In my opinion, the main reason that Constitutionalists and Conservatives keep losing ground year after year, election after election, is because of the doctrine of the “lesser of two evils.” You hear it all of the time. “Well I’m going to bite my tongue and vote for the rascal because the other rascal is worse.” Or, “I’m not going to vote for the third party candidate because I would just be throwing my vote away.”
But many do not understand the Power of Principle. Even if the bad guys are elected, the good guys might wake up and nominate better candidates the next time. But if they think that it makes no difference, they will never make the necessary changes. For instance: the Democrats know that in the end the Jews and Blacks are going to be in their corner, and the Republicans know that the conservatives and Christian Right will vote with them when push comes to shove. Well, maybe it’s just time that we fool them.
Robert E. Smith is the Black pastor of the Evangelical Outreach Center of Little Rock, Arkansas. He is one of the 33 pastors that was recruited by the Alliance Defense Fund of Phoenix, Arizona, and is defying the IRS, and planned to preach a politicized sermon on September 28 in violation of the Internal Revenue Code. However, Pastor Smith missed his flight from New Jersey and didn’t have an opportunity to preach his prepared text in front of the media cameras that were waiting for him. If he had made it, he had planned to warn his congregation and fellow Blacks across the nation to refrain from voting for Barak Obama because of his pro-abortion stance. He was prepared to say that abortion is killing the black race far more than drugs and gangs in America.
Another example of the tide turning toward a third party candidate is the recent endorsement of the Constitutional Party Candidate Chuck Baldwin by Congressman Ron Paul. I personally know that great numbers of my friends will vote for him. He will also be the main speaker on Wednesday night, October 15, at the Unregistered Baptist Fellowship Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Following is an outstanding article that puts this whole issue in perspective entitled The Evil of Two Lessers by Marty Tate, Pastor of the Peaceful Valley Baptist Church in Rising Fawn, Georgia.
The Evil of Two Lessers
By Pastor Marty Tate
In Romans chapter three the apostle Paul answers the charges of his critics that he was preaching a form of license under the guise of liberty. Paul uses a line of argumentation called “reduction to absurdity.” According to Wikipedia: “Reductio ad absurdum (Latin for "reduction to the absurd")…is a type of logical argument where one assumes a claim for the sake of argument and derives an absurd or ridiculous outcome, and then concludes that the original claim must have been wrong as it led to an absurd result.”
Romans 3:8 says: And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just.
Essentially, Paul’s opponents were saying that Paul preached that one should do evil that good may come from it. Paul shows this line of reasoning to be an absurdity by proving all under sin.
I want to borrow that phrase “let us do evil, that good may come” in application to the prevailing notion that one must vote for the “lesser of two evils.”
Christians probably use this flawed argument more than any other segment of the American electorate, because Christians must continually give up ideological ground when it comes to the support of Republican political candidates.
The argument goes something like this:
“Candidate R is not all that great. In fact, he is really weak on issues a, b, c, and d. However if we don’t vote for Candidate R, then Candidate D will win the election and we all know that Candidate D is really scary.”
When the possibility is raised of a 3rd party candidate, the argument switches to something like this:
“I really like what Candidate 3 stands for, but he has no chance of winning. If I vote for Candidate 3 I am wasting my vote. In fact, if I vote for Candidate 3 it will be the same as voting for Candidate D since it will siphon votes away from Candidate R. I know Candidate R is really not what the country needs, but Candidate D is really, really scary!”
This is a “let us do evil, that good may come” proposition.
That is, let us vote for an acknowledged, although supposedly lesser evil (“let us do evil”), so that the supposed greater evil won’t win (“that good may come”). This path has led America consistently to the left for at least the last 50 years! The “lesser” evil has become progressively more evil, so that we have arrived at what Pastor Chuck Baldwin refers to as “the evil of two lessers!”
The flaw in this logic is two-fold:
1. God’s people are never required or commanded in scripture to do the “lesser” evil. We are commanded to do what is right.
2. Under the “lesser of two evils” argument, we may only vote for whichever candidate has a “chance” of winning the election.
To put it another way: How evil would a candidate have to be dear reader, before YOU refused to vote or voted for a 3rd party candidate?
Since Senator John McCain has emerged as the presumptive Republican nominee, it has been almost comical to watch conservative, and even Christian conservative commentators, talk-show hosts and “ministry” heads tout McCain as the “conservative hope” for this election.
