What does it Mean that Christians and Other People of Good Will must Hack the [Political] System? We must Vote Not in Order to Support the System, but as one Defensive Tactic Among Many.

In my previous post I said our side should hack the political system, not withdraw from politics as some on our side (many of whom are Christians) counsel.

The political system is hostile to us but still capable on occasion of producing outcomes beneficial to us. And the withdrawal of people of good will from politics only makes it easier for our Opponent to torment us. We must wisely apply political force where it is likely to do us good and not be misled by foolish idealism of either the anti- or pro-politics type.

The present counsel refers primarily to voting, although obviously voting does no good unless there is a candidate who is a person of good will, and governing does no good unless done by people of good will. But the vast majority of us will not hold office. We will only vote.

To “hack” the political system, then, is to view voting not as a civic duty, but as one means among many of defending ourselves. Politics as civic duty dates from the old days, when America functioned reasonably well regardless of who occupied governmental office. In those days the election of a bad party or politician was never a catastrophe, and it made sense to vote for a questionable candidate as long as his party was, in the long run, better for America than the other party.

But now all of official America is committed to destruction. To vote with the goal of supporting the existing order is to cooperate with destruction.

Instead, we must vote with the goal of protecting ourselves. And if no candidate is likely to protect us, don’t vote. That’s the way our Opponent votes, and he has been successful so far.

Failing to vote for a less-evil candidate whom we would have supported in past years may cause us some avoidable ills. We could have avoided them by electing Mr. Less-Evil. But these setbacks will be more than compensated for when the Less-Evil Party realizes that it needs candidates who actually support our people. Bad officers do not win wars, even if they are less bad than other officers. We must avoid battle until we have good officers.

The political process controls the application of force. And since someone will always be applying the force, we cannot pretend that we can survive while at the same time refusing to engage the Opponent politically. We need officeholders who are on our side.

My intuition is that millions of people who are basically on our side (even if only unconsciously so) are failing to vote defensively. They are afraid to vote with the best interests of their people in mind, or perhaps doing so does not occur to them. These people feel that one should vote for the most “reasonable” candidate and one should not be “divisive.” These people need to know that they should vote in their own best interests. Especially because their (our) Opponent relentlessly votes only in his interests, and harming us is one of his most important interests.

Those on our side who urge disengagement from politics have as their ultimate argument the notion that voting can only pollute us. It is participation in evil. But that’s not true if our mindset is to vote as a defensive tactic.

There is a danger that we may come to believe that winning elections is necessary for our self-defense. This naturally leads to compromise, out of the mistaken belief that a less “radical” candidate will be more likely to win. But a “non-radical” is someone who supports the System, that is, supports our Opponent. We do not need to be members of a political party that is popular. We need to support candidates who defend us. Sometimes this will lead us to join large coalitions (in the sense of voting for the coalition’s candidate.) Often it will not.

In every election we must make a judgment of whether a specific candidate is more likely to defend us or more likely to perpetuate the System. Our judgment may sometimes be proved wrong by later developments, but this is no excuse for withdrawing from politics.

To be practical we should concentrate on local elections. The Opponent probably does not care much about your little district, so normal people have a chance of electing an official of good will, should such a person be on the ballot. At the local level our votes can often make the difference between an officeholder who protects us and one who attacks us.

But state and national elections can still sometimes do good. The Orange Man, despite his faults, did significant good for our side. If he seemed ineffectual, just look at all the wailing and teeth-gnashing he inspired. Our Opponent really felt himself to be in imminent danger.

*

To summarize: Even though the political System is hopelessly corrupt, and being a standard-brand political animal is deeply corrupting, our people must vote. Politics controls the application of force, so the danger of not voting wisely is greater than the danger of being sucked into the System.

27 thoughts on “What does it Mean that Christians and Other People of Good Will must Hack the [Political] System? We must Vote Not in Order to Support the System, but as one Defensive Tactic Among Many.

  1. What do you see as the difference between these two scenarios:

    I’m Party Line Percy and I only vote for MyParty(TM), because they are my party and they are the best and I want them to win. If only every office were held by MyParty(TM), then everything would be better. That’s why I voted for only MyParty(TM) in the last election.

