Should I vote pro-choice?

On November 2, I have to decide whether I’m going to vote for Mark Kirk for U.S. Senate (www.kirkforsenate.com or @kirk4senate).  He’s not someone I’m very excited about voting for.  He voted for the ill-conceived cap-and-trade bill, but later said that he made a mistake.  But, most importantly to me, he has a pro-choice voting record.  He has a 100% rating by NARAL, which indicates a strongly pro-choice record.

He’s obviously going to be a better Senator than Alexi Giannoulias, the Democrat, and will probably be a fiscally conservative vote, but he would be a social moderate in the Senate, which is not what I want.

Is it better to vote for the person who more closely aligns to your personal beliefs, or to not vote at all?  Should I not vote for Mark Kirk, thereby ensuring that Alexi Giannoulias gets the Senate seat, and then hope that the Republicans will nominate a more socially conservative candidate next time?

I’ve been an advocate in the past for voting for the candidate that more closely represents you, but there’s a pretty large distance between Mark Kirk and myself.

What do you think?

  • http://flatratebiz.com Chris Johnson

    B-

    The Abortion Issue. Toughie. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that the FF’s didn’t really envision a federal government that was into routine law enforcement.

    While there’s a de facto jurisdiction in the senate, it’s not where the power for ordinary stuff should ought to be housed.

  • http://papuagirlindallas.blogspot.com/ Kacie

    Or vote third party? Write in?

    • Bob

      Yes, but who does a third party vote or write-in vote benefit? It doesn’t benefit the third party candidate (because they’re going to lose anyway). It hurts the candidate of the two viable candidates that I like the most. Do you think that it’s right/correct to not vote for a candidate ONLY on the abortion issue?

  • http://flatratebiz.com Chris Johnson

    Bob-

    http://www.cleveland.com/opinion/index.ssf/2010/10/the_plain_dealer_endorses_matt.html

    That’s a link to a libertarian candidate. If you demand results quickly, and lack patience, then you’re certainly constrained to the choices at hand. But, if you want to prove that you reward virtue, and want your vote to mean something good, the willingness to go outside of the traditionally presented choices has to be an option you reserve.

    You have to be willing to leave the bargaining table and a way to do that is to support viable and sane third party candidates.

    That said, there are plenty of third party candidates that are neither, and even though I’m a Libertarian, party membership is sometimes a strike against them.

  • Ray

    If Kirk were Pro-Life, do you believe Roe v Wade would be overturned? Answer: No. A pro-life majority in the legislature cannot overturn a Supreme Court decision, but they can vote to eliminate tax-payer funded abortions thru the military and Medicaid, or make more stringent rules. Until we see a philosophical shift on the Court, all we can do is limit abortions. But I believe we can influence Repubs moreso than Dems, so I will hold my nose and vote for Kirk.

  • Judy Henderson

    As a 36 yr. Judge of Election, I have to tell you GO VOTE. It is a very precious and rare right to have. You are correct that voting for a third pty. will hinder the chances of a “lesser of 2 evils” choice in the frontrunners. Proper change must happen a step at a time, so if you hinder the better choice of the two, you are also slowing down the positive change we need. If the elected one does not live up to his promises or your opersonal beliefs,then vote him out the next time. We all are currently suffering under the falsities of BO’s “hope & change” jargon. Can we really take the chance at this point of not voting and allowing him the continued power to bring us totally to ruin? How is that being a responsible adult?

  • http://fivebares.wordpress.com fivebares

    Yeah, I just don’t think you can make a “lesser of two evils” argument biblically. Like Lewis said, “Do not let us mistake necessary evils for good.” There is no biblical mandate to vote, only to be a responsible member of your society. The right to vote is like any other right, in that it’s yours to use as you see fit to make your voice heard. If you have a conviction against voting for either mainline party candidate, then you shouldn’t vote for either of them, plain and simple. This “You have to vote because you have to right” stuff is garbage. Your call is to Christ and conscience before a broken, sin-filled political machine.

