Stephen Wolfe has an excellent piece at Mere Orthodoxy on the consequentialist theory of voting. He challenges the assumption that voting for a candidate is an endorsement of their moral life, and that it is necessarily hypocritical to tolerate immorality for a candidate in a given situation, but not another. His demonstration that the assumption of endorsement is misplaced is strong, but ultimately fails to convince in his conclusion. His principle is,
Voting for a candidate is an endorsement of the candidate’s moral life as it pertains to his external conformity to civil righteousness sufficient to qualify the candidate for civil office, qualifications judged by the likely preponderance of good or bad in the long-term consequences of his term in office determined by his political actions after mediated through the institutional constraints of his office and the checks and balances of other institutions.
The candidate’s ability to enact policies, the details of those policies, and the bearing of the candidate’s morality on those policy enactments are the only endorsement of the candidate’s moral life made by voting. Wolfe in his conclusion states, “And as I argued above, a moral standard as a first condition for vote-worthiness is arbitrary, unless it is shown to be relevant to good civil outcomes resulting from civil actions in a particular time, place, and set of circumstances mediated through particular political institutions…”
How pathetic is it that the battleground for the future of Christian civilization is perceived to be retail-store interactions? Christians have a millennia-long heritage of civilization building, and it has come to this: The farthest our imaginations can take us…
If you think that when Neo-Nazis and the KKK protested in Charlottesville, with a white supremacist murdering and injuring counter-protestors, that there were “some very fine people on both sides,” that this represents an insignificant fringe of American culture, and that media blew it out of proportion,
But also believe that black men kneeling during the national anthem to protest racism directed at their community is hugely disrespectful, and that they should be fired, you are probably racist.
If you think efforts to remove flags and monuments to the Confederate rebellion to preserve slavery, most of which were erected during the Civil Rights era, is a liberal assault upon American heritage, and that they should be left up…
I’m trying to avoid politics on this site as much as possible, but I can’t not mention President Trump’s address last night. He announced a new strategy for the U.S.’s war in Afghanistan that includes sending an additional 4,000 troops to the country. We have been at war in Afghanistan for nearly 16 years, and it’s not clear what we’re doing there at this point. The politics of the issue aside, what is appalling about this state of perpetual war is that no one cares. Afghanistan never came up in any of the presidential debates in 2016, and pollsters didn’t even bother to include it on the list of issues Americans may care about. For years now I have heard people fearfully discuss the prospect of the U.S. going to war as if one was not already underway.