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.
Succinct and well said. And I love the unicorn!
Hayley, you are not alone! There is a growing group of people not happy with their choices who have come together to form a new whole life party. Our party is small right now and many people dismiss us out of hand as a “wasted vote” but we need to start somewhere and many states require a party to get a certain number of votes in order to run local candidates which is our long term goal. The American Solidarity Party is based on the Christian Democratic Movement. We are anti-abortion, pro-Universal Healthcare, we oppose drone strikes and any war that doesn’t meet Just War principles, we support paid maternity leave, we believe in supporting local farms, and home-schooling families. I would never hawk this party for publicity only, but your post so closely echoes my own sentiments that I was feeling earlier in the year as I was searching for a new political home. If you feel so inclined, please check out the website, which has the platform on it. And you can also check out our Facebook pages. http://www.solidarity-party.org/
I just heard about the American Solidarity Party two days ago! If I had to vote today, that’s how I’d vote. <3
If you have any questions please let me know, besides being a longtime reader and total fangirl I am also the Secretary for the National Committee for The American Solidarity Party.
Leah P. says
Thanks Haley, for the thoughtful post (and lovely unicorn), and thanks, Amy for linking to the American Solidarity Party – I’ve already signed up to get more info! 🙂
I just did a whole lot of unexpected nap time googling – thanks!
Someone mentioned somewhere that they’re in favor of decriminalizing child pornography or something like that, though?
I don’t think so, Carrie. Their platform states, “The ASP regards pornography as a harm to society and opposes the exploitation of human persons that pornography entails.” Are you thinking about prostitution? They want stricter penalties for the buying of sex but decriminalization of the selling of sex (basically because that protects already exploited women from further punishment.)
Carrie is referring to a confusing passage in an earlier version of the platform.
The ASP supports treating illness like illness, rather than treating it like crime.
No one ever suggested decriminalizing the production or distribution of CP.
I totally agree with you. I’m not happy with any of the candidates, and I can’t in good conscience vote for any of them.
I still believe in the importance of voting, so I’m actually considering writing in the name of someone that I respect. And most importantly, I’m praying a lot for our country!
Erica Saint says
Yes! I completely agree.
Ellen Johnson says
Well said! I’m so tired of hearing that I “have” to vote for Trump because, abortion. Ummm, does anyone actually listen to what he says? He is not prolife and you cannot count on him nominating good supreme court judges. I can’t stomach Hillary and the Dems either, but I have to say, that ad that she’s been running about our children listening to Trumps words is spot on. He’s the pro-life, pro-family values candidate? I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!
Amen! I couldn’t agree more. Which is why I’m going to try to avoid Facebook for the next 4 months as self preservation.
Very well said! My husband and I were talking the other day about the fact that when our kids are older and start learning about what happened in this election that we wouldn’t be able to look them in the eyes and say with good conscience that we voted for Clinton or Trump. We are researching a better alternative but don’t know where to turn! Praying for America! Also, I loved your unicorn!
Amen sister! I have lost so much sleep over this election. I can’t fathom voting for Hillary, and I truly believe there is a distinct possibility Trump will lead us into WWW III. I was really hoping the libertarians were going to nominate Austin Petersen because I think I’d feel good voting for him. But as it is now, I don’t know what to do on election day. I keep hoping some well-funded independent will jump into the race and save us.
Exactly how I feel. Someone suggested the Constitution Party and the American Solidarity Party a few days ago. I haven’t had a chance to look into either, but will.
Taking this to Adoration a lot between now and November!
I really appreciate this post (and your political unicorn graphic skills, ha). If we are going to pro-life, we have to be consistently pro-life.
Chris M says
It’s amazing how many people feel the way you do. I think we have a whole generation, both liberal and conservative, who can’t even imagine a president who embodies the traits we think make a good one. This tells us something about who has the power. How many 30 year olds support Clinton? And how many Trump? Probably very few. In any case, Gary Johnson might not be a bad choice. He gets liberals attracted to him because he says things like a woman has a right to choose and people can marry who they wish, but what those people don’t realize is that he means that we should be able to decide those things for ourselves. So when states can actually do that, what will happen? Abortion will be greatly restricted in a majority of states (eliminated in some) and we might actually have an opportunity for once to influence all the things we care about as Catholics – on a more local level because we have the power to govern ourselves.
