On Voting Third Party During Presidential Election Cycles

Yesterday I was having a conversation with folks counted as good friends. We were sitting underneath the shade of our beautiful maple trees at Church during our fellowship meal. Some were insisting that my intention to vote for Darrell Castle for President is a wasted vote. Of course, I politely demurred.

In this short piece, I want to pursue the reasoning as to why voting third party in Presidential cycles is not only not a wasted vote but a positive good.

The reason voting for Darrell Castle in 2016 is not a wasted vote is the long term vision. When third party candidates receive votes the effect is that in later election cycles the major party candidates look at those voters who voted third party previously and ask themselves, “How can I secure those voters for myself who voted for that third party candidate in the previous election cycle.” As a result, the parties begin to shift in order to capture voters who previously voted third party in previous election cycles.

If people, with contrary interests to the candidates they are voting for, continue to vote for major party candidates, like Trump and / or Clinton, that they only barely agree with the result is that the major parties will conclude that they really do not need to shift in order to gain what might have been a well placed third party vote. HOWEVER, if people refuse to vote for the major party candidates in any given election cycle then in the next election cycle Presidential candidates will begin to ask themselves, “what must I do to secure those third party voters,” and will shift accordingly in those voters direction.

1968 is a classic example of this. In 1968 the Democrats lost the deep South to the third party candidacy of Geroge Wallace. In 1972, instead of taking those Wallace voters seriously the Democrats tacked harder to the left with McGovern. However, Nixon went after those “68” Wallace votes and captured them giving Nixon a HUGE landslide while at the same time turning the deep South Republican for two generations now.

Voting third party for George Wallace in 1968 was definitely not a wasted vote.

Something similar happened with all the third party votes cast for the Socialist Presidential candidacies of Eugene Debs, and later Norman Thomas over several election cycles in the early 20th century. Eventually, Democrats decided to go after those Socialist votes and with the candidacy of FDR those third party votes found a major party candidate who appealed to them. All those third party votes over the years had not been wasted as the Democratic party became the party of Debs / Thomas Socialism though retaining the name “Democrat.”

Norman Thomas is even reputed to have said

“I no longer need to run as a Presidential Candidate for the Socialist Party. The Democratic Party has adopted our platform.”

The effect of the Republicans embracing the independent voters of Wallace’s 1968 campaign pushed the Republican party further to the right. The effect of the Democrats embracing the independent voters of the Debs – Thomas campaigns was to push the Democratic party further to the left.

The point for our purposes is that those Independent votes of previous election cycles were not wasted votes. History teaches that they had an impact on later election cycles. If those Independent voters had not voted Independent and said to themselves instead, “I have to vote for one of the major parties if I want my vote to count,” neither of the parties would have had the later incentive to move in the direction of those third party voters in order to capture that vote.

So, we see that voting Independent is not  a wasted vote.

Ask The Pastor — Why Not Trump? — A Conversation With A Christian Trumper

μὴ γίνεσθε ἑτεροζυγ.] Bengel: “ne fiatis, molliter pro: ne sitis.”

“Be ye not unequally yoked”

God does not forbid all intercourse with the heathen whatever (see 1 Corinthians 5:10; 1 Corinthians 10:27; 1 Corinthians 7:12), but the making common cause with heathen efforts and aims, the entering into the heathen element of life. There is no ground for assuming exclusively special references (such as to sacrificial banquets or to mixed marriages), any more than for excluding such reference.

Meyers NT Commentary

II Corinthians 6:11-18– “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers.”

It is wrong for believers to join with the wicked and profane. The word unbeliever applies to all destitute of true faith. True pastors will caution their beloved children in the gospel, not to be unequally yoked.

Matthew Henry commentary

Lori Thomas wrote,

“If we are “yoked” by our vote for Trump, we are already yoked by living here and partaking of all the blessings this governance brings and bearing personal responsibility for all the deviance this governance brings us.”

Bret offers,

Distinctions

It is true that we are yoked together regardless, BUT it is not necessarily a yoking of our making. When we vote for wicked men who hate Christ we are making the yoke of our making. We are yoking ourselves with unbelievers. The precise thing that God forbids here.  We are lending our strength to continuing an already present yoking.

LT wrote,

“We are, after all, paying taxes to this government and by that very token, we are supporting it, like it or not.”

Bret offers,

I fail to see how being robbed at gunpoint to pay taxes means that I am supporting this wicked government who takes my money to kill babies, to support wicked governments overseas, to import people here who hate Christ etc.  I fail to see how when someone robs me it means I have yoked myself to my muggers.

