Charles Spurgeon wrote, “Of two evils, choose neither.”
This November, I will be eligible to vote for the first time in a presidential election. Along with what I assume is a majority of other 20 and 21-year-olds, I am not looking forward to fulfilling my political obligation in the voting booth. In fact, I plan to forego the pleasure all together.
Over the summer, I had plenty of healthy political discussions with my parents, friends and acquaintances. It hasn’t been difficult to find people who want to chime in with their two cents about which candidate is more of a scumbag. But what I have heard consistently is this: “Not voting for Clinton/Trump is the same as voting for Trump/Clinton. You have to choose the lesser of two evils.”
I don’t think that’s the case. When faced with the choice of two evils, if I have the power to withdraw from choosing, I will do so. In this election, based both on the policies and personalities of the two candidates, I am almost certainly not going to vote.
Coming to this conclusion was an arduous process, and it took many conversations before I made what is often seen as the “unpatriotic” decision.
I remember talking to a friend of mine about the campaign. I told her I was struggling to decide whom to vote for. She responded, saying, “Well, I know Hillary is a liar, but she has good policies, and she’s not as bad as Trump.”
Not long after, I was talking to another friend, an avid Republican.
“Trump may be bigoted and a bit of a jerk, but he isn’t a lying politician like Hillary is,” he said. “She can’t be trusted with our country’s secrets.”
He also thought a third party candidate would never win the election – to support one would be a waste of his vote.
That fact that both of these people were willing to vote against their conscience for the sake of stonewalling the other candidate baffled me.
I remember distinctly that my parents always voted in elections. Over the past few years, I thought I would also be an active voter and “do my part” in serving my country.
But this election has influenced me otherwise.
I am firmly anti-abortion. It is something I will not budge on and is rooted in the worldview that governs my life. That stance alone excludes Hillary Clinton and Gary Johnson purely on principle, because of their policies. I don’t mind excluding them for moral reasons. As a Christian, my dedication to God and his truth is much greater than my dedication to America.
I am also firmly pro-people, again, because of my beliefs. Jesus told all Christians to, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” It’s a very simple concept (but hard to live out), and I try to live my life by it. I have never seen a political figure appear so adamantly against people, in the broadest sense of the word, as Donald Trump. It goes against everything I believe in to give power to a person who will persecute and discriminate against the people he is supposed to be leading.
I refuse to support one evil in order to escape from another.
And so, faced with what I perceive to be a morally impossible decision, I will abstain from casting a vote. It’s not that I think that, by withholding my vote, I will magically create new candidates that aren’t both moral impossibilities.
I am not making this decision to change anything politically — I’m making it to stay true to myself morally.
God comes first, in this and in all things.