Our Vote: Choosing Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Our Vote: Choosing Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea November 4, 2016
Photo Source: Pixabay, cco Public Domain https://pixabay.com/en/presidential-election-usa-politics-1336480/
Photo Source: Pixabay, cco Public Domain https://pixabay.com/en/presidential-election-usa-politics-1336480/

I’ve been praying almost constantly about both the election next Tuesday and its aftermath. This is the first time in my life that an election has actually scared me, but this one does.

No matter who wins next week, this election is not going to end well for this country or for We the People. That is why I’ve decided to write this post. There are things I want to say now, before the election because there will be no purpose in saying them afterwards.

I realize that anything anyone says right now leads to a lot of craziness on the part of those who read it. These two candidates are, each in his or her own way, so execrable that there is no way to talk about either issues or morality without taking on the appearance of backing or attacking one of them.

It is even impossible to speak out against heinous things like sexual assault, misogyny, racism, incest, pornography and abortion without being attacked for advocating for one of these candidates.

Think about that. These two people are so identified with amorality that a discussion of immoral behavior is not possible without people thinking you are using code to attack one or the other of them.

Christians lost this election a long time ago. We have no candidate for president on the ballot next Tuesday. The fact that so many Christians — including, sadly, Christian religious leaders — have gone as nuts as the rest of the country and jumped down into the trough to sling mud with everybody else is a deep sadness in my heart. It is a failure of discipleship at a critical time in our history.

No matter who wins this election, Christians have already lost. More to the point, We the People, have lost. This will not end well. The reason it will not and can not end well is rooted in the touchstone I used for deciding issues and votes when I was in public office, which leads me to what I want to say.

Let me lay the groundwork with a bit of reminiscence.

When I went back into office the second time, I knew that I would face votes and times when even the most compelling issues and interests would collide with the common good. I also knew that decisions would be forced on me and that I couldn’t duck them. I would not have the option of voting for a third party candidate or just not voting at all. It was my job to decide and I had to do it.

It’s easy, in the pressure-cooker of political debate and decision making, to lose sight of who you are and what you believe. No one who has not experienced it can imagine the weight of the arguments and forces that are brought to bear on individual elected officials in an effort to get them to use the power of their office in a certain way. These interests and arguments collide forcefully, and the psyche and emotions of the person who holds the office tend to get crushed in the process.

People lose themselves in public office. They get so turned around and lost that they no longer believe what they believe or think what they think.

I knew all this when I went back into office the second time. I walked in the door fully aware that I was placing myself in an emotional, spiritual and psychological blender.

It’s important, when you are faced with critical decisions, to know what you believe and why you believe it. It is a critical part of keeping your head to have core values and understandings you can anchor your decision-making on as you wend your way through the maze of deciding that is your daily lot.

I think the American people have been put through an emotional, psychological and spiritual blender these past few years that is very much like a slow-mo version of what an elected official experiences. We have been beaten half senseless with a 24-hour news cycle that focuses on the next terrible thing and actively seeks to keep us whipped up in a frenzy of panic and obsession. That’s because they make their money from obsessive viewing, which is why so much of their programming is trash. It’s why they focus on the negative and the vicious, the amoral and the corrupt. Those things grab us at the lowest level of consciousness, they fascinate precisely because they echo our atavistic disorders and fears.

It’s no accident that we are now faced with a choice between two unsavory candidates for office. It is also no accident that many of the people in the electorate are behaving like crazy loons as the election approaches. The American public has been flogged without pausing for years now. We have been ignored and manipulated, disregarded and used; all without conscience or a sense of responsibility on the part of those who are doing it to us.

I have three things I want to share with you as we approach election day and the life after.

First, I want you to know that this is the kind of public discourse and these are the kinds of candidates you get in a democracy which has turned away from God. We are seeing the dawn of our punishment, and it appears that it will be by our own hands.

Second, I want to reiterate that no matter which of these candidates wins, Christians have already lost this election. We lost it a long time ago. Neither of these candidates is fit for the Oval Office. Neither of them is worthy to lead this great nation. But one of them will. And no matter who it is, We the People are going to pay the price for what they do.

