Thursday, October 11, 2007

Who Tells Who For Whom To Vote?

Ballot Box with Ballot by Eric Kamp
Ballot Box with Ballot

About a week ago Dr. Dobson and many other Christian leaders gathered to discuss the upcoming 2008 presidential election. They responded to the social moderate natures of some of the leading Republican candidates by publishing a statement that if one of those men were nominated in the primaries, the members of the group would consider a conservative third party candidate. Immediately radio talk show hosts and columnists gathered their arms and went to war to combat the rebellion against the lesser of two evils mentality. The first commentary I heard on the decision was Mike Reagan, who told the conservative Christians to take responsibility for campaigning for the candidate of their choice rather than issuing threats and ultimatums.

Since then Sean Hannity even had Dr. Dobson on his radio show in order to dissuade him. The argument is fairly obvious: if you don't vote for the Republican nominee, there is not enough support behind a third party candidate, so the conservative vote would be divided and the Democrat candidate would win the presidency, which could be disastrous for national security, taxes, spending, social policy, and the Supreme Court. The whole scenario is vaguely reminiscent of Bush, Sr.'s second presidential bid, in which Ross Perot entered the race to divide the vote and ensure the election of President Bill Clinton.

I have taken a stand against lesser of two evils, pragmatic voting. Right now I'm torn over making a long term difference for the issues about which I care and the self-preservation instinct to elect a man who will adequately defend our lives. As the conservative voices are crying, we won't have social issues about which to debate if we aren't even still on the face of the map.

But here is my issue: the inveterate Republican voices have so long decided who they want to be the nominee and now argue that anyone who votes elsewise is casting a vote for the Democrats. Isn't that what they're accusing the Christians of doing? Dr. Dobson and party are choosing the type of man they want to be the president, trying to take back the party, and why can't they then accuse anyone who votes contrary to their choice of casting a vote for the other side? I repeat, nothing is going to ever change if no one takes a stand.

When our country was founded, there wasn't a two-party system. Responsible, informed citizens voted for the man of their choice (more like the primary elections of today, except a free for all). Long story. Look up Ballot Access and Presidential Primaries on Wikipedia for more information. I'm not a little concerned.

To God be all glory.

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