LT wrote,

“If this is your view, you need to move to another place on this planet where everything is governed according to the dictates of the Word of God.”

Bret offers,

No, that is not true. I need to do all I can to disciple the Nations to bring them under Christ’s authority (Matt. 28:16f). I am to engage here upon the work that Vos speaks of,

“The thought of the kingdom of God implies the subjection of the entire range of human life in all its forms and spheres to the ends of religion. The kingdom reminds us of the absoluteness, the pervasiveness, the unrestricted dominion, which of right belong to all true religion. It proclaims that religion, and religion alone can act as the supreme unifying, centralizing factor in the life of man, as that which binds all together and perfects all by leading it to its final goal in the service of God.”

Geerhardus Vos
Teaching of Jesus Concerning the Kingdom of God & the Church – p. 194

LT wrote,

“I find no Biblical mandate or example to do that (and couldn’t find another place if I had to). The people of God also “rendered to Caesar the things that were Caesar’s.” There were things that were “Caesar’s” ? And the people of God were commanded by Christ Himself to give these things to Caesar? Did we hear that right? Yes.”

Bret offers

The giving of what is due to magistrates (Romans 13:7) or the rendering unto Caesar the things that are Caesars must be measured by some standard that is beyond and above whatever the magistrate or the Caesar determines. Any Christian people who would allow a wicked Caesar or magistrate to determine on their own what is their due or what should be rendered to them would quickly become an enslaved people. Any glance of history will reveal that there are times when the magistrate has wanted taxes that were not his due. Any glance of history reveals that there have been times when the magistrate desired a fear and/or honor that were not his to command due to his disobedience to God. There are times when it is conceivable that dishonor, as the magistrate counts it, would be done out of honor to God.

Further, as a Christian to be obedient to God, I must render Caesar to God since Caesar belongs to God. Caesar owns nothing that God does not first own. 

Secondly, Scripture does not compel me to render unto a wicked potential Caesar my vote.

LT wrote,

“So, there is no Biblical warrant for insisting that we are “yoked” together with a disobedient government. But personally, we are bound to support the government of the space that we occupy.”

Bret offers,

II Corinthians 6:14-7:1 is a text that clearly and unequivocally forbids Christians to vote for Christ-hating men. I already have quoted two sources (Meyers NT Commentary and Matthew Henry). Here is the Expositors Greek NT,

“2 Corinthians 6:14. Μὴ γίνεσθε ἑτεροζυγοῦντες κ.τ.λ.: be not (mark that the pres. tense γίνεσθε indicates the beginning of a state, sc., “do not become”) unequally yoked with unbelievers, the constr. being “be not unequally yoked, as you would be if you were yoked with unbelievers”.

The most obvious application of such a prohibition would be to intermarriage with the heathen, which was continually forbidden to the chosen people (see Deuteronomy 7:3, Joshua 23:12, Ezra 9:2, Nehemiah 13:25), and this is probably the main thought here (see ref. Lev. for ἑτερόζυγος); but to indulge in any excessive familiarity of intercourse would be “to be enlarged in heart” in a way which the Apostle strongly deprecates (cf. 1Ma 1:15). He enforces this by five contrasts which illustrate the incongruity between Christianity and heathendom.”

When you vote Trump you’re voting for a man who has said he will increase funding for Planned Parenthood. You are voting for a man who is actively courting the LGBTQ community thus indicating he will mainstream sodomy. You are voting for a man who has admitted whore-mongering. You will be unequally yoked.

LT offers,

In our country we are blessed to have the right to VOTE for our governance. As in our payment of taxes to a deviant government, we can’t always choose every thought, word, or deed of our governors, but we can choose a BODY of governors who espouse POLICIES that will best advance our faith, the faith “once for all delivered to the saints.”

Bret offers

Given that Democrats and Republicans are two heads of the same bird of prey I’d say your vote means very little. How many Republican Presidents have you voted for since 1973 in order to keep the dreaded Democrats out of office Lori? Has Abortion been overturned? Has Title IX and X been ended? Has Government been shrunk? Have the Republicans done anything to actually reverse the far left agenda?

Honestly, in our current political context, to talk about the advancement of our faith via Political policies that have been pursued because of our vote doesn’t seem to connect to reality.

The option now is to realize that both Republicans and Democrats use the Christian vote to advance paganism and as we vote for them we are being yoked to the advance of the anti-Christ agenda.