    I’m Discerning Danny, I take voting very seriously. I do a lot of research, I see the long inexorable march of our opponents, and it scares me. It is very important that we are very discerning with our votes and make sure we only vote for good and virtuous candidates at all levels; and occasionally we have to hold our noses and vote for some less bad candidates. Anyway, that’s why I voted for only MyParty(TM) in the last election.

    Whose vote will do more to advance the cause of Christendom and tradition? Whose vote will do more to slow the advance of leftism? Whose vote will do more to undo the damage of Liberalism?

    If MyParty(TM) loses the election, whose vote does more to stop Christianity from being sent underground by the opposition?

    • There’s no difference in the scenarios. Both voted for the Elephant, and the Elephant kept doing what he’s been doing.

      A real difference would be between Party Line Percy and Defender of His People Danny. Danny looks for candidates who appear to understand that his people need defense and are willing to defend them. Appearances are sometimes deceptive, but Danny knows that defenders are out there and he needs to support them when he finds them. That is the discernment needed.

      • Do I understand you correctly that Defender Danny feels no party affiliation and so casts his votes based on his ideological litmus test regardless of party affiliation?

        It seems to me that the consequence of this (if I understand you properly) would be to weaken the political fortunes of anyone on that ideological litmus test since many people voting as Defender Danny does would prevent a political majority and lead to the “extreme wing” of either party ruling the agenda.

        And again–this is assuming both that there are enough people who think and act identically to Defender Danny AND that that number is sufficient to win elections.

        If you concede that voting is an important and necessary part of political life, AND you feel no obligation to either party, from a purely results oriented perspective, what is the difference between that and not voting?

        Finally: If I do not understand correctly and Defender Danny does feel some party affiliation, then what is the difference between that and voting a straight MyParty(TM) Ticket?

      • DD understands that one party is more likely to defend his people, and so inclines toward that party. Almost every candidate from that Other Party seek to harm DD, so he will very rarely vote for them. But if a candidate of the better party party supports DD’s enemy, that candidate does not receive DD’s vote.

        One party might protect DD, if it receives enough incentive. The other party is committed to harming DD, and would rather self-destruct than change its ways.

        This is not Rocket Science.

      • It just seems simpler to tell everyone to vote for MyParty(TM), if the root is to incentivize protecting one’s people. You’re advocating, essentially, for creating a voting bloc that politicians must court during elections. There’s the Hispanic Vote, the Blue Collar vote, and it seems like you want there to be an “Orthosphere Vote” for lack of a better descriptor.

        If you concede that voting is good, important, and necessary, then that’s a logical conclusion to draw. Party Line Percy at least skips all the mental effort of discernment and understands that MyParty(TM) is the best and deserves his vote and all the others, too.

        My disagreement which I have expressed previously is that voting is neither good, nor important, nor necessary, but I won’t further obstruct your strategizing how to vote if one is committed to voting.

        Thank you as always for engaging with me on this and for your thought provoking articles on the subject!

      • “You’re advocating, essentially, for creating a voting bloc that politicians must court during elections.”

        Everyone else votes like that. We are the only people who do not receive special favors from the system, and the only people who can safely be persecuted.

        But we could, if we wanted, vote only for those who protect our interests. We could, if we wanted, vote like everyone else.

  2. @Alan – I fear you are flogging a dead horse with this issue. It would probably have been somewhat valid about 20 years ago; but not now.

    As of now, it seems that (already, and presumably more so in future) if a Christian is voting in in a place and situation that matters (e.g. a swing state); his vote is more likely to be flipped (by corrupted software) to the worst candidate, than than it is to add to the tally of the least-worst candidate – this, at any rate, seems to have happened in 2020.

    Or else, if your vote threatens to disrupt the agenda of evil, it will (at the last minute) be overwhelmed by a deluge of fake votes.

    And all wrongdoing will be denied by media, courts and officaldom.

    Instead of trying to get people to ‘vote harder’ in a system so Very advanced in corruption (because the actual and real votes cast is only a small, and secondary, aspect of the system by which the votes are counted, reported and acted-upon); this is time to reconsider the whole basis of ‘democracy’ (i.e. the Real motivation behind it), and the moral validity of voting per se.

