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On Choosing Evil: The 2016 Presidential Election

This is a rough election year me. A lot has changed for me on a ideological level since 2012 (there wasn’t a lot at stake in the Mid-term elections in 2014–but the bulk of the shift happened between 2012 and 2014). This is my first election cycle in which I identify as more conservative, the first election in which I had every intention of voting for the Rebuplican nominee for President. And then the Primary season happened. 

I cannot vote for HRC in good conscience, because of the 5 Non-negotiables.  As it stands, I can never vote Democrat again because of the 5 Non-negotiables, even though I am more Democrat on every other issue by a wide margin. 

I cannot vote for Donald Trump because he is evil. He is a textbook Fascist.  I shudder to think that he might actually become the American Hitler. He is misogynistic, he is racist, he is a radical Nationalist (unless you’re a good looking female from Eastern Europe). Some argue that he is pro-life, I don’t believe it. Some argue he will appoint conservative judges to the SCOTUS, I am not so sure. 

As Catholics, it is a duty to vote. However, it seems we are permitted to abstain from voting when both candidates are equally evil, or we may also chose one who will do the least harm. That notion is the bedrock for the “Lesser of Two Evils” argument that both candidates have been on each side of rather equally. 

Pointing especially to what’s at stake with the SCOTUS appointments, many Catholics will argue, we must choose evil  (Trump), to do good (conservative justice = possibility of overturning Roe). That is expressly against Catholic teaching. We cannot do evil that good may come of it. Under no circumstances. I cannot justify a vote for Donald Trump, I cannot account for this to God on Judgment Day. 

Third parties are not an option for me, or any practicing Catholic either, because of the 5 Non-negotiables. I understand that this route, writing-in a candidate or going third party is “throwing-away” my vote, but it is what I have to do. Because I refuse the lesser of two evils route. I refuse to vote against someone instead of voting for someone. I refuse to have my vote cast for an unqualified candidate as a calculated attempt to prevent another from wining. I know that is how elections have functioned for a lot of modern history, but it cannot be what was intended for us. 

I am going to write-in a vote. Possibly for Marco Rubio, even to knowing he cannot win and still praying he wins his Senate seat in Florida,  because he is who I believe would’ve  best lead our country. And then I am going to pray. Because no man (or woman) is going to save our country. No one can. Only God can. He is in control. He will not abandon us. He is by our side, leading us through the desert, or into exile, both metaphors could foreshadow what is in store for our country. Knowing that either Hillary or Trump will be the President of the United States of America in less than 6 months is terrifying. Knowing that there are as many supporters of either candidate as there are in our country is disheartening. But God can use this for good. And that is all I can hope for now. 

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