Fellow Maccabee writer F.S. Lerner stated in a previous article of his that in today’s world there seems to be “a false assumption that Christians have to be nice to everyone”.
I agree, and I won’t be nice here.
F.S. Lerner is delusional to say “we (conservative Catholic men in America, and anyone else along for the ride) should vote for [Trump] both in the general and the primaries”.
Specifically because of people like Lerner, the general election will come down to two morally vacuous individuals, Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. Because of people like Lerner, the morally superior Ted Cruz will be shoved aside to make room for terrifically terrible Trump.
Three things I will explain:
- There is absolutely no justification for voting Donald in the primaries
- If Trump becomes the GOP nominee anyway, it’s morally acceptable to write-in someone else
- You should vote on your principles, not necessarily electability
Yes, I believe it’s immoral to pick Donald in a primary over Cruz. And come November if the GOP still picks Donald, I will be writing in someone else. I will never vote for Donald Drumpf. Let me explain.
VOTING IS MANDATORY
“Co-responsibility for the common good make[s] it morally obligatory to pay taxes, to exercise the right to vote, and to defend one’s country” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2240).
We as Catholics have to vote. In November, you have to pick someone.
Catholics have an obligation to participate in society. As St. Josemaria Escriva said, our role of “being in this world but not of this world” is crucial. As much as we may like to sit out an election, we cannot. We cannot sit back and let someone terrible take office if we have the means to stop them. In this case, yes, Hillary Clinton would be the worst option for President, because of her hardcore abortion and gay marriage stances (among other things). A vote for her is completely out of the question for a Catholic, so in the general election we are all obligated to participate in, we must vote for someone else.
It’s important to note that the likelihood of success shouldn’t determine your decision. That is to say, the argument of electability shouldn’t be your only compass. Your compass should only be to make the moral decision, no matter the odds. Even in the cases of guaranteed failure, we should still do our small part to prevent evil and make the morally good decision. You don’t weigh your decision to do the right thing based off of the chances of success! You either do the right thing, or you don’t, period. If every Catholic voted along actual Catholic principles, we’d have more public servants in office who are closely aligned with our values.
IT’S NOT ONE OR THE OTHER
Now after speaking with several priests and consulting the Catechism, nowhere did I find it immoral to pick a third option in the general election. The choices are not restricted to only two options. In other words, if Hillary and Donald go head-to-head, it’s OK to write-in someone else. The argument that failing to vote for the GOP nominee is a vote for Hillary is a false equivalency. Voting for Cruz (or Santorum or someone else) is not a vote for Hillary! A vote for Hillary is a vote for Hillary. You must exercise your right to vote and picking someone more closely aligned with Catholic principles is morally acceptable.
The lesser of two evils is not a Catholic principle. One may never choose evil. One may choose to minimize the damage. It’s not about winning; it’s about making the moral choice and minimizing the damage to society. That being said, I believe a write-in vote in November is morally superior to picking the Donald.
With the philosophical arguments over, now we can go over the practical ways Donald is a terrible choice.
DONALD IS A LOSER
Lerner argues “we need a fighter who can truly defeat Clinton”. This compilation of respected polling from Real Clear Politics shows that Trump would be a terrific failure up against Clinton in the general election. Since the new year, Trump has proven to be the loser (by a wide margin) in the polls 92% of the time. Smells like a loser to me. Obviously, Trump is not the man who can defeat Clinton.
Furthermore, if it really just comes down to who has a better chance of ‘winning’ in November, let me show you one more graph:
Cruz gives us a much tighter race. I believe Cruz with a winning percentage of 28% beats Donald’s losing 8% record.
The polls also show Trump’s unfavorability ratings are much higher than his favorability ratings. No Lerner, Trump cannot “build the largest coalition” to defeat Hillary and promote conservative principles. He is a deeply unpopular man.
WHAT TO DO?
Now, if you’re like me and would prefer to vote for a true conservative and intelligent man in November, the time to ensure that is in the primaries. That’s where you have the ability to keep someone as ignorant and dangerous as Trump out of the general election. Now there is something to be said for electability/common sense, yes. It would be absolutely ridiculous to write-in your parish deacon or father-in-law for president. That wouldn’t be immoral, but it would be stupid; reason needs to play a role in your voting decision. However much someone may like Santorum for example, the fact is there will never be a President Santorum.
So, when it comes to the primaries, Cruz should be your reasonable electable man. He has consistently been pro-life (Trump hasn’t). Cruz has consistently been a conservative (Trump hasn’t). Cruz wants bathrooms for men and women separate (Trump doesn’t). And Cruz has consistently supported traditional marriage (Trump hasn’t). You cannot justify voting for Trump in a primary when you have a candidate like Cruz who’s more closely aligned with Catholic values.
And no Lerner, Cruz is not “too nice”.
I believe Catholics in the future primaries should vote for Cruz, who is both more electable and more closely aligned with Catholic values than Trump, so that the November election comes down to a choice between Cruz and Hillary.
But, if come November the candidates are Hillary and Trump, you can thank people like F.S. Lerner for giving us this pathetic excuse for a man.