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015  On Voting For Evil

I do not intend for RfMemo to become a political newsletter, so I want to apologize for the political cant of this issue, and for its length. However, many Christians I know are perplexed because of an uncomfortable political decision that American voters face, so I want to offer my insight.

Americans during presidential election years often speak of voting for "the lesser of two evils." What we mean by this is not that either candidate is necessarily, genuinely evil (although they can be). We usually mean that neither candidate really represents our true point of view.

In a self-governing republic like our own, that's not a bug, it's a feature. By design, most elections in a republic get settled by compromise. In order to win, candidates must appeal to others who agree on some major things but disagree on less crucial things. A bunch of groups offer their most perfect candidate, but the one that wins is the one that gathers the most votes from groups other than their own. It's not usually the best candidate for anybody; more often it's the least offensive candidate for everybody. But in a republic, that's how candidates win majorities.

That usually causes me some pain but no moral dilemma. In 2012, for instance, the Republican candidate, Mitt Romney, actually championed a state health care system while he was governor of Massachusetts that was remarkably similar to ObamaCare, which I considered to be a disaster. But I voted for him regardless; in my mind, he was in all regards a better choice for the job than the sitting President.

I called him "the lesser of two evils," but in actual fact, he's not evil. Mitt Romney is an honest man. Only his Mormon religion even plausibly qualifies as "evil." On health care, I think he's wrong, not evil. As a husband, father, citizen, and businessman, he lives an exemplary life.

This year is different.

This year, both major parties have presented us candidates who are, in some sense, genuinely evil, not in their policies but in their souls. That has never happened before in my lifetime.

On the Democrats' side, anybody who doubts me needs to read Peter Schweizer's book "Clinton Cash," or see the film by Breitbart based on that book. The Clintons' conduct there matches similar scams set up when Bill Clinton was governor of Arkansas, and again when he was President of the US. And that's just the tip of the self-enrichment iceberg. These are deeply corrupt people, and have been for a very long time.

On the Republicans' side, Donald Trump has engaged in lesser crimes along the same lines; "lesser" in the sense that the dollar figures from Trump University are smaller, but it's no less corrupt. Plus, Trump lies constantly, treats women as sex objects, cheats on his wives, bullies, boasts like a schoolboy, consorts with criminals, and in a vignette that could have been borrowed from a Lemony Snicket story, literally tried to steal a widow's house to turn it into a parking lot for his limos--but was foiled by the courts. He's like Professor Fate from "The Great Race," a bumbling, horrible joke, a wicked buffoon.

God judges nations by giving them wicked leaders. The leaders reflect the character of the people; it's the peoples' wicked character that is being judged. These leaders produce disasters because of their wickedness and commensurate with its depth. The judgment matches the wickedness, and gets produced by it. And now, God is judging America.

A number of us have been praying for decades, "Lord, heal our land." I believe that God is answering those prayers. The problem is, what it takes to heal a wicked land is neither pleasant nor brief. When God decided to heal Israel, the entire land became a desolation, and all the people were taken into captivity for about four generations--including righteous people like Daniel and Ezekiel.

That was God's mercy. If His judgment had been final, we'd be speaking of the Jews the way we speak of the Hittites--an ancient people sleeping in the dust. He chose to spare us Jews, and we are still here. But "spare," in our case, was hardly pleasant.

Nor will it be in America's case. Hard times are coming.

I have chosen to do the following:

(1) I cannot vote for an evil candidate, ever, not a real one. I will vote for some candidate who is not evil. I do not know which one yet. I will write one in if I have to. That's not "abandoning the political process." Sometimes, in a republic, one votes for candidates that lose. That is part of the process. Look up "Barry Goldwater" for further enlightenment.

(2) I will commit myself to educating the Church, and young people in particular. When the judgment is over and Americans return to their land (figuratively; I don't know if we're actually going anywhere) I want the new America to be built by righteous people who remember what godliness looks like.

(3) I will trust God. Presidential politics will not save us. Jesus will. We should prioritize accordingly.

I've told you my choice. Do as your consciences lead you, and may God restore America to righteousness. Amen.

Phil Weingart


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