Why I Don’t Vote

I don’t vote. As a Christian I often take heat from other Christians for this stance. The argument is purely utilitarian: If you don’t vote for party A[1] then Party B will cause a much greater evil. If you don’t vote for the presumptive best candidate, you must therefore be held responsible for your share of the negative consequences. While I fundamentally reject this utilitarian thinking, there are other rational reasons for this rejection as well.

Abortion

I am pro-life and pro-science. The science of humanity is unequivocal: a fetus is a distinct living human organism. The arguments typically used to defend abortion involve dehumanizing the baby. Since I hold that abortion is murder[2], I can’t in good conscience vote for anyone who is pro-choice. Ever.

Pro-choice politicians include almost every Democrat and some Republicans. On this one issue alone I’ve eliminated 50% of the potential candidates. Consider then legislators from the majority party that fail to submit new laws to restrict abortion and its funding. Should I vote for these members of the current majority party when they consistently fail to stop abortion? No, I should not. This eliminates many incumbents from consideration.

Divorce

Every day men suffer because they have lost access to their children, had their wages garnished, and their lives permanently disrupted. The only thing required is a no-fault divorce initiated by a wife and supported by a family court system biased heavily in favor of the woman. If the family is the foundation of society, as those who are pro-family believe, then no-fault divorce is one of society’s biggest threats.

Who can I vote for that will defend families from frivolous divorce and the child-support family model? Certainly not the few remaining pro-life Democrats that support expansive government-based support programs. And what Republicans are willing to stand up to feminism and fight against these things? History has shown that there are few who will even acknowledge the problem, let alone do anything about it. Fighting to repeal no-fault divorce is political suicide.

Censorship

Freedom of speech and freedom of expression are central to all freedoms. It is imperative to protect all speech you don’t agree with. There can be no freedom without being free from consequences for that speech.

Neither political party does a good job protecting this critical freedom. Both parties are fine with their own flavors of censorship. This particular issue is full of tribal hypocrisy: trying to find a consistent politician is nearly impossible.

Many Democrats are quite happy to suppress any speech that they disagree with and they are not afraid to pass legislation and enact regulations to enforce this. The examples are numerous. If something is disagreeable “hate speech” it isn’t entitled to protection. Thus we see conservative voices silenced on campuses (e.g. speakers shouted down during their presentations) or on social media.

Republicans have failed to defend freedom of speech as well. Liberal voices are silenced by bans on kneeing during the National Anthem and conservatives rejoice. The Trump administration’s repeal of Net Neutrality is also a good example, as this allows ISPs to block or throttle offensive content.[3] Despite Jesus’ call not to judge others, Republicans are quite happy to pass judgment on others, Christian or not, and are eager to punish whoever they decide doesn’t deserve mercy and grace. As long as censorship is done by the private sector, the ethical concept of freedom of speech[4] can be spat upon.

Violence

I’m an Anabaptist Christian. One of our core beliefs is the doctrine on non-violence. We are conscientious objectors who follow the path of Jesus. We are not passive. We will fight oppression and sin, but without resorting to violence, even if this means giving up our lives.

What party is known as the pro-military party? The Republicans. It is hard to find any Republicans who would even consider suspending additional military spending, let alone cutting it. Consider also that absolute conscientious objectors were imprisoned in the U.S. during World War I and that some Anabaptists fled to Mexico. Republicans also tend to blindly support police in cases of alleged excessive force, even when it is shown to be a bad policing problem.[5]

Conclusion

Having only looked at four issues, I cannot find anyone to vote for. And yet there are many more issues that are important and would further restrict the available candidates. Is there a theoretical candidate that I could vote for? Sure. But I have yet to see such a candidate. Until such time, I will vote for no one.

[1] The party of conservative Christians is usually Republicans, but the argument works either way.

[2] Unjustified abortion. The vast majority of abortions are not morally justified. Even a liberally defined justification standard would apply to less than 5% of all abortions.

[3] If you don’t believe this can happen in America, you need only look to other countries where this already happens. America should be setting the example and pushing other countries to do the same.

