I didn’t bother registering to vote after moving to Texas. For one thing, I wasn’t expecting to be here long. For another, I had largely abandoned interest in electoral politics by the time I was settled in, and my loss of interest had morphed into snarling hatred within a few months (concomitant with my conversion to Catholicism and reaction).
I’m not alone in my principled refusal to participate in a frankly evil electoral process, and I see now that I’m not online in reconsidering it. Kathlene M., in a comment at View from the Right, sends along the story of blogger Mark Shea, who relates the following answer to a reader who asks whether or not it’s morally justifiable to vote GOP this year:
The Administration’s acts of naked warfare on civil liberty briefly made me wonder if it might be prudent to vote GOP, but when I contemplated the fact that the GOP was, in fact, the engine that drove the passage of the NDAA, I thought, “Nah. They are as enthused about transforming American into a police state as Obama.” A GOP Prez will not do one thing to undo Obama’s “gains” in eradicating civil rights or checks on a tyrannical executive. So since both parties were still gung ho for their preferred grave intrinsic evils, I saw no particular reason to support either.
Now, however, the Administration’s gratuitous and malice-filled war on religious liberty and the Catholic Church introduces a new wrinkle to the equation. We now have what I think is a real difference between the parties. The GOP is largely indifferent to the Church when the Church disagrees with it on matters like torture and just war. It makes use of the Church when it is convenient (yakking about abortion and family values while doing very little). But it has never taken a position of naked and open hostility with a view to crushing it.
For this reason, I am considering voting GOP this fall as the prudent action, because an America ruled by a corrupt party indifferent to the Church is better than an America ruled by a corrupt party that is actively seeking to crush the Church. I haven’t made up my mind (because I’m not sold that supporting pols who advocate grave evil is something I can justify. We are, after all, talking about a field of candidates–Ron Paul doesn’t count since he will never be nominated–who aspire to be war criminals). But the launch of Obama’s war on the Church seems to me to be a potential game-changer here. He is, after all, also a bellicose warmonger eager to expand our wars of Empire, but he has also taken his war for an American hedonist crony capitalist police state empire, not merely to the Islamosphere, but to the doors of every Catholic Church in America. Give him four years to make war on the Church without hindrance and we may be very surprised at how little is left of the American Church by 2016. He means business and it is foolish to underestimate that.
Things are a little worse than that, though. I’ve noticed a pronounced radicalization among my leftist friends since the start of Obama’s war on the Church. They really want it beaten, subjugated, and destroyed, and they don’t care what absurd and evil lies they have to manufacture . Perhaps it’s just that their latent insanity has been stirred to action by an opportunity to express it with social approval; more likely, it’s that people of average intellect are basically sheep and that the nature of American identity politics is such that they will always be radicalized by the leaders of the parties they follow. (Remember the remorseless, unprincipled shriveling of nearly every mainstream “conservative” in America during the Bush administration?) The fangs have come out. Give it another four years and they may well be dripping with blood.
The lack of institutional leadership in the form of an aggressive and belligerent President would, if nothing else, halt the metastasis of the left’s cancerous madness for a few years, or at the very least draw it away from the Church and toward Republicans. It’d be a small victory, but small victories are perhaps all we can ask for in these benighted latter days.
Of course, my vote won’t make a difference — there’s no doubt that Texas won’t go blue this year. But being on the right side (or, rather, emphatically declaring that I’m against the wrong side), it seems to me, is reason enough.