Emily Hartung says
I love this post! So well written, thoughtful and honest. You captured exactly how I feel about this election year. Thank you for writing this. I have to admit that although I know as a good Catholic I should vote, there is a good chance I won’t. Because I can’t in good conscience vote for either of the main candidates and I think the world needs to know we want better than that in a candidate.
I urge you to at least vote in you local elections and your congressional elections, even if you abstain from voting for president. (I too am feeling very stuck on this presidential election and have been considering third party candidates for several months.)
My mom found this article recently: http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2016/07/17420/
I thought it was quite good. It points out the problem of voting for the lesser of two evils. I believe the writer generally writes about government and natural law. He doesn’t mention this, but from a virtue ethics perspective, it’s a terrible idea to will that the lesser of two evils become president.
Yes! I was going to link to this article on public discourse and also another one I like on trump’s bad character: http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2016/05/16994/
Thank you Hale for writing this post. I completely agree and it is so comforting to see other people that think the same way in the comments. It’s great to talk about this… It is all so confusing.
I agree. Soooooo..The Church has requested all Catholics to pray the 54 Novena for our Nation starting August 15 and ending before the election. So that is what I am going to do. Pray for this Nation and hope for a good third party candidate
What a wonderful plan!! I’m so excited to start this!! And check out the American Solidarity Party! i’m not a memeber (yet?) and am still looking into it, but so far it looks like. Good option!
Yes! I just learned about this party. It may be our unicorn, and though winning is not likely, a clear conscience vote.
This is PRECISELY how I feel. I don’t think that any Catholic should feel good about voting for any of the candidates this election season. I’ve re-visited that Alistair MacIntyre essay election year after election year, but always ended up voting for someone because I felt like as an American, living this American dream and having been given this gift of democracy, I HAD to vote for someone who had a viable chance. This election has made me realize now more than ever, that my status as a Catholic, as a human being, trumps (pun intended) my status as an American. I’ll be looking into third parties and write-ins as well, but I am at peace with not voting for any of these major candidates, even if NOT voting for one of them seems to be (according to some) a vote in favor of another. I will vote my conscience and hopefully be able to sleep at night, knowing I did.
The statement from Hilarie Belloc, “The thesis that the Catholic Church is incompatible with the Modern State is in part true.” from his, “Essays of a Catholic” seems, unfortunately, to accurately describe the conundrum we Catholics face in today’s political field.
Yes, voting for the lesser of two evils or not voting at all equating a vote for the worse of the candidates doesn’t seem right nor fair…but I’m afraid its our sad reality. And we mustn’t forget, the next president gets a Supreme Court nomination right out the gate. That is a truth we ALL must face head on, because as we have bore witness in recent Supreme Court decisions, the courts can change (and have changed!) the face of this nation…not just for us, but for our children as well.
No, it doesn’t seem right or fair and it is our very sad reality.
Remember what Ross Perot did to get the “Clinton Machine” rolling………The primaries is the time to vote 3rd, 4th, whatever Party…….
I’m afraid this line of thought is going to make our worst fears reality. Hillary Clinton will be elected because of all the righteous who cannot vote at all or cannot vote for Trump.
Our country is on a slippery slope and sadly, our children and grandchildren will never know how it could have been. Life is sacred.
Yes, I am VERY afraid of “Ross Peroting” this election! Just hoping the evils of the Clinton Administration shake enough ppl into action, if begrudgingly.
Voting for a 3rd party candidate might be reasonable only IF 1) one has *truly zero* preference between either major candidate or 2) you can expect with certainty your state going one way or another and it can afford your vote being spent as a conscience protest.
Regarding #1, there is a strong argument to be made that pro-life legislation would pass more easily under Trump than Clinton, and that is something every Catholic must seriously consider before believing they truly have no preference.
