A Hobson’s choice is a choice without an alternative. Many first-time voters are treating this election as if it were one. The lesser of two-evils argument has begun to circulate again as it did in late 2003 before the elections that placed George W. Bush in the oval office for another four years. I dealt with some of these issues in a post in 2004.
In 2004, the Bush/Cheney ticket seemed bearable when compared to the Kerry/Edwards ticket. Back then the war still had some support and there were still many questions unanswered. As a result of the skepticism of the population and the fear imposed by the Bush Administration on the population, Kerry and Edwards fell short and Bush regained the confidence of the people in the war on terror. As some have suggested the election of 2004 was one based on fear. So what is the election of 2008 based on? The answer once again is fear. The context, however, of this election is diametrically different than the previous one. In 2004 Bush was still somewhat popular. Some viewed his actions after 9-11 heroic. His 90% approval ratings in 2001 held well until his re-election in 2004 where his approval ratings were at 50%. But now his ratings are an abysmal 20% or less. In 2004 the economy was re-bounding to the applause of George Will. In 2008, we are closer than ever to Ron Paul’s predictions of a major recession (not just a minor recession). The war continues to be a catastrophic failure, and the war party continues to hail their decision to go to war. Of course, their arguments today are much more subtle since no one dares make the same arguments of 2003…well, Bill Kristol is. One wonders why the Republican Party still allows Kristol to be a voice of reason to their candidates. So once again fear reigns over the corridors of Washington and throughout the United States, and Republicans continue to erect and resurrect the 9-11 towers, reiterating once again the same propaganda that led us into war in the first place.
But what about the Democrats? Are they a better option? Any Biblical Christian knows they are not. They speak of murder in the womb as if it were another day at the park. They advocate feminism that has led to millions of broken homes, they stand on their welfare programs that perpetuate hunger and poverty, they oppose the free-market thinking that taxing the rich will balance out society, they say they oppose war, but in reality they oppose only one war. Their leaders can’t wait to have the military in their hands to send them to the far reaches of this world: Darfur, Haiti, and every other place under the sun for “humanitarian reasons.” Once again, they borrow the Neo-Conservative slogan of “bringing democracy to the world via militaristic adventures.” Democrats do not oppose war, they oppose Bush’s war.
What are we to do in light of this absurd dilemma? Should we not vote, write-in, or succumb to the pressures of a major party? There are a few ideas to consider before one casts their votes in less than two months:
a) The first thing we are to realize is that there are no perfect parties. All parties–major or third parties–are sinful parties. They are flawed options to achieve what we as Christians desire: a nation where God is honored.
b) Though all parties are flawed, it does not mean that they are all worthless. Just as churches are flawed, they are not worthless. God uses men in both spheres to accomplish His purposes.
c) Christ is Lord over all things, including the political sphere. Therefore, it is unbiblical to say that if we do not vote for the Republican Party we will be handing our future over to evil forces. Just as when Bill Clinton was in office, Christ was, is, and will continue to be Lord. Likewise, if Obama wins, Christ is still Lord and He will bring justice to the nations in due time (Psalm 2).
d) In a Republic such as this one, we have the honor of considering other options beyond the major parties. Third Parties have been a tremendous force in American politics. After all, the two big parties were once small parties.
This is not a Hobson’s Choice. In the end, the lesser of two evils is still evil. As the Scriptures say: Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter (Isaiah 5:20)!