Voting When No Candidate Represents My Beliefs

new york, statue of liberty, freedom

new york, statue of liberty, freedomThis time last year, I happily watched several presidential candidates discussing values which reflected mine. Their plans for our nation had differences, but I could picture many of them being enacted and doing real good in America and in the world. My top candidates don’t usually make it past the first few months of election coverage, but this time, my favorite candidate hung in there. I was enthusiastic and optimistic about our country’s future for the first time in a long time.

Then one by one, candidates I liked dropped out. I was genuinely sad to see some of them go but knew only one winner could be chosen. My top pick hung in there, but my hope for his presidency did not grow over time. In fact, I began to see more division in “my party”.

As November draws near, all the candidates I could have happily voted for are gone. Neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump represents my values. I am left with two people I do not have faith in and I am forced to reevaluate how I approach this election. As I said in my last post, I’d rather just sit this election out, and yet, I know that the lives of Americans and many others around the globe may be counting on the outcome of our vote. We are truly blessed to be in this country and with blessing comes responsibility.

Voting is one of those responsibilities but how do we vote when we are left with abysmal choices? The answer may come from attempting to separate ourselves from the candidates and looking less at personality and rhetoric and more at individual items. We can try to take an objective, rather than a subjective view of what we hope to achieve rather than at the people themselves.

Six Considerations for the 2016 Presidential Election:

  • Voting on Moral Issues – According to Catholic Answers, there are five moral issues Catholics can never support:  abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, human cloning, and homosexual ‘marriage’. When choosing a candidate, Catholics are obligated to discern the candidate’s position, not just privately but publicly and in voting habits as well. Too many so-called Catholic politicians say they are pro-life personally but defend the murder of a pre-born child as the mother’s choice. In all cases, we must protect and defend the innocent and most vulnerable among us. This idea of protecting the defenseless extends to cover euthanasia, embryonic stem-cell research, and cloning. Homosexual ‘marriage’ is something which had virtually no momentum 10 years ago but has now become the hot agenda of the left. It has become so hot in fact that many of Christian clergy fail to speak for pro-Christian Marriage and our children have been brainwashed into believing traditional Marriage is prejudiced and choose, for many reasons, to forego this sacred transition.

 

  • Social Issues – If the morality taught by Jesus Christ and passed down through the Catholic Church was upheld consistently, there would be no social issues to deal with. Unfortunately, even among the best Catholics, we fall down on many moral levels. This moral falling down requires social issues be dealt with and compassion to be extended to those in need regardless of the cause or circumstances they find themselves in. It is easy to be caught up in the emotional pull that tugs at our hearts and tells us to give money to this cause or more leniency to that cause, but we were not created to be simply feeling beings. We were created to use intellect beyond all God’s other creatures. Intellect is another of those blessings that also bears responsibility. While we may want to throw money and resources to certain programs, we have to ask ourselves where our limited resources will do the most good. Assuming we can tax or spend our way to Utopia fools us into believing we are God and unlimited in our own power and ability to bring Goodness into the world. Jesus tells us the poor will always be with us. It is up to us to figure out how to best help the most without assuming we can do it all and then wringing our hands or turning our backs when we don’t. Research which candidate understands the power and limitations of resources and has the compassion and generosity to dole out aid when and where needed.

 

  • Discern Whether a Flip Flop is Genuine – Saint Paul converted from a murdering Jew to become one of the greatest leaders in the Catholic Church. Saint Augustine turned from a life of lustful sinfulness to become a devout follower of the Lord. Change is possible. That fact keeps me praying for some that I love deeply who are not Catholic or who have a lukewarm faith. I was one of those lukewarm people for decades, so I know firsthand change is possible! On the other hand, a political candidate who claims to be one thing but has a sudden turnaround should be regarded warily. Proverbs tells us, “A dog returns to his vomit, so a fool returns to his folly” (Proverbs 26: 11). A wise voter will seek to determine whether the turnaround is genuine or influenced by greed and deception and the desire to steal votes from another candidate.

 

  • Show Me Your Friends & I’ll Show You Your Future – Investigating and then praying over the character and integrity of those around candidates is important especially when the character and integrity of the actual candidates leave much to be desired. We cannot vote hoping a candidate will change because he hangs out with people we like and respect but when the only choices left are poor choices, looking at those who may be influential can be beneficial. It’s been said we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with and that our future can be foretold by the company we keep. If there is truth to these statements, looking at past connections, and today’s influencers and social contacts as well as choices for advisors, cabinet members, and vice president should all be considered.