Third, I want to share with you the touchstone that I used to anchor all my decision-making when I was in office. I actually had several basic rules, if you want to call them that, which guided me. I wouldn’t use my power to kill anybody and if I had the chance to save lives, I would take it and I would do it, no matter the political cost to me.

That sounds simple — just don’t kill anybody — but it’s not. A lawmaker can kill on a vast scale for generations to come by putting a comma in the wrong place. Also, how tough is it to decide to save a life? In politics, it can be tough. It can get you reviled and attacked. There is nothing that makes people more vicious than when you tell them that somebody they’ve decided is not human enough to be treated as a human is actually a full human person.

That point is pertinent in this election for one reason. The President of the United States has the power to kill on a planetary scale. He or she can, on their own cognizance and in a matter of minutes, kill everything, everywhere. We are considering in this election whether or not we will destroy the carefully-balanced system of alliances that has kept this world out of nuclear war for over 70 years. That is a huge matter. Enormous.

Which leads me to the basic, bedrock criteria I used for deciding on votes. When I found myself in a conundrum that wouldn’t yield, I based my decision on one truth: A just and stable government is always the greater good.

There is no force in this world more capable of doing great harm or great good than government. Government is the collective power of whole nations of people. In this case, it is the collective power of United States of America and all its capabilities and potential.

Will we end up in a depression that makes the 1930s look like a walk in the park? That question will be decided to a great extent by the actions of whomever we elect next week.

Will we be looking at a world where all nations, from Japan to Saudi Arabia, have nuclear weapons at their disposal? That is a question we are voting on next week.

Will we end legal abortion through the courts, or be forced to change tactics and go for a Constitutional Amendment? That question could be decided by whomever we elect on Tuesday.

Will we be vesting the power of government in the hands of the person who is most likely to ensure that We the People live under a just and stable government that is capable of protecting us and providing for the domestic tranquility?

Insofar as governance is concerned — and that is what we are doing, my friends, We the People of these United States are choosing our government — insofar as governance is concerned, a just and stable government is always the greater good.

No other value, privilege or right can possibly be more important than that for the simple reason that all rights, and the worldly protections of all life, flow from a just and stable government.

The single most anti-life vote anyone can cast is to vote against a just and stable government.

The President of the United States has the power to end all life on this planet. He or she has the power to kill on a planetary scale. He or she also has the power to create an international political climate that predicates toward war, even and including world war, or, conversely, to pull us back from that abyss and lead us past the carnage and into peace.

Think carefully about how you vote in this election. And however you vote, pray.

Because after the votes are counted, we will find that, no matter who won, we Christians have already lost.


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46 responses to “Our Vote: Choosing Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea”

  1. What is the expression, Rebecca? We, the USA, will get through this—we have gotten through tough times in the past. Am so happy you are back…I sincerely hope you feel better. Must admit, I have missed your posts. Peace.

  2. Thank you. This year has been disheartening and divisive on all sides. I don’t see how how to move toward more stability afterward. Resentments have built up so badly, even among friends and family.

  3. Which candidate would you say is best suited to provide this just and stable government–The one preaching law and order, or the one steeped in secrecy and scandal?

  4. Very well said, this week I’ve been thinking and talking much about Bonhoeffer, and his decision to return to Germany, and how that led to his willingness to commit Tyrannicide. We’re not to that point, but I fear we can see it from here.

    You sound as if your decision is made, well so is mine. Don’t know if they are the same, but mine, like yours, involves much praying for discernment. May God help us all.

  5. I would just add that Our Lady at Fatima asked all of us to pray the rosary. I am doing so for this country. We need to keep praying it for the US regardless of who wins the election, because a country that brings so much death to others will not be able to keep it from itself.

  6. This is extremely good. Extremely good.

    What I fear is that there are powers, violent powers, on both sides that will not accept the results of this election. The type of poweres that have the ability to put together enough ammo to have (numberOfSecretServiceAgents+1) bullets within two miles of the President-Elect.

    Due to slight differences in who the enemies are, I give Trump, if he should win, 78% chance of living to inauguration, with impeachment soon after. I give Clinton 40% chance of living to inauguration, with impeachment soon after.

    The only real question- MS-13 or Ruby Ridge style militia members with a truck bomb- will be decided on Tuesday.

