriotic unicorn image I made. We can have fun, be charitable, and talk politics, right?
UPDATE (10/09/2016): I wrote this months ago, but it still seems very relevant to this election. I now know how I will be voting and it isn’t for Trump or Clinton. I’ll be voting for the American Solidarity Party which has a platform I can stomach. Will they win? No, they won’t. But if things are going to change it will be because we say “enough!” and refuse to play along with a very broken system that gives us increasingly evil choices. Instead, we should stand up for what we believe in.