 

  • Voting for Supreme Court Nominations – While the president signs laws into being, how those laws are interpreted has an increasing influence on society. This gives the Supreme Court tremendous power. Justices chosen for the Supreme Court are supposed to be non-partisan but tend to decide along party lines. Catholics and the nation as a whole felt the loss of Justice Antonin Scalia, but his position may not be the only one filled by the next president. Up to four new justices may be chosen in the next few years. That means up to four new people, possibly fairly young people, could spin our Constitution. New, young judges could hold this power for decades changing the course of our nation and of the world. These individuals will hear cases concerning the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. They will rule on freedom of religion vs. freedom from religion, school choice, pro-choice, and healthcare choice, and the ability to defend oneself and one’s property using laws of Eminent Domain and the Second Amendment. This is the number one consideration driving me to the polls this November.
  • Endorsing a Third Party Candidate – There has been much talk in recent elections about going third party. Ross Perot was the first I remember sparking serious interest, and yet there has been no substantial growth of any third party or candidate. When neither mainstream candidate inspires confidence or greatness in its constituents, a third party gains power and momentum; however, one should think twice about voting for that third party. Third party candidates are often lesser known. To vote third party, Catholics must remember to investigate where that candidate stand on the five uncompromisable moral issues, but there is more too. It seems a statement is being made by voting third party, but one wonders what is being said in that statement. If you are considering a third party, now may be the time to strengthen that party. Get the word out while people are interested and then do the hard work to keep that momentum going so you have a viable candidate for 2020. The thing about endorsing a third party at this point is that it seems like a quick rebellious answer. If you really want to change the system, you need to do the work in between elections to build your party. This late in the game, a third party vote is never going to win and takes a vote away from the candidate who might.

The temptation to sit this election out is great, but I realize the blessing of being given a vote is also a responsibility. I owe the world, my fellow Americans, my children, and those who have fought to give me this right a debt. It is my duty to be informed and take this responsibility seriously. Voting is not always about who you like the best, but about who, of those left, you can support objectively. Voting this election is not without sacrifice. It is more about doing the least harm than the most good but by not choosing we still choose.

God gave us spirits of courage and strength and wisdom. He gave us this land and brought each of us to this particular time with a particular purpose. He knows where we’ve been and what lies ahead. He knows my final resting place. He is in control. Sodom and Gomorrah this may be, but we must still cast our votes and hope in the power of the Lord to surpass any of our political candidates.

God Bless…

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15 thoughts on “Voting When No Candidate Represents My Beliefs”

  1. In all good conscience, I can’t sit this election out. To me, its my civic obligation. The bullet points you listed are keen areas of interest but I would have to exclude the third party because I don’t want to waste my vote. For this election, I am voting mostly to insure that conservative Supreme Court Justices are appointed and hopefully Rowe vs. wade can be reversed. Ultimately, it is my hope that my candidate will be elected and soon after he is sworn in, he will either be impeached or resigns, thus leaving us with an excellent 46th President of the United states of America.

    1. This is the first election ever I’ve consciously thought of sitting out, but I agree with you. We CANNOT sit this one out. Voting is a privilege one too many know and care too little about. We MUST know the issues and what’s at stake.

      If you read what I said about voting third party, I hope you got my message that, while you may want to use the ugliness of this election to promote a third party for 2020, voting for one now, in most cases would not be a good choice. I agree we must vote either Trump or Hillary.

      I believe Trump is the only one who has a chance of upholding Catholic values. I also believe Hillary’s election will cause harm to many that we cannot fathom. Trump has got to win or else…however voting for either candidate on the hope that one will be impeached is something I can’t endorse. It would be great. I’m all for a Pence Presidency, but I don’t think it’s realistic.

    2. How do we know that God doesn’t will an eventual Pence Presidency? Just a thought. God works in his own ways and his own time. God can bring good out of all things. Even this election.

    3. Not saying God wills it or doesn’t. I don’t know the will of God when it comes to our elections. What I do know is I wouldn’t base my vote on the hope that a candidate will be impeached.

      We know in the end, Good will prevail but when will that end be and will the Lord find any faithful left on earth as today’s Gospel asks? Again, I don’t know, but I have to be more hopeful for that than for an impeachment!

  2. Voting third party or staying home is voting for Hilary. This is not the election to vote third party!!! Vote Trump/Pence!!!

  3. Unless you want a baby murdering 4 degree witch who channels Elanor and others (demons) which her husband’s stated and who also enjoys killing adults then vote Trump.