    And yes- Christianity and Catholicism lost this election a long time ago. Some would say with the 1930 Seventh Lambeth Conference- the rest of the sexual revolution, including aboriton, divorce, and gay marriage; leading to both Presidential candidates implicated in Jeffery Epstien’s Lolita Sex Ring, has been depressingly predictable.

  7. Which one is preaching law and order? The way I see it, they’re both steeped in secrecy and scandal. I had to go down to the extreme fringe third parties before I found any law and order.

  8. I doubt it. This time, there are very powerful people having their business models directly threatened. The gun enthusiasts have not forgotten Ruby Ridge and Waco, the last time there was a Clinton in office. And on the other side, I think MS-13 and La Raza would much rather assassinate a president than see the Mexican border further militarized.

    And in either case, such an assassination before the inauguration would spark a general civil war.

  9. I know things do not look good in the Good ‘ol USA, but I fear you are going off the edge with your comments. There are many, many more people of good conscience in this country than those who threaten us with their guns.

  10. To some extent agree with you. It is of no matter. We can all bemoan the less than ideal choices we must consider and make. But, we don’t live in a ideal world. We live in Realville. Come Tuesday the citizens of Realville will either elect a demonstrated criminal or a businessman. It’s that simple. Some will vote for the criminal b/c it is in their best interest. Some will vote for the businessman b/c it is in their best interest. Everyone will live with the consequences. That’s how our federated republic works.

  11. My vote for President will not make a difference, as my state is solidly Donald Trump. So, I wrote in Evan McMullin, who is on the list that will be counted in my state. My down ticket votes, however, have a chance to make a difference. I hope everyone is carefully considering their votes down the ticket, and making the best choices that they can.

  12. That’s excellent advice Margaret. The down-ticket races often hold excellent choices which can advance the values we believe. We need good people in office, at all levels. It makes a difference in the immediate sense, and builds toward a better future when, hopefully, we will have good choices at the top of the ticket again.

  13. 100% agree that Christians have already lost. Moral compasses have been reset too many times, too many past elections with blinders on.

    “Whatever is opposed to life itself, such as any type of murder, genocide, abortion, euthanasia, or wilful self-destruction, whatever violates the integrity of the human person, such as mutilation, torments inflicted on body or mind, attempts to coerce the will itself; whatever insults human dignity, such as subhuman living conditions, arbitrary imprisonment, deportation, slavery, prostitution, the selling of women and children; as well as disgraceful working conditions, where people are treated as mere instruments of gain rather than as free and responsible persons; all these things and others like them are infamies indeed. They poison human society, and they do more harm to those who practise them than to those who suffer from the injury. Moreover, they are a supreme dishonour to the Creator”.

    Pray, Think, Restore, Vote!

  14. Please read the Wikipedia page on the career of Bill Weld (vice presidential candidate, Libertarian Party) noting his education, experience, and public standing. The watch the following YouTube video.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7I4Fkiu2nak
    Bill Weld (Libertarian vice presidential candidate) on Trump and Clinton
    ”I think he showed in the debates that when he encountered criticism or challenge, he behaves the way a bully would, he doesn’t deal well with criticism and blame and I don’t think he could competently manage the office of the presidency given the criticism and challenge you face every single day as president of the United States.
    I have a lot to say about Mrs. Clinton that has not been said by others recently and I think needs to be said. I have known her for 40 years, I’ve worked with her, I know her well professionally, I know her well personally, I know her to be a person of high moral character, a reliable person, and an honest person, no matter how much Trump may rant and rave to the contrary. So, I am happy to say that.

    If this evaluation does not fit with your thoughts, given his background and personal knowledge with regard to Clinton, you need to re-evaluate the sources on which you base your opinion.

  15. http://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/editorials/20160907-we-recommend-hillary-clinton-for-president.ece
    There is only one serious candidate on the presidential ballot in November. We recommend Hillary Clinton. … Those are real shortcomings. But they pale in comparison to the litany of evils some opponents accuse her of. Treason? Murder? Her being cleared of crimes by investigation after investigation has no effect on these political hyenas; they refuse to see anything but conspiracies and cover-ups.