John McCain is so liberal that a few years ago there was talk of his leaving the Republican Party and even talk of a possibility of being the vice presidential pick for a Democratic Presidential candidate. McCain is a lot of things, but conservative ain’t one of them!
In fact, I believe that a McCain presidency would be as dangerous as or even more dangerous than a Barak Obama presidency for the simple reason that conservatives go to sleep when a Republican is in office. When Bill Clinton was president, there was a flurry of activity among Christians and conservatives; writing letters to Congress, lobbying for good legislation and against bad legislation. Clinton couldn’t get away with much without a loud outcry.
George W. Bush on the other hand has had almost free reign, and Christians & conservatives have either looked the other way or been Bush’s most ardent defenders!
Let’s face facts; neither the Democrats nor the Republicans have anything to offer a Biblically thinking Christian or a constitutionally thinking American. Republicans had a unique opportunity to nominate a true constitutionalist in 2008 with Dr. Ron Paul. After voting for the Constitution Party candidate in 2004, I supported Dr. Paul in the ’08 primary. Since Dr. Paul obviously won’t be the Republican nominee, I will vote for the Constitution Party candidate, Chuck Baldwin (who incidentally is an independent Baptist pastor) in the November election.
I refuse to vote for the lesser of two evils. C.H. Spurgeon said when a Christian is faced with the choice between the lesser of two evils he should do neither.
To hold your nose and vote for the lesser of two evils is the epitome of situational ethics! As long as we continue to do so, that one that is “lesser” will continue to get worse and worse. Voting for the lesser of two evils will never stop abortion or same-sex marriage, and it will never return our country to its Biblical and Constitutional foundations.
God has called us to live by faith. We don’t have to trust our pragmatic way of looking at things and hope against hope that we can elect a man that won’t be quite as bad as the alternative! As Christians we are commanded to do what is right, no matter what the perceived outcome will be. It is God who “…removeth kings, and setteth up kings.” (Daniel 2:21) We need to truly pray in faith, believing in the Sovereign will of God and trusting that He will do what is best.
Is a vote for a third party, such as the Constitution Party a wasted vote or a de facto vote for Barak Obama?
Stonewall Jackson said “Duty is ours, consequences are God’s.”
I am not responsible before God for how other people vote. I will be held accountable at the Judgment Seat of Christ for how I vote. I must vote for the candidate who will uphold Biblical principles and Constitutional government, regardless of that candidate’s perceived “chance” of winning. As Christians, we do not believe in chance. I believe as did Patrick Henry that “there is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations…” I would be far more comfortable before God having voted for no one, rather than simply picking the lesser of two reprobates just so I could say “I voted.”
As for a vote for a third party being a “wasted vote,” the only wasted vote is a vote for a candidate who tells you before you even go to the polls that he is going to violate the Constitution and the Bible. Read the Republican Party platform. You won’t have to read very far before you find plenty that is both un-Biblical and un-Constitutional.
Can a third party win?
Not as long as Christians refuse to pull their heads out of the sand and face the facts. Inherent in blind adherence to the two party system is the fallacy that those two parties are:
The only legitimate means to win an election and
That winning an election is the only thing that matters.
We have only had a two party system for the last 150 years. Do you know who the “third” party was who last broke onto the political scene? The Republicans. Formed in 1854, first on a ballot in 1856, and in the midst of the political division of the times won the presidency in 1860 with 39.8% of the popular vote in a four-way race. Lincoln wasn’t even on the ballot in the Southern states.
Far more important than winning a race is standing on principle. If enough Christians would do just that, it would send a message to the two major parties that we were willing to sacrifice party power for principle. What would happen if enough Christians truly voted according to their conscience? What would happen if a third party candidate garnered 30% of the vote in a tight presidential race? I believe that scenario would force the Republican Party to sit up and take notice, and scrap a lot of the liberal agenda with which they have become so enamored.
I’m familiar with the argument that you have to vote for the best guy who has a chance of winning so that we can get some laws changed, and incrementally bring our country back to where it once was. I believe that the evidence proves that if the Republicans are taking us anywhere incrementally, it is to the left.
I, for one, am breaking my allegiance to the golden calf of precedent, and plan on doing something different for a change.
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