Kate Bertrand says
This post sums up EXACTLY how I’ve been feeling, thank you for putting your thoughts into a much more coherent written form than I could ever achieve!
Kelsey Kersting says
Yes to all of this.
Sigh….. I agree.
I have decided to vote straight-ticket Republican, because I can get behind about 88% of that platform. Whereas only about 17% of the Democrat platform. I have to believe that most candidates, when elected will support their party line. Even Trump. But I can’t put a check in his box. I just can’t. Thank goodness Texas is one of the few states that allows straight-ticket voting
Claire Rebecca says
Check out the American Solidarity Party?
Mary McGiffin says
Aha! My people! They’re all here in this com box! HELLO
Holy wow, Haley! You basically put all of my own thoughts on this topic down on paper and much more eloquently than I ever could. I’m so grateful for this. If anyone wants to know my thoughts on this election, I will be directing them to this article.
I would vote for you, Haley!
Easiest political read in a long time – thanks Haley!! #imwithaley 😉
I like the Constitution Party. They are for limited govt, but without the social progressivism of the Libertarian party. I like the idea of a decentralized government, which allows the state to enact laws that better reflect the governed. And allows people to move to a state that better reflects their needs or ideals. https://www.constitutionparty.com/our-principles/seven-principles/
Reading this post and these comments, I think I have found my tribe. Thank you, Haley! Also, I love your unicorn graphic. Except for the fact that it isn’t farting rainbows.
Love this post!! We are probably going with (and maybe even joining, once I’m done looking into it) the American Solidarity Party. So far it seems pretty decent!!!
I was a Bernie Sanders fan and donor who is now voting for Trump. I also attend Latin Mass, have 6 children eight and under, and have walked accross the country for the pro-life cause. I consider myself pro-life and find it borderline offensive when other Catholics try to insinuate that I am not pro-life. Do I think either candidates fit the Catholic description of pro-life? Absolutely NOT! Very few cadidates do. Most Republicans pay lipservice to the pro-life cause but very few actually do in their policies. I am pragmatic. I grew up in the midwest and saw globablization destroy families’ livelihoods. One of the sins that cries to heaven is stealing a worker’s just wage. . . . I am not okay with globalization and I believe families should be able to support themselves off of one income. Do I consider myself as voting for evil when supporting either candidate, no. I am voting to support families and a standard of living that is evaporating as politicians sell out our workers. I am not looking for a political Messiah. I already have Christ.
Hi Cara! Just to be clear, I wasn’t accusing voters of not being pro-life. I was pointing out that Trump (and Clinton) do not fit that description (just as you said in your comment.) As I said, I’m not waiting around for a saint or a political messiah. I’m just not putting my vote behind candidates that are intolerable. Something like the American Solidarity party is the closest I’ve found to lining up in any legitimate way with Catholic social teaching.
I don’t think we have ever had a mainstream candidate that fits all of those qualifications that you listed. The only Catholic president we had was a complete dirtball. As society gets worse and worse less of those qualities will end up in a candidate. It gives Catholics the ability to focus on other issues when voting for candidates. In my opinion, Hillary is as bad as it gets. Her associates end of up dead, and she is bought and paid for by every corporation and then some foreign governments
Funny to find your college buddy in a com box, eh Cara? ? I very much appreciate where Haley is coming from, but like you I’ll probably hold my nose and vote for Trump.
I believe it is the most meaningful way to protest Hillary, and I think pro-life legislation from congress will have a stronger *chance* of passing under Trump. We can count on Clinton automatically vetoing pretty much any pro-family bill that comes her way.
Or maybe I should say I’m voting for Mike Pence, his VP. He made several very unpopular moves protecting religious liberty and the unborn in Indiana. Trump’s selection of him is significant; Hillary would never pick a guy like Pence.
Leslie Adams says
You have stated absolutely perfectly my feelings in this election. I am absolutely horrified by either of my choices.
Tsh Oxenreider says
I endorse this unicorn, and all that he/she stands for in your eloquence here. Thanks, Haley.
