No, a Vote for a Third Party (or Abstaining from Voting) Is not the Same as a Vote for Hillary

By Brandon Craig - Posted at The Reformed Layman:


Now that it has become clear that the Republican candidate will be Donald Trump and that the Democrat candidate will be Hillary Clinton, the accusations have already begun against all who have said they will not vote for either candidate. “A vote for a third party or refraining from voting altogether is the same as a vote for Hillary”, or “if you vote third party we have you to thank for Hillary becoming president”. I intend to give several reasons why this is false and why there is no need to give in to the guilt trip.

The first and most obvious reason is that a vote for Hillary is a vote for Hillary whereas not voting for her is one less vote than she would receive if you did vote for her. While this is painfully obvious, those who make such accusations seem to not get this. My first response is “oh so in that case you would be just as okay with me voting for Hillary as you would with me voting third party or just abstaining?”. To this they either reply with a resounding don’t vote for Hillary or they see where I am going with it and they hem haw around. No matter how you break it down, not voting for Hillary is always better than voting for Hillary. So on its face it is clearly not true that a vote for a third party or just not voting is the same exact thing as a vote for Hillary.

The second reason is that this accusation assumes a Republican ownership of our votes. Many of us Christians and Reformed Christians are not Republicans at all. We might be libertarians, or part of the Constitution Party, or possibly Covenanters who reject the whole system. Whatever the case may be, each election cycle the Republican Party has the same challenge as any other party out there and that is to put a candidate up who earns people’s vote. If the GOP does not put forth such a candidate they cannot assume that they own that vote and thus not voting for their candidate is the same as voting for the Democrat candidate. If you never had my vote to start with, you can hardly claim it in effort to oppose some greater evil.

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