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I am not arguing that all of you should vote Republican. I am (1) giving an explanation of why I do, and (2) asking those who don’t why they don’t.
The Explanation: I could put it this way: on life, marriage, religious liberty, the meaning of the Constitution, rule of law, separation of powers, the national debt, health insurance, and economic growth I do not trust the Republicans to be correct; but on these things I do trust the Democrats to be wrong. As such, I vote for the least bad option in the generals, and I vote for the best option in the primaries.
I hope that’s not too snarky. It’s definitely a bit of a generalization (e.g., West Virginia Democrats approved a nice pro-life measure not so long ago).
Anyway, it doesn’t get to the heart of the matter.
Now I could put it that way, and then add that I believe it is my responsibility to promote the realistic route that takes us the closest to perfection.
But that still wouldn’t get to the heart of the matter: causing harm by inaction is equal to causing harm by action.
From this principle follows another principle: when inaction leads to greater harm than action, act for the best.
This latter principle would mean that allowing bad things to happen by not voting is as bad as directly causing bad things to happen by voting (i.e., not voting Republican is the same kind of bad as voting Democrat.)
But these principles are not absolute and have limits. If you’re in Germany in the wrong decade, and a Nazi general tells you to personally execute 10 Jews else he will personally execute eleven, the right thing to do is . . . nothing at all. There is such a thing as evil so bad that contributing to it is inexcusable; and such a thing is to be avoided, even if the results of inaction are even worse than the results of contributing to evil (anyway, the Nazi is responsible for the death of the eleventh Jew–not you).
So the principle “when inaction leads to greater harm than action, act for the best” does not apply in cases where action would involve inexcusable contribution to evil.
The final component of my explanation is this: I tend not to view the transgressions of Republicans as evils of the kind to which contribution is inexcusable.
I know that some of you stay home on election day (and some others consider doing so), even though inaction contributes to greater harm.
If you are one of these people, please tell me which of the following is the best representation of your view?
- I don’t agree with your overall analysis.
- I agree with the overall analysis, but I think Republican transgressions are indeed evils contributing to the inexcusable. Especially ____________!
- I agree with the analysis, and I can’t think of any Republic transgressions that bad. I think I’ll start voting Republican again.
- I don’t care what you say! I won’t vote for traitors!
- They can’t even be trusted to do less evil, so what’s the point?
- Dude, you’re such a weirdo. Talk like a normal person!
- I don’t even like this topic. I’m going to go read something else.
- I got bored a long time ago and didn’t even read this far.