What a wonderful list of characteristics of a pro-life candidate! Just being anti-abortion is not nearly enough in my opinion. I agree with your points, and I always really struggle to figure out how to vote.
Excellent, I will be sharing this!
Toni Wiegel says
I too am not excited about the choices for President and sanctity of life is THE main issue that I always look for in a candidate. However, this article by Wayne Grudem in Town Hall made it clear to me why Trump is the better choice.
Considering how appropriate the metaphor is for many of us, I think that it increases the awesomeness that is your above work of art. I have never, in the past, understood how someone could be undecided this far into an election cycle. I just couldn’t imagine not being able to isolate the most suitable candidate after so many months of a narrowed field… until it happened to me. I honestly don’t know how I am going to arrive at a decision. I guess we have to just keep praying and watching for unicorns just in case. If you spot one make sure you let us know.
Yes! To Everything you just wrote. This election is so depressing. I have been hiding all the political posts I can on FB and trying to figure out what to do. The lesser of two evils is still evil. I don’t like the situation we find ourselves in this year.
Great thoughts Haley! I scrolled down to the comments expecting to see people being disrespectful, very partisan and in general, very polarizing, but… Hark! All the reasonable respectful people are here, in this election I was wondering where we all were:)
Mark Lloyd says
Check out http://isidewith.com for a comparison of the candidates to help find your unicorn. I’m going with Gary Johnson.
I’m impressed with the sincerity and the excellent unicorn image. I can only comment on this paragraph:
– Yes, I am aware that in recent months, Trump has changed his views on abortion
Not in recent months; since 2011 he’s been saying it. Even in 2000 when he thought it was a woman’s private right, he was “uncomfortable” talking about the procedures and wanted to ban partial birth abortion. It’s been a gradual process. Mike Huckabee said “Of course he’s changed his mind – but over twenty years, not twenty days.”
– promotes torture
Promotes waterboarding. It’s a tough call. It’s brought us some intelligence windfalls. It prevented the dirty bomb guy in Chicago. It doesn’t “technically” harm the person. I don’t know, but I can guarantee Clinton will use CIA blacksites to torture people as well.
– treats women as sex objects
Trump is in his 70s and has obviously settled down. I have to say three marriages (the last one pretty stable for many years now) pales in comparison to the number of Mr. Clinton’s mistresses and how he and his wife subsequently treated them. Bill Clinton’s scandals came out during the formative years of me and every male my age. What did that do to rape culture?
– mocks the disabled
This has been refuted several times. He said he remembered news reports of Palestinians celebrating in the streets as the WTC came down. The media said he was lying. He came up with the article, and the media attacked that journalist and pressured him to recant and say he can’t recall what really happened. Trump made fun of him – not nice, I know – but he doesn’t appear to have known about the reporter’s disability and used the same gesticulations when he made fun of Cruz knuckling under when pressured.
– the carrot of pro-life supreme court justices to overturn Roe v. Wade has been dangled before
Not like this – eleven named judges, some of whom said Roe is the worst abomination in current legal history. There’s no indication he has a secret list of prochoice judges he’ll prefer, so there’s no reason to think he won’t choose from that list. He publicly admired Antonin Scalia. No, this is not worth handing the choice over to Hillary. Remember that Hillary won’t just choose SCOTUS justices, but also the federal judiciary. The district and appeals courts are already damaged by Obama appointees; they will never be the same after Hillary.
I think the fact that Trump selected Mike Pence as his VP is significant, and promising that he could select pro-family judiciary members as well. In contrast, Hilary wouldn’t share a water fountain with someone like Pence.
Amy @The Salt Stories says
Haley, thanks for writing this. It seems you and I are not alone. With the media and two party system, we are stuck with choices that feel like huge comprises to the majority of the public. Why does it feel like we have no voice in this election?
I love that the American Solidarity Party supports common sense and common good. Still learning and searching out alternatives.
Erica Page says
This is exactly how I feel! If (big if) I end up voting for the lesser of two evils (I honestly don’t even know who that is) I’ll do so quietly, with remorse.