    Is this editorial talking about you?

  16. Theodore, I don’t really see the Ruby Ridge gun people going after anybody. They pretty much want to be left alone. The Waco thing was completely different. It was abuse of power by the government.
    The Maras and narcos already own a bunch of politicians, one congressman had a picture taken with some of them.
    You left out the most dangerous group, if you are looking at groups. Now, they have killed over 100 people in attacks in the US in just the last year or so.
    Civil war? I don’t think so, not as long as Internet works and you can buy beer or wine.

  17. The only for our government to work is for people to voluntarily follow the law. John Adams said the same thing much better.

  18. Rebecca, Fr John Lankheit linked to this on FB. Some of the comments are excellent.
    “Pray, Hope, and Don’t Worry,” St Padre Pio, Pray for us!

  19. I too think that this election is the worst one we have ever had. However, to blame it on the loss of religion is a ridiculous statement. Most of the strife in this world has been about ” my religious rules are right and everyone else is wrong” . Let’s leave religion out of this. The deterioration of our society has been the fact that our elected representatives have been bought by powerful interests. often hiding behind a religious facade and the fact that unelected religious leaders have influenced our government officials. The politics of power and greed have often been justified by religion. If the writer means that we have lost the moral fortitude to improve life for everybody I can agree but the religious morals fall far short of being the ideal we should struggle for. Christianity, in the past, using the biblical morals, have justified slavery, the status of women as second class, as some churches still do, the killing of homosexuals and the genocide of other “tribes”. Give me a break. One candidate has become rich by stiffing workers, not paying taxes, denigrating women (Ok with the bible) and taking advantage of all the possible loopholes created by the establishment, and promises to eliminating death taxes so his children will have a estimated 4 billion advantage. He is going to change the system. Fat chance! The other is a product of the establishment so I don’t expect any real changes from her either. The only hope I see that enough new politicians, not beholden to the establishment or religion, but have an real desire to serve humanity, such as Bernie Sanders, will get elected to keep any President in line.

  20. What kind of a business man! Stiffing workers, not paying taxes, racist, having bankruptcies to make money because the system allows it. Historoc facts. By the way also remember in this country everyone is innocent until proven guilty s and until this happens it is slander to declare someone a criminal.

  21. The United States of America may well have lost the election for a godly ruler, given our dismal choices, but faithful Christians have not lost. And this is a point we must not lose sight of, not matter how much persecution we may have to suffer. “And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.” This is my rock, and this is where I keep my faith. I pray that we may have the strength to endure the persecution. Peace!

  22. Christians have not lost because, regardless what human beings are in
    power, God is still sovereign over them and all the rest of us. The
    Bible says he puts in power whom He will and brings down whom He
    will–for His own purposes. He may put in place a leader to bless us or
    judge us, to destroy our land or heal it (although it doesn’t look like
    we have a candidate in this election who will bless our nation). It is
    His people who will decide that outcome.

    In Second Chronicles chapter 7 verse 14, God says, “If My people who are called by My name [not everybody, not well-meaning people, not wise or good people, not the voters], humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from
    their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin
    and will heal their land.”

    Rebecca, you have no idea how many of God’s people, those “called by His name,” have been fasting and praying for this election throughout this land for four years–in prayer meetings at every level of government, in churches, in homes, over the telephone.

    I was one of 700 praying in a teleconference yesterday (organized by Intercessors for America) with two Congressmen, Presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson and Cynthia Dunbar, a law professor who helped draft the Republican Party platform. Cynthia said the committee to draft the platform began their meeting on their knees in prayer just as the Founding Fathers did, committing their efforts and this country to God. God gave them favor to agree on and include things that are based on Biblical truths and values. For instance, she said the Constitution calls for Congress to start impeachment proceedings
    against any Supreme Court justice who creates law (such as “Marriage is
    no longer between one man and one woman”). The Republican platform would
    apply this (something about reversing the Johnson Amendment?). She said
    it would tip the culture back into judicial balance in a day.

    Biblically, God hates the shedding of innocent blood. The Republican Party will
    defund the most egregious shedder of innocent blood, Planned Parenthood.
    Biblically, jurisdiction for benevolence is given by God to the church
    (Christians), not the government. The platform reflects this.

