"If you don’t vote for Romney, then you have helped Obama"

2608 reads

There are 12 Comments

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Does it strike anyone else as duplicitous that this statement...

What would you say to the Lord on Judgment Day if He asks you, “Why didn’t you use your vote to stand for the millions of unborn boys and girls of America?”

is followed by these opposite statements?

...consider practical matters when making decisions is wisdom.

Your vote is precious.

Please do not throw it away...

Why would the author consider I must give account of myself for violating one portion of scripture with my vote, but then decide I don't have to give account for myself for violating another portion of scripture with my vote when there was another option for my vote to more closely aligned with scripture. Isn't the very thing he is arguing for in the first statement what he arguing against in the following statements? In light of this waffling, his argument against a perfect candidate is an irrelevant straw man. The side he is trying to persuade isn't looking for a perfect candidate, but for the candidate most closely aligned with scripture, which is exactly what he argues as definitive in choosing Romney over Obama. He wants you to use his logic in the first comparison (Obama vs. Romney) but not after that (Romney vs ?). Of all the arguments against the conscientious voting position I have ever heard, this is the most ridiculous and duplicitous. I can at least understand those who make the argument strictly from stewardship (even though I disagree), but you can't argue both sides to support your position. That's why this...

If you don’t vote for Romney, then you have helped Obama.

is so absurd. He says, if you don't vote for Romney (the candidate more closely aligned with scripture of the two he is comparing), then you have helped Obama (the candidate less closely aligned with scripture of the two he is comparing) win. I could argue equally that if you don't vote for ? (the candidate most closely aligned with scripture of all candidates), then you have helped Romney (a candidate less closely aligned with scripture than ?) win.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

ChrisC's picture

this also ignores the fact that the real reason why we continue to have legal abortion is not because of who is in the white house but because the pro-life movement has failed to convince america that the unborn are anything more than a potential person without independent human rights. and the real reason why same-sex marriage will be legal in the near future is not because of who is in the white house, but because the national consensus has shifted. republicans mostly use these issues to whip their base into a frenzy, but then do practically nothing. the truth is that a lot of republicans get abortions and don't see what the big deal is about gays when they're on their third marriage.

 

also interesting is that if the practical goal is to reduce the number of abortions and get as close to zero as possible, a survey of global abortion rates show that the countries where abortion is illegal do not have the lowest abortion rates.

 

the digs about 'reckless' spending and 'socialist' agenda are completely partisan propaganda as well.

Larry's picture

Moderator

I could argue equally that if you don't vote for ? (the candidate most closely aligned with scripture of all candidates), then you have helped Romney (a candidate less closely aligned with scripture than ?) win.

Yes, you could argue that equally, but it wouldn't be an equal argument.

Let me borrow an example: Let's say you have an orphanage on fire with 100 children in it. You have one guy down the street who says, "No reason to put it out. Let them die." You have another guy down the street who says, "We should do something, but we can probably only save 90 or so of the children." You have a guy three towns over who says, "We can save them all. But we can't get there before they all die."

Which is the best choice? The answer is obvious to almost everyone but you would answer that by choosing the third guy. And so all 100 die when 90 could have been saved. (And don't put it just in the category of abortion, but in all issues.)

Chip, you and others are arguing for a choice that sounds good, but doesn't actually do anything. You salve your conscience by claiming you voted to save all 100, but the reality is that you voted to lose all 100 because you cast a vote for a guy who can't actually do anything, no matter how good his rhetoric is.

Whether we like it not, the lion's share of politics is about who can win. Voting for someone who can't win is irresponsible. The vote you are talking about is a primary vote. There's comes a time when you "live to fight another day." You have to save something (as much as you can) for the next guy.

To use another example, your argument is like a guy who wants $1000. But no one will give him any more than $500. So he turns down $1000 and gets nothing because he wasn't willing to take $500. So the saying goes, 50% of something is better than 100% of nothing. You sound like you would rather have 100% of nothing rather than 50% of something.

Your use of "duplicitous" strikes me as an emotional argument ("If we can call it an ugly enough name, we can persuade people against it") rather than a reasonable one. It doesn't strike me as duplicitous at all; I see no contradiction in his argument at all. It is an argument that we need to use wisdom to make the best overall choice.

You say, [b]He wants you to use his logic in the first comparison (Obama vs. Romney) but not after that (Romney vs ?).[/b] But that misses the simple point of your question mark. There is no "?" against Romney in the second comparison. He is the guy three towns over who can't actually do anything. His name might be on the ballot, but that's only because he had enough money to get it there. It's not because he is a serious candidate.