Although, thanks to the electoral college, it doesn’t even matter how I vote because my state will go to Trump. ?
Thank you for writing this, Haley! This election season has made me just so very…sad. It stinks to feel absolutely UNrepresented. Praying for our country!
This was wonderful, Haley! I’ve honestly been scrolling my Feedly daily waiting for some blogger to touch on this subject. I’m excited to see where the conversation goes in your comment section! Maybe someone has an idea for us.
I agree! I was exactly where you are 2 months ago. For me, it comes down to being a one-issue voter. If you are not alive, you cannot be a woman or poor or tortured. Donald Trump may not be rock-solid on the life issue, but one thing is certain: he cannot be more opposed to life than Hillary Clinton. I trust the people who know him best (like Ben Carson) who say that for all his crude bluster, he does know what he’s doing.
The main thing is really it doesn’t matter. It is just politics–a pasttime. Jesus has overcome the world. <3
Something I recently read: When you corrupt a man, you corrupt a man; when you corrupt a woman, you corrupt the world.”
I’m looking for the unicorn too! I probably will not vote for any presidential candidate but will be voting to make sure the right people get into office in our local and state elections.
If Hillary is elected, your local and state elections will not matter a bit.
Yes! I both can and cannot believe we are in the political position we are in now. If I had to vote today (and Primaries for my state are tomorrow) I would vote for the American Solidarity Party I am impressed by their platform as comprehensively pro-life.
Well said Haley!
Personally, I don’t want my government to be Catholic and I say this as a Catholic. I LOVE that there is a separation between church and state. I LOVE that while I believe abortion to be a sin, I also think it’s between a woman, her God, and her doctor. I feel it’s very scary when we start expecting our government to reflect our personal religious beliefs and I have no interest in wearing a burqa, so I’d like to offer the same respect to those who don’t feel the same as me.
That said, I can understand wanting to elect someone who agrees with your ideals. And if I were you, I wouldn’t be voting the candidates you have either. (I also really love your unicorn.)
Personally, I’m voting for Hillary. She’s not my first pick. She wasn’t even in my top 3 during primary season, but I don’t think she’ll be a bad president. I think she’ll fight for the working poor, for better education opportunities, and access to health care. Basically, I don’t always agree with her but I think she’ll do more good than harm which can’t be said of the other major candidate. In my humble opinion.
I too am so thankful for the diversity of this country and freedom of religion. However, I am wary of any politician, such as Hilary, who sidelines a basic human right as a merely personal or religious option, i.e. the abortion issue. The right to life is not so much a religious precept as a fundamental tenant of natural law, something that ethically binds everyone regardless of religious or cultural identity.
To suggest that abortion ought not be restricted by law because it ought to remain in the private sphere makes as much sense as arguing that laws should not restrict slavery or wife beating because they are norms in some cultures and out of the public sphere.
Mrs. A says
The unicorn is awesome!
There is a man who appears to be legit Catholic running – Joe Schiner? Ive also been looking into Darrell Castle with the Constitutionalist party. I’ll have to look into the American Solidarity Party too. But overall – thank you for saying what I’ve been trying to articulate – except way clearer and shorter than I would.
Excellent post. I’m sure my 2 cents will be buried in the deluge, but here goes: In casting about for something new, for alternatives in the future, Catholics need to be very careful in our choices. Study, study, study. Start with Rerum Novarum and Quadragesimo Anno. I suggest reading lots of Chesterton and Belloc. Find the Chestertonian Distributists. The goal should be freedom and autonomy from large government and large business. Christian democracy, socialist distributist, liberation theology — they ain’t Catholic. Maybe it’s still too early to enter into this discussion, but I can see my unicorn so clearly…..
Grace Ladd McDonald says
Good words Haley. I feel the same way.
I checked out the American Solidarity Party. Wow! Just what I was looking for!
David W. Cooney says
I don’t claim he is a unicorn, but you might check out Joe Schriner’s campaign for president.