  4. ms. Trump voter (Texas)

    Umm, like since when did any candidate completely represent my “moral” beliefs ? Has any presidential candidate run on re-criminalizing artificial contraception ? How about same for divorce ? Anybody who even considers Hillary in this election deserved Obama, and deserves what they get if she wins. Everybody who wants a saint for president should have voted for Rick Santorum. And those of you who are old enough should have supported Pat Buchanan. Don’t come whinin’ and cryin’ to me now, hon.

    1. I’m not sure who is whinin’ and cryin’ exactly. I rooted for Santorum when he was in. I’d vote in a heartbeat for anyone who made divorce illegal or at least a major breech of contract by the offending party. No Fault Divorce is one of the main things killing this country, but I’d also get government out of Marriage all together. No couple should need the state’s permission to marry. No priest should deny a couple a Sacrament because the state hasn’t approved, but that’s a whole different topic. I’m also not sure where anyone says a candidate needs to completely represent my “moral” beliefs, but I do know they need to match some on a level that is trustworthy. Hillary matches none of my beliefs and she is not trustworthy. Trump says he matches most of my beliefs – or at least now he does. Can we trust him? I sincerely hope we get the chance to find out.

  5. The choices are very disappointing in many ways this year. I believe that both candidates reflect the poor state of American society which has been on a downward spiral for several generations.

    That said, there is one candidate in this race that no thinking Catholic can ever vote for given her track record and positions on the 5 “non-negotiables” referenced above. She has also demonstrated herself to be a serious threat to national security and incapable of being trusted on ANY issue due to her near compulsive tendency to lie.

    That leaves only one candidate left to vote for- even if many of us find him less than satisfactory. I don’t know why this is even an issue for anyone who has the ability to reason and think for themselves.

  6. You vote for the lesser of the two evils and one that can help Religious Freedom and the rights of our Church.Trump Campaign Catholic Advisory Group Statement Denouncing Clinton Campaign Staff Anti-Catholic Bigotry

    Contact: Joseph Cella, 703-286- 9677, jcella@thepontifexgroup.org

    YPSILANTI, Mich., Oct. 12, 2016 /Christian Newswire/ — Joseph Cella, the Catholic Liaison to the Trump/Pence Campaign, released the following statement regarding the anti-Catholic statements of Clinton campaign officials revealed in hacked e-mails published by Wikileaks:

    For 30 years, Hillary Clinton has harbored open and extreme hostility to issues of importance to Catholics.

    She is for partial birth abortion and thinks taxpayers should pay for it. She also supports denying full and free exercise of the Catholic faith of the Little Sisters of the Poor, who have taken care of the elderly poor since 1839, through Obamacare’s HHS mandate, recently struck down by the Supreme Court.

    The mandate would have forced these Catholic sisters to pay for contraceptives and abortion pills in their health care plan or else face crippling government fines that would have shut their doors and ended their charitable work if they refused to abide by this onerous and unconstitutional rule.

    The emails published by WikiLeaks reveal the depths of the hostility of Hillary Clinton and her campaign toward Catholics, and the open anti-Catholic bigotry of her senior advisors, who attack the deeply held beliefs and theology of Catholics.

    These Clinton advisors, viciously mocking Catholics as they have, turn the clock back to the days of the 20th century “No Catholics Need Apply” type of discrimination.

    Hillary Clinton and her campaign should be ashamed of themselves and should immediately apologize to all Catholics and people of good will in the United States.

    1. Hillary is an awful candidate. Her presidency would be catastrophic. Liberal rule already is catastrophic if you’re an inconvenient child – or serving in dangerous lands overseas or…

      Unfortunately, we may find out just how catastrophic her rule may be. Our country is in serious trouble. We need to pray with all our mjght, but we NEED to act and speak like we haven’t done for decades, if ever here. That we are left with these two candidates (yes, I’ll hope for the lesser of two evils) shows how little the Catholic population as a whole has stood up. We have power. We have a moral compass. Why are we not using our gifts more? What is more important??

      It’s time now to take a stand!

  7. Now, after all that non sequitur fluff, transform the headline VOTING WHEN …. into an answer – who are you going to vote for ?

    1. I’d laugh at your comment except this situation is no laughing matter. My country is in sad shape, and it needs to be taken back.

      “Who are you voting for?”… I wouldnt go there with the title or otherwise. I’m not voting for either person. I’m working to separate the people from the policies and then vote on those policies. Maybe it’s a “what are you voting for” rather than a who thing…one thing I do know is Hillary does not represent womanhood or presidency.

      Who? I’m still working on that, but I’ve always been more #NeverHillary than other hashtag catch phrases.

    2. ” I’m working to separate the people from the policies”

      That’s like trying to separate the salt from the stew.

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