Think about the impact of this in recent elections. Clinton was president because of Perot. (Perot was the only legitimate third party candidate in recent history, and perhaps in all of our history). Bush was president because of Nader. If the Perotians or the Naderians voted differently, there is in most likelihood a different outcome.  Whether it would have been better or worse is unknown. But your mindset gave us Clinton and Bush 2.

There is a thing in elections called "plunking." It is usually applied in a "Select two" type of election, such a school board. So you have Joe, Bill, and Frank, running and you can select two of them. Joe is the one you want. But when you vote for Joe and Bill, your vote for Bill actually harms Joe by giving a vote to someone else. So in actual numbers, say Joe gets 100 votes, Bill get 101, and Frank gets 102. Your vote for Bill actually harmed your candidate by becoming the vote that broke the tie. If two people do that, even though both voted for Joe, the additional vote for Bill mattered because it put Joe behind Bill by effectively canceling your vote for Joe.

In an election like this, one vote won't matter much. But the principle still stands, that if you do not vote against someone, you are actually helping them (as the article says) because your vote will not cancel out a vote.

It can be a bit complicated until you actually think through it.

I am a firm believer that Romney is one of the few Republicans that could lose this election. Any other choice would probably be far ahead in a landslide. I do not like Romney. I think he is the worst choice, except for all the others.

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Larry,

Your loan analogy is apples to oranges because there's no moral component involved. Your firemen analogy is also apples to oranges. All my firemen are here ready to fight the fire. I just have to decide who I should pick. 

 

If I choose the guy who only plans to save 90 over the guy who plans to save everyone, I am the one making the mistake, even if the guy wanting to save 90 has more popularity. And if too many of us opt for the guy who's trying to save everyone instead of the guy trying to save 90, and that leaves enough callous idiots out there to join forces and elect the guy who wants to just let everyone die, that's not an issue with me but with the idiots. I would definitely be wrong to try to justify my choice to support letting 10 die because it will at least save 90. That's pragmatism. Your argument supports what I have been saying - I am only responsible for my own vote, and the author of this article makes ridiculous assertions to support his position.

 

As an aside Larry, I usually appreciate (and generally agree with) your involvement in discussions. However, I didn't appreciate your closing remark that everyone who thinks this through comes t your conclusion. Contrary to your assertion, I have thought this through - long, hard, and scripturally - which why I disagree with you. 

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Larry's picture

Moderator

All my firemen are here ready to fight the fire. I just have to decide who I should pick. 

But he's not "here ready." He's 270 electoral college votes way, and 40 million popular votes away (assuming those 40 millions are in the right states). And my guess is that 99% of the electorate wouldn't even know your candidate's name, much less be inclined to vote for him. So in the analogy, he's not three towns away. He might as well be on Mars. He simply cannot help because he's not here.

If I choose the guy who only plans to save 90 over the guy who plans to save everyone,

It's not about planning. It's about doing. The analogy had nothing to do with plans, and everything to do with actually saving people. Planning to save 100% is useless unless you can actually do it. Those 100 people will not be impressed by your plans, because they are dead. In order to save people, you have to be there, which means you have to be able to get 270 electoral college votes and north of 40 million popular votes in exactly the right places, and you can't do that when no one knows your name four days before the vote.

And if too many of us opt for the guy who's trying to save everyone instead of the guy trying to save 90, and that leaves enough callous idiots out there to join forces and elect the guy who wants to just let everyone die, that's not an issue with me but with the idiots.

It's also an issue with the 100 who die. I don't think one can simply absolve oneself through this manner. The fact is that 100 people die, and 90 could have been saved. I am not sure that means it is pragmatic to save 90, and work hard to get things in place to save all 100 next time around.

Your argument supports what I have been saying - I am only responsible for my own vote.

You are not only responsible for your own vote. You are responsible for outcomes of your vote. We can't simply cast votes and then absolve ourselves of responsibility. Our votes have consequences, and we must consider those.

 However, I didn't appreciate your closing remark that everyone who thinks this through comes t your conclusion. Contrary to your assertion, I have thought this through - long, hard, and scripturally - which why I disagree with you.

Thanks for your kind comments, but I am not sure what remark you are talking about. The only thing I said about thinking was with respect to the plunking concept. When someone first explained it to me (a guy running for school board who said to vote only for him), I didn't get it. I had to think about it to understand it. The point is that if you have a "select two" (or three) race, vote only for the one person you want because to vote for a second can cancel your vote.

 

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Larry wrote:
Thanks for your kind comments, but I am not sure what remark you are talking about.

This was the reference.

In an election like this, one vote won't matter much. But the principle still stands, that if you do not vote against someone, you are actually helping them (as the article says) because your vote will not cancel out a vote.