Here are my own thoughts on the claims that we must choose between one of the two major party candidates.
Adrienne Meador says
Rand Paul is my unicorn.
James Joseph Finn says
Attention all single issue voters:
As incredible as it sounds, Abortion / Pro-Life is not the only issue. Yes, it’s true.
Just as one example, the right to bear arms has been directly threatened by Hillary. So, if you like the idea of being able to protect yourself from a home invasion, than, guess what? You’re not the single issue voter you thought you were.
Catholics obsessed with abortion are part of the problem. I know, I used to be one.
Sure, it would be great if we could pull a Mary Poppins and snap our fingers, and, Poof! – the sacredness of human life becomes immediately apparent to everyone.
Eh, excuse me for pointing out the obvious, but what you just described is not an “election cycle”, it is a mass conversion. So, if you really believe what you are saying, you need to go stand out on the street corner and preach the Gospel. Casting a vote for some no name loser will not achieve your goal.
It’s sad that we live in a country that comes down to the “lesser of two evils” and “hold your nose and vote…..then confess” but it is reality.
This election is too important to stay home to make a statement…..it will be loud and clear and sound just Hillary. That gives me chills.
Agree! Do you really want to chance electing a candidate that has said, “Americans will have to change their religious convictions and cultural codes so they can pass laws”? If you think it is bad now, imagine living in that reality. We would all like to believe in unicorns and perfect candidates, but the reality is our next President will be either Clinton or Trump. Not some “ideal” candidate.
This guy is Catholic, “purple” (a mix of red and blue politics), and pro-life in the broadest sense possible. He’s getting my vote. I encourage everyone here who can’t stomach Trump, Clinton, Johnson, Stein, or Castle to check him out.
Jim Cline says
Joe is a good man who spoke from his heart. The principles and values expressed in his essay are now being advanced by the American Solidarity Party (ASP). ASP had endorsed Joe 4 years ago when it was a very small party (originally the Christian Democratcs) but it’s been energized and is rapidly expanding this year. ASP is moving forward this year with its own ticket. http://www.solidarity-party.org/ Mike Maturen and Juan Munoz. This rapidly expanding party warrants the attention of all whole life Americans.
Wake up ladies. Our choice does not include some magical “ideal candidate”. Either Clinton or Trump WILL be our next President. In my opinion, to not vote for the lessor of these two evils is to insure that the greater of these two evils WILL be elected.
“Either Clinton or Trump WILL be our next President.” You said it in a nutshell.
Influencing *that* outcome is the loudest way to use your vote. If Clinton wins, none of big-party “conservatives” or donors are going to be saying “aww shucks, next time we really ought to go with someone more pro-life than Trump”
Exactly right Elizabeth. Our duty to vote….and I said duty, not just a right…..is to vote for a viable candidate. Anyone else and you are just part of an (*) at the end of the results. I know so many who voted for Ross Perot. Those were votes for Bill Clinton and the Clinton Machine began to roll……all because people thought they were “making a statement”. They sure did! Just maybe not the statement they intended.
THANK YOU for putting into words how I’ve been feeling for months. I’ve been looking around with bewilderment that no one else seems to be appalled by these choices.
Betsy McGriff says
Haley, you might check out Rachel Held Evans blog post – http://rachelheldevans.com/blog/pro-life-voting-for-hillary-clinton. Not to change your mind, just another perspective. A great quote from the piece –
“Creating a culture of life isn’t just about standing in a picket line with a “Choose Life” sign. It’s about seriously addressing the problem of income inequality in this country so that no woman has to choose between getting an abortion or raising her child in poverty. It means celebrating parenthood by making America the most generous country in the developed world when it comes to maternity and paternity leave, not the least generous, and it means working together on efforts to reduce the costs of food, diapers, childcare, pediatrician visits, college tuition, adoption, and resources for special needs children. “
Thanks so much for this post, Haley. And thanks for posting that article, Betsy. Another that I came across was this one: http://www.shannondingle.com/blog//im-pro-life-and-im-voting-for-hillary-heres-why
I’m not sharing it to say I agree with it 100%, but there is a note of it that rings true to me. Mostly, that being pro-life is big, and it covers almost every issue. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this if you have time to read it, Haley.
