Paul says we Christians are running a race. Here's what I'm looking at on my run toward Christ.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Is Voting 3rd Party Wrong?

This presidential election we've been told that we must choose between the Republican Donald Trump and the Democrat Hillary Clinton.  For much of the nation that seems to be an untenable position to be in, but we've been told that that is our choice.  Many of us simply will vote for against one of them rather than for one of them.

But what about voting third party?

Well, voting third party for many feels like not voting and some have painted voting third party as part and parcel to voting for the candidate you despise most.  "A vote for third party is a vote for Hillary... a vote for a third party is a vote for Trump."

I am a Christian and a conservative who finds voting for Hillary a non-option based on my political and religious convictions.  I cannot vote for a person who promotes and defends abortion as she does and I disagree with her political ideology in many ways, hence I'm not a Democrat.  I also cannot vote for Trump even though I am a registered Republican.  I cannot support a man who is as morally deficient and untrustworthy as he is.  The man who is, as Ted Cruz said, a serial philanderer.  The man who owns strip clubs and brags about his sexual conquests and unfaithfulness in marriage in his books and on programs like the Howard Stern Show.

Christians Republicans, I can understand why you don't want to vote for Hillary Clinton.  What I can't understand is how we can vilify Bill Clinton for his adultery and lying and then claim that we can give Donald Trump our full support.  What I don't understand is why we give Mr. Trump so many passes that we would NEVER give a Democrat or even another Republican.  The only word that seems to explain it is hypocrisy.  The only way I can explain it is that we've bowed down to a golden elephant and disregarded our supposed moral values in the process.  Donald Trump is not only a flawed candidate; he is perhaps the most unfit candidate since George Wallace in 1968.

So, I cannot vote for Hillary or Donald.  But is voting third party acceptable?  Theologian Wayne Grudem says "no." He says voting for Donald Trump is a morally good choice and voting third party is therefore immoral.

I disagree with Dr. Grudem, but let's look further into that.

Has voting third party in the past worked, if our definition of worked is getting a third party elected?  The answer in the modern two party system is, no.  Have the voters of a third party succeeded in only getting the person they most disagreed with elected?  Yes.  In 1992 conservative voters cast a huge percentage (third party huge that is, 19%) for the Reform Party headed by Ross Perot and that led to Republican George H. W. Bush being defeated by Democrat Bill Clinton.  In 2000 liberal voters cast enough votes for Green Party candidate Ralph Nader to tip the scales in favor of Republican George W. Bush over Democrat Al Gore.  So, it would appear that voting third party backfires.

But what if voting third party wasn't simply about this election?

I believe that the candidate for the party I'm registered with is the worst candidate the Republicans have ever nominated.  We need to keep that in mind, because we aren't simply talking about conservatives that are less than pleased with their candidate and considering a third party.  We are talking about conservatives that are watching a man slam the family of a fallen soldier, make one racially charged comment after another, one who repeatedly offends women and has often used them as sex objects, one who mocks the service of a man like lifelong Republican and war hero John McCain and one who has a history of supporting partial birth abortion... to name only a few of his major flaws.

If the Republican Party moves from being the party of Lincoln to the party of Trump then I'm done.  I'm voting third party to send a message to the Republican Party.  I'm voting third party as a warning shot to the Republican Party.  When I registered Republican it wasn't a life sentence.  I have not nor will I pledge allegiance to a party, I've pledged allegiance to my God and because of that I cannot vote for Mr. Trump.  I will be voting for a third party candidate as an effort not to affect the next four years, but to affect the long-term political future for conservative people and all people across this nation.

I believe we should vote third party for the good of America's political future.  If we accept the prison of two choices no matter what, then Republicans and Democrats can continue to nominate candidates that we can only begrudgingly give our votes.  I say we vote third party, and that includes those of you disliking your choice on the other side, to say to the two major parties that we expect better.

This November please vote.  If you support Hillary or Donald then vote for them.  But if you cannot vote for them in good conscience then don't get guilted into not voting for a third party candidate.  Our civic responsibility is to vote, not to vote for one of two choices.  So, give a hard look and pray about who you should cast your vote for this election.

(Below are a few resources for thinking about this subject.)

Check out http://www.isidewith.com/political-quiz to find out who you might want to vote for.

Dr. Albert Mohler and Dr. Russell Moore's thoughts on why they can't vote for Trump.

My thoughts about the ideal conservative party as printed in the Cedar Rapids Gazette.


  1. I don't believe voting for a 3rd party is wrong,but if someone is going to run a 3rd party race it needs to be done early enough to stand a chance of winning, I voted 3rd party when Ross Perot ran. I've always said that the two party system was bad for our country because only having two parties just opens the door to life long control and corruption.(Which is what we have now) But if a 3rd party run is made it needs to be made with much thought, planning and done early in the race so the vast majority of the people have time to find out for sure where a candidate stands on all issues. otherwise it just opens the door for the candidate you least want elected . But that's just my opinion.