    She pointed out that since all authority in heaven and on earth has been
    given by the Father to the Son, anything outside His authority is raw,
    tyrannical power, illegitimate. There is no truth outside God’s truth,
    no secular truth. Truth is a Person, Jesus Christ.

    Almost every Christian I know is going to vote the platform, not the personality. I
    feel the same way about Trump that you do (I’d prefer to cast him aside
    and vote in his VP as president) but God is very creative in using
    crude, rude, immoral people to accomplish His will, when necessary.
    Think Winston Churchill.

    I believe the platform is God-given, in every solemn sense of that word. Thousands of us are doing a 3-day (Esther-style) fast with prayer Sunday through Tuesday. I believe God will hear and honor all our prayers for wisdom for ourselves and for His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven regarding this issue, because, united, we His people are humbling ourselves and obeying His
    command in 2 Chronicles 7:14.

    What this will look like, we don’t know. We just believe He will keep His word in some wonderful way we cannot imagine. (For instance, He is not limited to two candidates.) And He will be glorified, which is our ultimate yearning.

  23. You poor dear,Trump is a crook and a racist.American people aren’t foolish enough to elect that moron.
    Hillary has been blackened by phoney rumours and smears from day 1.Does innocent as the driven snow tell you nothing?

  24. I do not think there will be an assassination attempt on whatever candidate wins, but there will still be much division in the country. I think we, as a country, are better than that.

  25. I am not Catholic, far from it as I am an atheist but I see a vast difference in the 2 candidates. It starts with the question, do you want to live or die? Trump has said repeatedly that he sees no reason why countries should not use nuclear weapons. Proving that he has idea what he talks about and add to that he is a pedoplile rapist by his own words. I could go on and on but Christians that are voting for him are proving their hypocrisy! Hillary is not the war monger the press has made her out to be. I am from Arkansas and have followed her from the beginning as Bill became our Governor while I was a high school senior. I am so sick of people believing the repub’s lies. So, she is for a woman making up HER OWN mind regarding an abortion. Where do people get off thinking they have any say in a women’s life?? Do you want me telling you that you have no right to be a Christian? I have history and evidence pointing to the fact that I have a MORAL right to tell you that. I only have to start with the Crusades and go from there. Christianity has caused more deaths because of it’s my way or the highway mentality and their conviction that they and only they know what is the absolute truth. All because of their belief in one book. Let’s just forget the hundreds of other books that show this one book to be false. I laugh at the way Christians read one book and profess to know all about everything and that is the truth. They are the experts on everything! Nevermind the experts that have spent their whole lives reading hundreds of books. I can’t even wrap my head around that logic, or lack of. Why they refuse facts and evidence over their feelings is a joke. Suppose you were an innocent person on trial for murder, would you want the jury to base their outcome on facts or faith? Add to this is the fact that every repub since Roe v Wade has promised to do away with it should they be elected. Then they forget all about it when elected. The obvious is baby bush who actually had the supreme court, house and senate in his corner and he forgot about it? How naive and unaware are christians? Nevermind the fact that Abortions go down when a Democrat is in office because they focus on treating the underlying cause. They treat it with more contraceptive’s’s and good info for avoiding abortion in the first place. The conservativative, christian, repub? It is so obvious that they only want to control women’s rights. They are so controlled and run by men who don’t give a damn about women. All they want is control and your money. Has this never occurred to you? Look at the evidence supporting this theory and read it with an open mind. It might change you forever and free you from an oppressing mind-set. I have never been happier!https://youtu.be/191kow6kLUM?t=13

  26. The “law and order” candidate is fascist and dictatorial. And I think we can trust that the other one will not destroy alliances and blow the world up because someone said something negative about her on Twitter.

  27. Lisa, you are new here and I want to welcome you to our conversation. There are few caveats I’d like to explain to you. First of all, I don’t allow cursing on this blog. I think it degrades the discussion and lowers the character of the entire blog. Secondly, I don’t allow people to come on here and degrade Christianity, the Catholic Church or the Pope. It is ok to criticize specific ideas and actions. That is often what we discuss, and I am not at all backward about taking church leaders to task myself when I disagree with them. Third, try to break up your comments into more than one when they cover many topics. That makes it easier for people to answer them. Fourth I do not allow name-calling or divisive back and forths in which people attack one another. Stay on the issues, rather than excoriating people.