Wow, that is an excellent article, thank you for posting!
A standing ovation, Haley!! I share all of your sentiments. You certainly haven’t lost my readership! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!!
Your post is thought provoking because I’m that person who is leaning with the lesser of two evils. I am placing this whole mess into the hands of God and praying for his revelation of whom to vote.
Your unicorn is awesome
I am so, so glad I don’t have to make that choice (although my country recently voted to do some pretty stupid things, so…)
My husband and I were discussing this exact issue in the car the other day, and we came to the conclusion that a strong third party or independent candidate is the only desirable solution. Could that candidate be a unicorn? Well, why not!
Hi Haley! I agree with so much of your post. But about the drone strikes issue– I hear a lot of people express concern about it. I haven’t looked into it, but my initial thoughts are these. If the objection is against war in general, I get it. But if we accept that war is sometimes just & acceptable, I think it would be logical to accept that the imperfect weapons of war will be used in that war. That means some civilians will (so tragically!) lose their lives. So I’m not sure what makes drones so much worse than other weapons– but I think I’m missing something? Do you have some articles or anything I could look at to delve a little deeper into this? Thanks! And I hope this doesn’t sidetrack things too much. 🙂
Mark Lloyd says
As an American, it is hard to fathom being scared of a blue sky because a drone could fire a missile at any time hurting or killing my family as an unintended casualty. This 4 minute video provides a good summary of international news reports on drones (you can ignore the first 45 seconds). Gary Johnson is against the use of drones without a Congressional declaration of war. He maintains that the drone program has the unintended consequence of creating more terrorists. I agree as I would fight whatever country that harmed my family.
Mark Lloyd says
An important piece to this puzzle:
You write so eloquently, well said!!
I read the article you linked to and I have a question. I’m Australian and I could go and google to try to puzzle the answer, but I’ll ask. So in America do you only have the choice of two parties to vote for?
There are multiple parties but in recent decades only two (Democrats and Republicans) have been powerful enough to elect presidents or garner multiple seats in congress. Most Americans vote for one or the other’s candidate.
Elizabeth, thanks for explaining.
In Australia we also have multiple parties but we know it comes down to one or two of the parties getting in. But it’s also to do with seats, voting for the other parties ensures more of ‘others’ get into the seats and help keep a balance of power.
Too voting is compulsory in Australia.
Just to throw one more issue into the pro-life mix: gun control. Around 33,000 people in America are killed by guns each year. One political party chooses to oppose common sense restrictions, like blocking domestic abusers from buying guns. I think there is a moral obligation to consider this issue when voting.
Mark Lloyd says
Gun violence is declining in the USA. From the Washington Post, “This decline in gun violence is part of an overall decline in violent crime. According to the FBI’s data, the national rate of violent crime has decreased 49 percent since its apex in 1991. Even as a certain type of mass shooting is apparently becoming more frequent, America has become a much less violent place.” Excellent article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/12/03/weve-had-a-massive-decline-in-gun-violence-in-the-united-states-heres-why/
From the CDC website, yearly firearm suicide deaths: 21,175. Of the remaining ~10,000, most are gang related. Excluding suicides, more people die due to drunk driving than guns.
I don’t understand why protecting human lives from drone strikes is a pro-life stance, but protecting human lives (even if they are gang members or potential suicides) is not a pro-life stance. As for the drunk driving statistic–I would also include drunk driving prevention a pro-life stance. Why exclude anything that protects the dignity of human life from the list?
Munchie Mommy says
Thanks for this. I think your list is actually better than the “voter guide” that Catholic Answers puts out that a lot of people take as authoritative. One thing that bothers me about the public Catholic discourse on politics is that it seems to focus only on abortion and defining marriage. I would be thrilled to see any mention of worker’s rights and living wages, especially since, as another commenter noted, these areas when abused are also “sins that cry out to Heaven for Justice”.
