Election Night Medley
Recently Randy Barnett wrote a post on why the Libertarian Party is a “mistake”
I find it funny because I also think the Libertarian Party is a mistake; but for completely different reasons. As a libertarian (small “l” as I am not a member of any Party) I advocate the elimination of coercive government, so I find it funny that a libertarian party even exists. Granted, not all libertarians are as I am, so I see why it exists. It’s just ironic. It’s like a pacifist going to war to end all war. Like that will ever work.
His reasons for advocating libertarians joining the republican party – to work from “within” – have been advocated for a long time. And many people have tried, failed, and became corrupt from attempting to do so. Power corrupts goes Acton’s famous quote. Barnett’s reasoning, is similar – though more eloquent – to this video just done of Chris Matthews from MSNBC. Chris made these remarks election day.
I think Chris, and Randy are misinterpreting people’s reasons for not voting. Granted, Chris complains about the apathetic non-voters but those are a totally different ball game and will not be addressed here. And actually, allow me to clarify, they aren’t misinterpreting – they are missing the whole point. Their are in a different universe.
I enjoyed Lawrence O’Donnell from MSNBC’s take on voting 3rd Party. While I approve more of people voting 3rd party than voting for the RepubliCrats, I still prefer principled non-voting. Because a non-vote is really a vote for “None of the Above” and I truly want “None of the Above” for president. The video is longer than Chris Matthews, but it is worth the time to see something like this that was sent out over the MSNBC.
Why do I advocate Principled Non-Voting?
To hopefully better make my point, allow me to make an absurdly extreme example.
As a Christian, given the following ballot, who should we vote for?
Vladimir Lenin or Adolf Hitler
Totally extreme example, but still relevant I believe. Lenin killed more people than Hitler. Hitler saved the economy (temporarily) and Lenin destroyed the economy (still pretty destroyed). Both legalized abortion. Both started wars. Hitler took out homosexuals; Lenin legalized gay marriage.
Overall, given the typical republican media rhetoric, I’d say Hitler wins.
Obviously though, Christian’s could never vote for Hitler. That is an absurd thought. … Except, some Christians approved of Hitler. Not all of course, but anyways, back to voting.
It seems obvious that we can’t vote for Hitler, but Christians seem okay to vote for Romney but not for Obama (most Christians at least). So where is the line drawn? Is there a line that can be based on biblical fundamentals? What makes Romney votable by Christians? What if it were Obama versus Hitler? Would Christians then be okay to vote for Obama? If so, then there is no line, nothing based on biblical fundamentals; only biblical subjectivism. Meaning, always vote for the candidate who has a ~30%+ chance to win that seems to be the least like Satan.
I am curious as to your opinions on where that line is, if it is absolute or if it is subjective.
“If it was easy, I’d have Louise do it”.
That is something my boss would say. These are difficult questions and the answers don’t come easy. If it were easy, well, you know.
The thing is, I don’t even have answers to my questions yet. I take the stance of principled non-voter because I think it’s biblical; but I don’t know for sure. I haven’t put the requisite hard thinking into this fully yet. I’m positive that democracy is an unbiblical form of government; but I can’t directly change that so it complicates matters that I am working within the confines of an unGodly government. Non-Voting is an easy way to avoid the questions I asked. It effectively draws the line at “I don’t know, so I just choose to withdraw my consent”.
However, if my absurd voting scenario were realized (God forbid), would I vote for Obama over Hitler? I’m not sure, obviously I would “prefer” Obama over Hitler, but I also “prefer” Obama over Romney. I’m not voting for Obama though, that would crush my conscience, but what if he was running against Hitler? I think I would still go with Non-Voting (and probably leave the country if Hitler ever got that close to the presidential seat). But would I be justified voting for Obama over Hitler? If so, then would I be justified voting for Hitler over Lenin? See the slippery slope? I see no God-approved line between a Hitler and an Obama/Romney for President. Sure Hitler is almost incomparably worse than either of them, but any criteria that can apply to Obama over Hitler can apply to Hitler over Lenin. See the difficulty?
The Great Commandments as a Foundation
I should also add that the “dividing line” I am specifically looking for is something that is derived from Christ’s two Great Commandments. I have written on this before for different contexts, but I truly believe that the whole Law and the prophets can stem from those commandments. Everything from do not murder, to honor your parents, to loving my wife, to reading the Bible, to working hard at my job. I believe that every action I make can be evaluated between those commandments. They are foundational principles. I am unable to find a method of voting (besides non-voting) that logically follows those commandments and doesn’t have a “vote for Hitler over Lenin” at the logical conclusion. Maybe I’m wrong and it does logically follow from Christ’s teachings that we should vote for Hitler over Lenin, but until I’m convinced of that I remain non-voting.
In the next article I’d like to evaluate the foundation of voting and maybe I can answer my questions. That’s a hard tea to stir though so we shall see. No promises! But I do need to answer this for my own life so it is worth the try.