[4] Freedom of speech isn’t just about law. The law reflects the underlying ethical concept. The Bill of Rights provides freedom of speech as a fundamental individual right, not simply a thing the government must permit.

[5] I acknowledge that many do not hold my views on violence, and for these people this will not be much of a consideration.

4 Comments

  1. honeycomb

    My parents are doing the same thing as you .. not voting .. though I can’t recall their exact reasoning.

    We’re Soveriegn Grace Baptists .. if that matters.

    I vote .. and disagree with this portion of your choice completely ..


    Violence
    I’m an Anabaptist Christian. One of our core beliefs is the doctrine on non-violence. We are conscientious objectors who follow the path of Jesus. We are not passive. We will fight oppression and sin, but without resorting to violence, even if this means giving up our lives.

    What party is known as the pro-military party? The Republicans. It is hard to find any Republicans who would even consider suspending additional military spending, let alone cutting it. Consider also that absolute conscientious objectors were imprisoned in the U.S. during World War I and that some Anabaptists fled to Mexico. Republicans also tend to blindly support police in cases of alleged excessive force, even when it is shown to be a bad policing problem.[5]

    1st .. God’s people have been violent and committed violence .. being armed and ready for violence is not a sin .. I knew combat before I saw it in real time. God programs us all with different skill-sets. I don’t ask God why I’m this way (built and trained mentally for combat) .. He had his reasons. Was David a man of war or peace? Have Gods people been subjected to oppression? Violence has its season in scripture and our lives.

    2nd .. I vote Repub and I believe the Military complex has hijacked our nation. It needs to be broken into little pieces and de-funded massively. It is also a sneaky way to get otherwise distasteful items in a budget passed. They know it’s political suicide to veto or vote no on defense spending. It’s not a left of right issue .. if they have jobs associated with the defense complex .. it gets a yes vote. The 17th ammendment is your enemy here brother. Not one party .. the deep state .. it controls the threft of our national treasure.

    The last Pesident to try to stop that monster got shot in Dallas Tx.

    3rd .. “conscientious objectors” [sic] are necessary. I applaud anyone with that conviction. And .. at the same time I believe you should be drafted just like other able bodied men (1) and placed in a non-direct combat role.

    In the end it’s your choice. Not one choice is perfectly clean or without compromise (re: party to vote for) .. by not voting .. you are in fact voting .. you can’t escape that.

    If it helps I’m a Constitutionalist with some Lib-eer-tair-ee-un leanings. I’d be very right-wing if such a thing could be codified.

    (1) .. I don’t agree with conscription (aka the draft) .. A nation should have it’s House of Rep’s decide who we fight / go to war .. not our President .. and our people should have the ultimate veto power for unpopular Government decisions of war .. by not send our national treasure (our men and money) to its efforts. Just like the Framers invisioned.

    1. Ram-Man

      “I believe you should be drafted just like other able bodied men and placed in a non-direct combat role.”

      We refuse even to participate in the indirect support of violence. In another time and place I would have been one of those 2000 who were imprisoned and sentenced to decades of hard labor during the world war for being an absolute conscientious objector.[a] I might even have joined my Hutterite brothers in death at Alcatraz. Or perhaps I would have managed to avoid this by joining my brothers in their migration to Chihuahua, Mexico.

      I have no illusions that I could have avoided suffering for my faith, even here in America where living a life dedicated to peace was a crime. I’m lucky that there has been no draft in my lifetime.

      While I follow the example of Christ and the early church, I don’t expect others to agree and do the same. Regardless, writing a blog post on this topic seems like a good idea. I’ll consider it.

      [a] Gingerich, Melvin (1949). Service for Peace, A History of Mennonite Civilian Public Service. Mennonite Central Committee.

  2. honeycomb

    That’s hard-core brother.

    Other men in your shoes have done just that .. and yet others have performed in roles that didn’t require them to take life.

    As for following Christ .. that’s is noble .. I follow GODs path .. The Christ and our LORD and Saviour Jesus had fits of rage / violence. Gods men have also taken life. Even when it would be considered murder. Fathers stood ready to sacrifice their son .. the examples are everywhere.

    But I fault no man and his eternal convictions .. press on brother.

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