    But don’t take this to say I think you shouldn’t vote. I only mean you shouldn’t vote against your conscience. Some Xians are okay with voting for people who support some causes they don’t. Some aren’t. It’s a personal matter that only you can come to a conclusion about how you’d like to handle.

    This is mostly because voting isn’t just about creating a Xian state. Christ had the chance to make his movement political and didn’t. We don’t have to feel like God is somehow NOT in control just because we live in a non-Xian country run by non-Xians. So if voting for you is a leveraged balance between some Xian principles and some political ones you feel strongly about on their merit alone (not because you’ve attributed spiritualness to them because you think one party is more godly than the other), then happily vote for who you think is best qualified to make decisions in your stead.

    Just follow your conscience. Don’t be guilted into voting or not voting. If you think neither is a good choice, then saying “I’m making a choice just because I can” is foolish. All you need to know then is that God would say a choice made against your conviction is a bad choice, regardless of what it “does for the country” or “progress of blah blah blah”. Where your convictions lie on a particular scale may enable you to vote here and not there, vote everywhere, or not vote at all. Regardless, no one will die wishing they’d been more vapidly patriotic, but plenty will die wishing they’d been more true to the Spirit’s push in their lives. Good luck!

  • http://brevisdictus.wordpress.com Ellie

    Michael, you seem to be assuming that “vapid patriotism” as at odds with the leading of the Spirit.
    First of all, if you need an adjective, I’d choose “rabid” over “vapid”. And really, the only reason to have an adjective is to make patriotism sound negative.
    Second, while I agree with your thoughts that our goal is spiritual and not national, I don’t think that you can or should rule out the option that Christianity and patriotism can go hand in hand.

  • http://fivebares.wordpress.com fivebares

    Oh, I would never rule out that they can. And I’m not saying that all patriotism is vapid. But I would CERTAINLY say that vapid patriotism is at odds with the leading of the Spirit. How can a lifeless engagement in dogma be reconciled to a life-giving indwelling of God?

    I’m saying that a thoughtless, mechanistic call for all people to vote simply because we can vote and not because we want to vote in each individual case is vapid patriotism. Just because one gets riled up doesn’t actually mean they’re full of life. Life should insinuate meaning. And voting just to vote is not true meaning, it’s thoughtlessness. And it’s even slightly illogical.

    I say this because people who say vote just to vote are doing so because they think the most important thing is that your voice is heard, not that your voice is true to itself. Biblically speaking, I would say that there are times to be heard and times to keep silent, and the wise person knows when to fight the foolishness of the world by speaking or not.

    You aren’t speaking any less just because you choose NOT to vote for someone. It’s still speech, and it’s still the exercise of your right. Like I said, voting for individual politicians is a conscience issue, and one where if people are true to theirs, it doesn’t bother me. In these cases, it’s fine to say patriotism and faith can go together. However, the line between conviction and preference is often pretty fine, and so we need to be careful not to call one the other (the consequence of which would be to unrightly meld nationalism and faith into one concept, which is needlessly dangerous).

    So don’t take this to mean that I’m saying all patriotism is vapid. Not my point. Just saying the kind of thoughtless patriotism I’ve addressed is. Things work in cycles. Parties come and go from power, they come and go in what they stand for. And even democracy itself is a relatively new phenomenon over history. Tying our religious substance up too much with any one system/party/ideology is dangerous, because when the latter falls, it takes our faith down with it. When the latter is attacked, we make it an issue of faith when it’s really nothing of the sort. I’m just advocating for a healthy separation as often as possible of the two things so that both can occupy rightfully meaningful places in our lives.

    And just like there is often gray and no right answer in our faith sometimes, the same holds true for individual patriotic tendencies. There is no “right” thing for EVERY citizen to do. People need to use their speech in ways that suit their conscience. THAT is true freedom.