    I think this will lead to recognition that democracy and voting have been significant factors contributing to mass apostasy and the global satanic coup of early 2020; and to establishing and sustaining worldwide leftist-totalitarianism.

    It has become clear that for Christians in 2021; voting is an instance of The Boromir Strategy summarized by commenter ‘Ingemar’ as – “Hey lads, let’s use the One Ring to fight Sauron!”

    https://charltonteaching.blogspot.com/2016/07/the-boromir-strategy-as-advocated-by.html

    • Bruce, I think you and I are responding differently to a situation that we understand similarly.

      My main point is one’s attitude toward voting. Voting can be a means of defense. As long as we understand that the System is against us so that we never trust it, we can use it to some advantage here and there.

      Also, it is good for one’s morale to strike the Enemy when he seems invincible. We’re not dead yet.

    • Here is a more substantial response to your comment, Bruce.

      Your assertions do not touch my assertions.

      You observe correctly that the other side has the means to cheat with relative impunity, thereby nullifying our votes whenever they want. But I never said that we can or need to win all, or even most, contested offices. I only said what is obviously true, that voting sometimes does us good, and it is good to do good.

      You said that we need to reconsider the whole basis of what is called “democracy” (by which our Opponent means “getting the results our side likes.”) Yes, but for now we have the system that we have, and we can still do some limited good within it. You work with the tools you have.

      You then reference the ill-advised Boromir Strategy of counting on elections to elect ourselves out of the current mess. (In the linked post you identify additional parts of the BS, but the current topic is politics.) But I explicitly said that that we must not count on winning elections. Winning elections here and there will do a limited good that must be supplemented by more organic means or protecting ourselves and our people. And the most organic means of all it to trust God, as revealed in His Son Jesus Christ.

      In all, your criticism fails on all counts, possible because you do not acknowledge what I actually say. Maybe that’s because you are an Englishman and things are more hopeless in England. Here in the USA, voting occasionally does good.

  3. I’m not sure how many Christians succeed in loving their enemies, but I do believe the idea that they ought to love their enemies impairs their understanding of the fact that the enemies of Christianity do not even try to love their enemies. They hate their enemies and try to destroy them. I suspect you are talking about more than Christians here, but the point remains: mild and inoffensive people need good bodyguards. Men and women who spend quiet nights at home need deadbolts on their doors.

    The experience of the old “religious right” is not encouraging, but withdrawal from politics is withdrawal into irrelevance. The same can be said for withdrawal from intellectual and cultural life—from what the old First Thing crowd called “the public square.” This withdrawal should not be mistaken for withdrawal “from the world,” since withdrawal from the world is an individual spiritual exercise that requires a world where the politics, intellectual life and culture permit withdrawal.

    It is all too easy to forget that there can be gentle souls only when there are hard men to protect those gentle souls from other hard men.

    I agree with you that we should pay more attention to local elections. In many places the county sheriff is a powerful office that decides which laws are enforced. But we only postpone evil if we control the executive branch and surrender the legislative and judicial. The basic strategy is to support what we might crudely describe as “trumpist” candidates in Republican primaries, and then boycott the general election if we lose the primary.

    I would be very leery of voting for virtuous men irrespective of party. Political mavericks appeal to the imagination, but it is blocs of disciplined party-men who control Congress and pass laws.

    • Thanks for understanding my point, JM.

      “The basic strategy is to support what we might crudely describe as “trumpist” candidates in Republican primaries, and then boycott the general election if we lose the primary.”

      That’s a good way to say it. If the candidate is unlikely to fight for us, he does not deserve our support.

  4. How in the world does this work in a post-Constitution world?

    Our side invests in bigger and more sophisticated vote-generating software and the people to use them?

    • I’m not giving a specific mechanism for voting successfully. I’m just establishing a principle: those who urge withdrawal from politics are wrong. Although our side voting is no guarantee of success, our side not voting IS a guarantee of failure.

  5. Why is political action reduced to pulling a lever behind a curtain? Why do calls to change things rely on voting?

    If you can organize a bloc, why waste it making marks on paper?

