I’ve heard a lot of talk, especially today-being election day, about having to vote “for the lesser of two evils” or determining to be heard by voting for a third-party candidate.
For one thing, I don’t think that labeling anyone as an “evil” is appropriate talk for Christians, but I understand what they are saying and realize that it’s a familiar term to explain that they feel that they really don’t have a choice.
This third-party candidate thing really got me thinking, though. My main argument against voting for a third-party candidate has always been that they could not possibly win, so they would just be taking votes away from one of the top two party candidates, usually the more conservative. Though sometimes the more liberal party loses the votes as Ralph Nader did to Al Gore in Florida in the 2000 election. This election, Virgil Goode is positioned to be the “spoiler” for Romney in Virginia, which is an important state for Republicans to win.
As I have listened to people’s chatter, however, I have begun to wonder if the theft of votes from one of the top two candidates is reason enough to not vote for a third-party candidate. So I did some digging about what these third-party candidates actually believe, what they want to accomplish if they, by some twist of fate, are elected president. My digging however, was not very deep- I just referred to one source. But I think that the site I used is general and fair enough, and they used comments and records of the candidates themselves, that I am confident in my facts.
Understand me here, that I’m looking at these candidates from a Christian perspective. I’m certain that non-Christians will disagree with what I view as important. For that matter, even some Christians will disagree with me, but this is my view. Now let’s look at the four main third-party candidates to see what they believe:
Rocky Anderson (Justice Party) wants to get the country back to its foundation in the Constitution and reduce corporate influence in politics. These are good things, but Anderson also supports homosexual marriage. Additionally, I question if he would help our allies or others who need our help militarily since he says he opposes being involved in what he calls “illegal wars.” I’m not sure what he means by this, but I would be afraid to take a chance on him. His denial of traditional/biblical marriage is the main issue about Anderson for Christians, though.
Virgil Goode (Constitution Party) believes that citizens of the U.S should be first in line for American jobs. He is a hardliner against immigration which could be seen as good or bad by Christians. God calls on His people to be kind and help the alien, the oppressed and the visitor in our land. Goode has also been an advocate for the tobacco industry, which most Christians see as an industry which brings a great deal of harm.
Gary Johnson (Libertarian Party) is a fiscal conservative which could help with our nation’s economy. He also supports a path for citizenship for illegal aliens who want to work. But, similar to Anderson, he is a “noninterventionist” in foreign affairs, which could leave our allies and others in need of our military help hanging out there alone. Primarily, though, he supports legalizing prostitution, homosexual marriage and online gambling.
Jill Stein (Green Party) would seek renewable green-energy jobs, focus on environmental issues and help to get everyone who wants to work a job. Most would agree that these are good things, though too much concern for the environment could put the poor people of developing countries at risk. The biggest problems with Stein, though, is that she also wants to legalize homosexual marriage and maintain abortion rights.
Third-Party Not an Option
With just a brief look at these third party candidates, it is clear that none of them is a viable option for Christians to choose, at least for this election. Primarily their support of homosexual marriage, abortion, tobacco use, gambling and prostitution place them outside the Biblical values that Christians are responsible to not just not promote, but also seek to eliminate. These are moral, Biblical issues that have proven through history to be detrimental to individuals, families and societies. They are issues that we should teach and persuade others to avoid, but also to seek to ensure they are not legislated as acceptable behaviors.
So I guess we’re back to choosing between “the lesser of two evils.” I don’t believe that’s the case, though. While Romney is Mormon, at least he is moral. More than the individual, however, the Republican Party is against those things that Christians generally are against, the issues we face today, as noted above (with the possible exception of tobacco use). So for me anyway, my choice as a Christian is clear.
For more on why I believe we should vote our Christian values, I encourage you to read my blog, “Is murder OK as long as my taxes are lower.” But for a complete look at what the Republican and Democratic parties support, view their platforms for yourself.