It can be a bit complicated until you actually think through it.

 

Back to the topic. Using your analogy, my fireman is right here ready to work, not three towns away (or on Mars). There is nothing keeping him from doing the job except support. Your fireman could not do anything even if he had unanimous support; my guy, Mr. ?, is ready, willing and able. The reasoning is circular. 

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Jim's picture

I really don't overthink the voting decisions. 

  • Is the person competent to run the executive branch? (The competence and experience question)
  • What is the candidates "moral compass": Views on abortion, marriage, etc are telling
  • It seems that anymore there is a clear bifurcation on taxes and that's too bad. The Dems want to raise taxes on the wealthy and the Republicans want to reduce taxes on the wealthy. The issue is not primarily taxes it is government efficiency. Both parties fail here but the Dems are worse. This country will be Greece soon. We just cannot continue to run these massive deficits. My Mother (who is 92) won't live to see the crisis and perhaps I (age 63) won't either. But this country is going broke. Back to taxes: our tax system is way too complex and rewards poor choices. Want to put people back to work? Reduce the corporate tax rate.

On third party candidates: The last viable 3rd party candidate was Ross Perot in 1992. I'm not going to vote for a non-viable candidate. 

On Romney: The Republican field was weak this year. Too bad. If Romney loses Ryan will be the Republican nominee in 2016

Larry's picture

Moderator

In an election like this, one vote won't matter much. But the principle still stands, that if you do not vote against someone, you are actually helping them (as the article says) because your vote will not cancel out a vote.

It can be a bit complicated until you actually think through it.

As I explained, that was in reference to plunking as can be seen in the immediately previous paragraphs. It was not a general statement about the whole post.

There is nothing keeping him from doing the job except support.

Exactly my point. He doesn't have support. Having great plans is meaningless unless you are actually in a place with the authority to act.

Your fireman could not do anything even if he had unanimous support;

Not sure what this means. He can do something ... he can save 90 lives. He just needs to be chosen.

my guy, Mr. ?, is ready, willing and able.

But he isn't able because he is too far away. In terms of the election, he cannot get 270 electoral votes necessary to be able. It seems to me you are confusing being well-meaning and well-intentioned (which I am sure he is) with being able (which he isn't since he isn't in a place to act).

The reasoning is circular.

Totally confused by this one. One guy will do nothing. One guy will do something. One guy who may have the best plan cannot do anything because he has no authority and can't get it.

Which should you choose? It seems to me that the wisest choice is the guy who will do something, even though he won't do everything. It's better to nothing.

Again, I think your approach is a classic primary approach. But those ideas lost. So now what? I think choose the next best thing to prevent the worse thing.

 

Jim Racke's picture

Here is a great article to read showing why we should pick the best candidate that has the most Biblical values even if they are not a Christian.

 

Go to American Family Association and look for link to Guidelines For Christians How To Vote

 

 

Jim Racke

MShep2's picture

ChrisC wrote:
this also ignores the fact that the real reason why we continue to have legal abortion is not because of who is in the white house but because the pro-life movement has failed to convince america that the unborn are anything more than a potential person without independent human rights. and the real reason why same-sex marriage will be legal in the near future is not because of who is in the white house, but because the national consensus has shifted. republicans mostly use these issues to whip their base into a frenzy, but then do practically nothing. the truth is that a lot of republicans get abortions and don't see what the big deal is about gays when they're on their third marriage.

 

also interesting is that if the practical goal is to reduce the number of abortions and get as close to zero as possible, a survey of global abortion rates show that the countries where abortion is illegal do not have the lowest abortion rates.

 

the digs about 'reckless' spending and 'socialist' agenda are completely partisan propaganda as well.

No, abortion is still illegal because of the religion of secular humanism which believes that a woman's right to have an abortion trumps all other concerns. The fact that a "fetus" is a person is known by most, but this is considered not important since killing an unborn child is a small price to pay for this "right." This is why even unborn babies which could survive outside the womb are still aborted and in many cases refused care if they survive the procedure.

This problem, as with most "political" problems, requires a change of heart that only the Gospel can bring. Politics can mitigate somewhat the practice and spread of abortion "rights" but until those who profess Christianity take this seriously it will never be eliminated.

MS
--------------------------------
Luke 17:10

ChrisC's picture

MShep2 wrote:
The fact that a "fetus" is a person is known by most
i'm not interested in turning this into a long discussion on the topic, especially since neither of us are pro-choice, but do you have any survey or something where this idea came from so i can read more about it? for the opposing perspective, you might consider something like Bad argument #3: Science says what?.
MShep2 wrote:
This problem, as with most "political" problems, requires a change of heart that only the Gospel can bring.
completely agree,