By Laurie Higgins:
In the past few weeks, multiple articles and scores of comments have been published on Illinois Review discussing voting strategies for races in which the candidates from the two major parties are both undesirable, as is the case in Illinois’ gubernatorial race.
Some conservatives, sorely disappointed with Republican candidate Bruce Rauner, advocate voting for him anyway. Some advocate voting for the libertarian candidate. Some advocate writing in a candidate. Some advocate not voting. And this writer has advocated voting for the Democratic candidate, incumbent Pat Quinn. If the goal of disaffected Republicans in voting for the libertarian, or writing in a candidate, or not voting is to prevent Rauner from winning, then I would urge them to make their vote count by voting for Quinn who can do far less damage to the Republican Party than Rauner.
The Democratic Party refuses to protect human life at all stages, refuses to protect marriage, and refuses to protect religious liberty. And now we stand on the brink of a cataclysmic cultural moment: The Republican Party is on the brink of rejecting those issues as well. If America is to survive, that must not happen.
In Illinois Review articles and comments, this writer has been accused of having a “hissy fit” and been called a “teeny bopper on a tirade,” obsessed, childish, crazy, loony, insane, and kooky (I rather liked that one because of a childhood crush on Ed “Kookie” Burns).
Well, I just discovered I have most excellent company in the asylum: the inestimable Princeton University law professor, Robert P. George.
A race in the 52nd Congressional District in San Diego, California between Democratic incumbent Scott Peters and homosexual Republican challenger Carl DeMaio has forced conservatives there to wrestle with a similar voting dilemma. A group of Christian conservatives, including prominent pastor Jim Garlow of Skyline Church, have published an open letter urging voters in this district to employ the same voting strategy I’m recommending. They call it “Defensive Tactical Voting.”
Robert George offered the following comments about that race, comments which he has given this writer permission to publish in the context of our race:
If I were in the district, I could not in conscience vote for the Republican. His election would do greater harm to the causes of life, marriage, and religious liberty than would the election of his Democratic opponent, as bad as that guy himself is on these issues. The question is whether to abstain or to cast a tactical vote in favor of the Democrat. In circumstances like these, I believe that tactical voting is morally permissible, and it would improve the likelihood of the least bad outcome. Still, I don’t think it is morally required. Abstaining is morally permissible too.
The partisans of abortion and marriage redefinition have a lock on the Democratic Party now. Effective dissent of any type is not possible. Having gained that lock on one party, they are now turning their resources and attention to weakening the pro-life and pro-marriage reality witness of the Republican Party. That’s what the California congressional race in question here is all about. I can think of no more urgent priority than preventing that from happening. Maintaining and solidifying the pro-life and pro-marriage reality stance of the Republican Party is critical. That’s why tactical voting, including voting for bad Democrats over bad Republicans, is IN CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES (e.g., where the election of a Democrat does not jeopardize Republican control of a legislative house), morally legitimate and perhaps even advisable. We must not let the pro-abortion and pro-marriage redefinition movements strengthen their positions in the Republican Party. We must make the Republican Party as solid for life and marriage as the Democrats now are for the contrary positions.
Conservative voters may disagree with Robert George’s views, but I wonder, will they call him an insane “teeny bopper on a tirade”?
Laurie Higgins is a cultural analyst at the Illinois Family Institute and contributor to BarbWire.com.