      • There are only a few ways that a group of non-elites can influence public policy or popular opinion, and scorning the vote just makes the ways available to our non-elite group even fewer. If we form a bloc of voters and consumers, we can exercise some power through political and economic boycotts. We should not expect miracles from either strategy since we are trying to influence political and economic monopolies, but neither should we fool ourselves and say that fatalism is “faith.”

      • Only people who play the lottery can win, and sometimes you win the lottery if you play. But if I told you that I had a plan to get a group of people rich by having them all pool their resources to buy lottery tickets instead of, say, start a productive enterprise or even speculate on the stock market, you’d think I was daft.

        I think we vastly disagree on the amount of actual policy (not to mention cultural) influence organized voting blocs in themselves have.

        Voting is not the end-all or be-all of political action. It is, by and large, a distraction at best.

        Off the top of my head, here’s a list of potentially much more effective, perfectly legal actions a bloc organized enough to coordinate their votes could take instead, keeping in mind that coordination itself takes energy and is therefore a limited resource:

        Participate in town-halls, with prepared goals in mind.
        Run influence campaigns among the local populace.
        Buy politicians, either by direct donations as an organize group, or through lobbying, or through securing interests in their various kickback, contracting, or subcontracting schemes.
        Spark or hold inconvenient protests (say, outside the legislative house, or the administrative buildings of regulatory bodies, or the domiciles of important politicians or bureaucrats).
        Pressure campaigns against or for petty bureaucrats, such as schoolboard officials.
        Make themselves known to or specifically recruit members of the local security forces (sheriffs, police, national guard, etc.) so that those forces are less willing to ‘simply follow orders’ even if they don’t like them.
        Secure members of the local bureaucracy through recruitment, etc.

        Yes, all of these require time, talent, and money. So does organizing a voting bloc.

        Our enemy didn’t start with voting and move to influencing policy from there. Neither should we. Secure influence and the voters will come.

      • Your list of beneficial activities other than casting ballots is useful. Aside from a few minor quibbles I would endorse them.

        But your analogy with playing the lottery fails because the two things are not analogous. (Fair) lotteries have entirely unpredictable outcomes, and to the extend they are predictable, they favor the house. Elections are not like that; their conditions can often be known in advance with a fair amount of accuracy. A race can often be know to be close, in which case a small number of votes can have a large influence.

        And a group of people organized to do the things you suggest can easily add casting ballots to their activities.

        My post was not intended to identify the best use of our side’s political efforts. It only made a simple point: refusing to vote is unwarranted.

  6. At this point, local elections would have the best roi, in particular DA and sheriff. But also mayor and city council since they control local law enforcement. The best we can hope for is the local victories blunting the traversties at the national level, and hope some national politico notices a sufficient vote gap between local and national offices to be worth their while. To an extent, this gap can be push-polled by a few well placed articles.

  7. By the way, our enemies have won by first winning the engines of culture- the political victories naturally followed. Don’t really see how it can work in reverse.

    • I would say they occurred in parallel and were mutually reinforcing. Culture is in some sense more fundamental, but it is heavily influenced by political processes since political processes control the application of force. Therefore the reverse must proceed in parallel also.

  8. Those on our side who urge disengagement from politics have as their ultimate argument the notion that voting can only pollute us. It is participation in evil. But that’s not true if our mindset is to vote as a defensive tactic.

    Your conclusion doesn’t follow here. A vote is an objective act, irrespective of our intentions: one’s mindset when engaging in the act of voting cannot change what it is.

    And voting in a modern mass democracy is participation in evil: if you are voting for one of the two major party candidates, you are endorsing a candidate who advocates evil (for example, the Orange Man publicly supported homosexual sodomy, the first president elected to a first term to do so) and who endorses liberal principles (the latter would be true even of any rare third-party candidates who made a wholesale rejection of abortion and sodomy).

    This doesn’t mean that voting is intrinsically evil: but it does mean that one needs to weigh the expected good against the expected harm. That this analysis comes out positive, at least some of the time, I take it, is what you are trying to establish, but it’s hard to see how this is the case in a national election when one’s vote has no effect on the outcome.