    This is a Christian, Catholic blog. Many of the regular commenters are not Christians or Catholics. But they treat other commenters and their ideas with kindness and respect.

    I’m letting this pass, as you are new here. Just consider it when you post in the future. I delete when commenters violate blog rules, but I never ban.

    Again, welcome aboard. I hope you make new friends and find new perspectives on your thinking here.

  28. I am going to allow this to make a point, but I hope no one bothers to engage with it. Just let it pass.

    The point is this: We do not insult and patronize other commenters on the blog and we do not call people — including Mr Trump — names. It is fine to label policies with those same names. Certain polices are racist, as a for-instance. But do not attack the individual.

    I

  29. You’re new here. First I want to welcome you. Second, I want let you know that this blog runs quite a bit differently from the say-anything, attack-at-will blogs you usually find.

    Public Catholic is a Christian, Catholic blog. I am a grateful Christian, Catholic woman. If you want a blog that leaves “religion out of it” there are many of them out there. But this is not one of them.

    It is also not a forum for launching diatribes against the faith.

    I write Public Catholic for the express purpose of empowering and encouraging Christians, in particular, but not exclusively Catholic Christians, to practice their faith with faithfulness and effectiveness in the public arena. I get chewed on quite a bit when I tell people to stand down and play nice. But that’s the way it is here on Public Catholic.

    You are welcome to post here, but if you attempt another post that is nothing but a laundry list of the usual tired attacks on Christianity, I will delete it. That won’t mean you can’t post again. I delete, but I never ban.

    Again, welcome to Public Catholic.

  30. Thank you for your decision to publish my reply. I would welcome

    any discussion on all religions, not just Christianity. Having been brought up in the strict Dutch Reformed Church I have questioned the dogmas of all religions and love to discuss this with my fellow man. Do you not have any questions or doubts about your Churches dogmas? If I seem to have used the “usual tired attacks” I apologize. If the inconsistencies I find in the bible which I mentioned are wrong, I will be happy to receive an explanation why they are. A polite discussion is certainly welcome.

  31. Rebecca,

    With all that said, I have to ask…
    Which candidate are you voting for?
    …………..
    Also, regarding your “… for the simple reason that all rights, and the worldly
    protections of all life, flow from a just and stable government”,
    I’d say NO.
    I think the Catholic Church, and common sense, as well
    as our Declaration of Independence, say all rights (the most important ones, at
    least, like life and liberty) come from God, not from any government.

    P.S.
    I’m voting for Trump!

  32. Hi Lisa. Did you know the worst war in the humarn history was caused by atheistic government ?
    Have a good day.

  33. Trump is for the defense of life – Clinton for abortion to infanticide
    Clinton wants to burst the third world war (nuclear)
    Trump wants to restore friendly relations with Russia and China
    Clinton wants to persecute Christians even more than Obama – Trump doesn’t want to persecute anyone.
    Clinton is financed by the same who finance the Isis – Trump is self-financing. The strong powers don’t give him a penny.
    The Trump councilors are Rick Santorum and others on the same style – those of Clinton? They are not linked to the Muslim brothers?
    Trump said some sexist phrase.
    Clinton is accused of corruption and pedophilia and is so VIP that it didn’t go to Process
    If there was a State Clinton & Co would be to stay in jail.
    Rate an abortionist as Clinton is a mortal sin.
    Just a Christian doesn’t know who to choose ?!

  34. See Noevo, I spend 18 years in elected office where I made thousands of public votes on every conceivable issue. I’ve also made quite a few speeches and written a few words about my beliefs. All that is public. Anybody can access it. But when I vote as an ordinary American, I vote by secret ballot. It is my policy — going back decades — to never reveal how I vote when I cast my ballot as an ordinary American in a public forum.

  35. Folks, I just tried to approve a number of comments and I can’t get Disqus to cooperate. I also tried to published a post and that failed, too. I’ll try again later. Apologies and thanks. Rebecca