Plus, I am becoming disillusioned with the policy always and only voting for the candidate who is least-pro-choice in the vague hope that this will somehow magically get rid of abortion. The reality is that it doesn’t actually encourage candidates to be pro-life. It makes their best political move to merely be *slightly* less pro-choice than their opponents … so we are faced with voting between someone who is 100% pro-choice and someone who is 99% pro-choice. And meanwhile, the 99% pro-choice candidate gets to have terrible policies in a whole host of other areas, knowing that he/she won’t lose any pro-life votes for it.
This whole article is worth a read, but at the end there are good points made about the idea of a “unicorn candidate” as well as the “lesser of two evils” dilemma.
“Social conservatives should not be looking for a hero on a white horse or a savior in the federal executive. If America is going to be rebuilt it will be rebuilt at the grassroots level, and that grassroots effort is actually going remarkably well. The grassroots simply need an umbrella to ward off the federal government’s ubiquitous efforts to shut them down. While the grassroots don’t absolutely require a president with a conservative social and moral agenda—we could benefit from the absence of a federally mandated sexual agenda for four years. If Trump nominates a Supreme Court justice from his recently announced list of possible candidates, signs legislation passed by a Republican Congress on pro-life and religious freedom measures, and advances policies that undo Obamacare and roll back federal regulations, we could be looking at a considerable reprieve.
Some people might think that by not voting, voting for a third party candidate, or writing in someone else entirely they are keeping their lily-white hands clean. They think of it as the “Benedict option.” These people have apparently failed to recognize that under a Clinton regime there will be no refuge in the small communities Alasdair MacIntyre calls for at the end of After Virtue, “within which the moral life could be sustained so that both morality and civility might survive.” Such small moral and intellectual communities are the target of the leftist administration’s destructive agenda. The new dark age would be darker by far than the old.”
A voice of reason
Girl, you know I love unicorns! ?
Thank you for being the voice of reason, Haley. This is excellent and I’m feeling the same way as you. I think everyone is getting sick and tired of the visceral hatred and lack of respect for human life on all levels. Further, we know damn well that it’s the last thing our broken nation needs.
Excellent job on a such a delicate topic. That’s not easy to accomplish, but you did it so well.
I really love this post! I feel like it is soo important that our politicians hold reverence for life. It is disheartening that it’s now too much to expect. Also, the unicorn is amazing.
Like you I’ve been mulling over whether to vote for a 3rd party candidate and I just read an article that’s given me a lot to think over. What that means for my vote in November, I’m not sure though. What do you think?
Steph, thank you for this article. It is wonderful and everyone should read it before deciding to “vote their conscience” or to cast a “protest vote” and not vote at all.
Well written and to the point and so clear. I’m going to have my kids all read it so they understand the ramifications of such actions.
Criscelda Mortimore says
Thanks for writing this. I’ve really struggled with the candidates this election. I feel like voting for Hillary means supporting the death of the unborn and voting for Trump means supporting the death of everyone else. I think I’m going to vote for Joe. His views line up pretty well with mine. I don’t believe that a third-party vote is a throw-away vote. If nothing else, it sends a very clear message about what our desires are as voters. If the message is loud enough, candidates may begin to change their platforms in the future in order to cater to those unmet desires.
Haley, if you have time to check out another political website, I’d recommend Catholics for Trump. It presents a lot of important things to think about. I was ambivalent at first, but I’m definitely voting Trump now, and hope more Catholics, Christians, and conservatives do, too.
Matthew Minix says
I’m going to vote for Joe- just like in 2008.
Tara Seguin says
We’ve got something like an “American Solidarity Party” forming at the regional level where I live – the “Van Isle Party” on Vancouver Island. I am planning to vote for the unicorn in the next election.
For the US election coming up, though, God bless you all. It makes me want to come down there and hug every person in the USA.
Wow. Lotta comments! Curious if you have an opinion on Evan McMullen?
There is a pro-life candidate. Darrell Castle of the Constitution Party. He’s just about the only one that I’ve found.