Basically, there are only two realistic alternatives in the coming presidential election: stay on the same liberal path we have been on for years or try something new. But why Trump?
A Prolegomena [Introduction] to Any Future Politics
Trump is a Flawed Candidate
A common charge against Trump is that he is a flawed candidate. But in a Two Party system, such as we have, our choices are limited. We do not have perfect candidates with whom to replace imperfect ones. In fact, there are no perfect candidates. Jesus is not running! We have only imperfect candidates from which to choose. However, some are more imperfect than others.
“The Lesser of Two Evils”
In politics, as in life, sometimes we must choose the so-called “lesser of two evils.” So when both presidential candidates have high negatives, we must choose the one with fewer. A friend once described his dilemma to me as a choice between “a known devil and a suspected witch.” If so, then we should choose the suspected witch!
A More Excellent Way
Actually, we are never really faced with a situation where all the alternatives are evil. One alternative is always the greater good. The doctor who amputates to save the patient’s life is not doing an evil by cutting off his leg. He is doing a greater good. We never have a moral duty to do a moral evil. So our choice in the presidential race is never between two evils, but it is a choice of which one is the better candidate, the greater good. But before we decide this, we must avoid a tempting alternative, “the cop out option.”
Staying Home Does Not Help
Not voting is a cowardly way out. It gives away our God-given responsibility to do our best, even in bad situations. Sitting it out is like the doctor deciding not to amputate to save the patient because he does not want to cut off someone’s leg. If we don’t vote, there will be one less vote for the best candidate who may lose because of our failure to participate in the election. In this case, staying home is a morally bad decision.
Our Founders believed that “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” This is why they built checks and balances into our system. We have a Two Party system, states can recall elections, and citizens can impeach bad candidates. The major check is “We the People.” The candidates have terms to their offices, and we get to vote for who will serve the next term.
Norman L. Geisler, Ph.D.