Over the past few days I have really had to think over my stance that we should prefer the lesser of two evils rather than not vote at all in light of Donald Trump being the only Republican candidate to challenge Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. I once thought a vote less for X is a vote more for Y. That’s not necessarily true and there is a point where we cannot tolerate the lesser of two evils. Michael Voris brought it up wonderfully with Dr. Alan Keyes that those who go by the “lesser of two evils” more often than not progressively find themselves accommodating more and more to the modernists and compromising on the Catholic faith.
Think about it. If there were to be a vote tomorrow between Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin, would you pick Hitler simply because he was the lesser of two evils? And yes, Stalin’s regime killed 8 million more than Hitler’s did, but that’s hardly mentioned just because his Soviet Union was allied with the United States and the United Kingdom. Both Hitler and Stalin were genocidal dictators who made the government control everything and both had vehemently anti-Christian administrations. There is a point where it is appropriate to jump ship and accept that those around you are bringing society down.
As Christians, our duty is to preach the good news, not be model citizens. Voting is not our primary goal. Sure, the Catechism says that it is “morally obligatory … to exercise the right to vote” (n. 2240). The problem is, this is more of a general rule than an absolute. Not only are there places where people do not have the right to vote, but our votes don’t always have direct influence over elections (take the electoral college for example). There is also a difference in not voting out of laziness and not voting out of moral conviction.
So let’s say Clinton and Trump aren’t exactly Hitler or Stalin; still the “lesser of two evils” argument cannot be enforced for various reasons. The Church has not made this argument dogma; she has not said how severe the evils of the candidates must be to not vote for them as opposed to how minor the evils of the candidates must be to vote for them. The “lesser of two evils” argument is a negotiable; however issues like abortion, gay “marriage” and euthanasia are non-negotiables. The issue of the lesser of two evils can be so complex at times that there can be no definitive statement on this; many would argue Trump is as bad as Clinton as I have previously pointed out. So, even if you could say you could vote for the lesser of two evils, this argument does not necessarily always apply since (1) the evil is sometimes too grave and (2) both candidates might be about as bad. Then again, there are a few third party candidates.