    I also disagree with the implication that eschewing voting amounts to a disengagement from politics altogether. As Rhetocrates has illustrated, this is not the case.

    The Orange Man, despite his faults, did significant good for our side. If he seemed ineffectual, just look at all the wailing and teeth-gnashing he inspired. Our Opponent really felt himself to be in imminent danger.

    Trump may have slowed things down from how they otherwise would have gone – it’s hard to say without a control (one could also argue that he galvanized the left into hyper-action) – but I hardly think the left’s histrionics is evidence of much: they did the same, though to a lesser degree, with Bush. This is all part of the dog and pony show that is rule by media: a never-ending two-minutes hate against the Hitler du jour. That our Opponent felt himself to be in imminent danger only shows how delusional he is and how blind he is to his own power.

    • “…voting in a modern mass democracy is participation in evil…”

      It depends entirely by what you mean by that phrase. When I vote, I make a judgment on which candidate is likely to do more good and less evil. I also make judgment on whether the available candidates are so bad that even the least evil / more good one is not worth voting for. I make a judgment and act accordingly.

      Politics is a practical activity. Just about every candidate is bad in some respects. This by itself does not mean that one should never vote.

      You also make the point that a single vote never makes a difference. True, but many single votes often do make a difference. This is, by definition, a mass phenomenon in which individuals decide whether or not to participate. Therefore the phenomenon is not to be studied at the individual level.

      “I also disagree with the implication that eschewing voting amounts to a disengagement from politics altogether.”

      True, but most of those who urge us not vote also (I presume) would counsel us not to do any of the other things that Rhetocrates lists. Doing those things but never voting is better than complete disengagement. But to add voting is a minimal effort which brings some additional benefits.

      As for the Orange Man, I think the Woke were right to fear him; perhaps more for the forces he helped unleash than what he did himself. It was a net plus for our people that he was elected.

      • “As for the Orange Man, I think the Woke were right to fear him; perhaps more for the forces he helped unleash than what he did himself. It was a net plus for our people that he was elected.”

        Ironically the damage Orange Man did to the Woke, if any, was to some degree self-inflicted. Policy-wise Trump was slightly to the left of 90s Bill Clinton (consider his support for transanity and sodomy): the problem was the Woke went truly nuclear in response to him, pulling out their absolute shrillest rhetoric, making it clear that to hold even insufficiently vigorous hatred of the man was to be a Nazi. Yet he won, and the apocalypse didn’t come.

        If there is any lasting good effect of his legacy it may be the mere fact that the world saw that happen.

  9. Pingback: Sunday Morning Coffee 12/5/2021 – A Mari Usque Ad Mare

  10. Participation in evil is not always a sin and oftentimes it is unavoidable, but I don’t see how one can argue that voting in modern democracy does not involve participation in evil.

    You also make the point that a single vote never makes a difference. True, but many single votes often do make a difference. This is, by definition, a mass phenomenon in which individuals decide whether or not to participate. Therefore the phenomenon is not to be studied at the individual level.

    Correct, our votes do have an effect collectively: but the only way they can have a collective effect is at the expense of deepening our dependence on liberalism and maintaining and strengthening it as the governing consensus. When I vote for a candidate, I assent to liberalism (even if that is not my subjective intention), and this strengthens liberalism among others because of what voting signifies: they see in it a public symbol of my affirmation of liberalism, and that helps to legitimize liberalism in the minds of others. When millions of people do this, the effect is amplified. Consider if an equal number of people instead abstained from voting on the grounds that they rejected liberalism. This would seem to be much more effective collective action, and one that would not involve us in participation of evil, to boot.

    Nevertheless, voting does still need to be studied at both the collective and individual levels: the latter because of what voting signifies and the consequent spiritual effects it might have on the individual. People are far too glib in dismissing these.

    It was a net plus for our people that he was elected.

    Certainly, all else equal, Trump was preferable to Clinton. But all else is never equal, and so to evaluate properly, one would also need to account for the intellectual and moral corruption that occurred among many on the right in order to rationalize their voting choice (as just one example of the many things one would have to address in order to evaluate). It was a remarkable thing to behold. Trump may still have been a net plus, but I am surprised at how people can be so certain of this.

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