LT wrote,

We have plenty of evidence this past eight years, and especially this last year, that our current BODY of governance, particularly the EXECUTIVE BRANCH, will stop at almost nothing to jeopardize our religious freedom which will undermine our efforts to use our churches, build our Christian schools, practice Godly morals and on and on and on.

Bret offers,

You mean as opposed to the lying that “W” did to put us in a War where our sons and daughters have been killed? Where the Christian community that did exist in Iraq was snuffed out because of US policy? Where the deficit was larger than ever until Obama? Where the Government grew by leaps and bounds? Where the Patriot Act was passed that ensured Statist Tyranny? The wreckage that Republican “W” left behind him competes with the wreckage that Obama has wrought.

Sure, Obama is a Demon from the pit but maybe Christians deserve him because they keep voting for wicked Republicans?

LT offers,

A vote for Hillary Clinton, or even a vote for a third party candidate that cannot win, or a write-in vote that cannot win, will place us in the position of an irreversible downslide in this country. It will put our future generations in the cradle of corruption.

Bret offers,

Your solution has been pursued for several generations now and the result has been the corrosion of the Christian faith in the public square. That erosion can be seen by otherwise fine Christian people not being able to see that Scripture explicitly forbids them to be unequally yoked to a wicked man like Trump.

And in my estimation, the irreversible downslide is already irreversible. It is certainly not going to be reversed by voting Republican.

LT wrote,

And, while God is certainly capable of reversing things in future generations, it does not seem to be His pattern to do so. So now I have broken my promise to myself not to remain in the discussion on this site. But since I am back in it, I do want to say that I have read all of the comments above, and I am stunned at the judgmental attitude of some to categorize a position like ours as Alt Right propelled by Satan, and in some cases consigned to hell itself for not “buying into a vote for a third party candidate or a write-in candidate, or staying at home and not voting.” This is offensive and untrue. Although we feel strongly about our position, we make absolutely no spiritual judgment about any fellow believers who feel differently. I am signing off now.

Bret offers,

First, I have no doubt of your Christianity. I simply believe that Christians who intend to vote for Trump are woefully deceived. There are times when I am deceived and people challenge me. This is what I am doing now.

Look, the Alt. Right is backing Trump big time. Obviously, not all who vote for Trump are Alternative Right. Shoot, if the Alt. Right would just own Christ, I’d be good with most of what they promote. But many many of their Representatives do not as this linked article demonstrates,

http://faithandheritage.com/2016/05/the-top-10-reasons-the-secular-alt-right-is-not-the-answer/

And, respectfully, I can not look at II Corinthians 6:14f and understand how Christians can yokethemselvese to an anti-Christ like Trump. I just can’t understand ignoring the clear implications of that passage.

And so I speak.

The Divine Right of Judiciaries?

It was Samuel Rutherford in “Lex Rex,” who put a shimmy in the idea of the Divine Rights of Kings. This idea posited that as Kings were anointed by God none could gainsay their authority. When the King spoke it was ipso facto law. This was a Rex Lex (King is Law) model. Rutherford stood that on its head and insisted, to the contrary, that God’s law was King over Kings.

Over time the doctrine of the Divine Rights of Kings transmuted in England to, “Divine Rights of Parliament.” Actually, it was this thinking that the Colonialists in 1776 squared up against. English Parliament was acting in such a way that communicated that there was no authority above their authority. The Colonialists begged to differ.

You can even find epochs where some have argued that Presbyteries were acting like they believed in a doctrine we might call “the Divine Right of Presbytery.” John Milton complained once that, “New presbyter is but old priest writ large.” He was complaining about the instinct of Presbyters to invest themselves with “The Divine Right of Presbytery.”

Now we are living in a time when we have to put up with this old idea but now as invested in our Courts. We have arrived at a doctrine of “The Divine Rights of Judiciary.” Witness the Obergefell decision. No Federal legislative body has passed laws saying Marriage no longer means marriage and yet SCOTUS and its sycophants are insisting that a mere ruling from these Black Robed Clowns means that the States have to embrace their decision as if it has the force of law. It doesn’t. It’s their opinion and that is all it is.

Even if a Federal Legislative body codified not-marriage as marriage that wouldn’t make it legal. It is not possible for legislation that seeks to legislate non-reality into existence to be legitimate. Legislation that calls a cow-pie, a jelly-roll doesn’t make it a jelly-roll. And legislation that calls perversity “marriage” doesn’t and can’t make it marriage.

Inasmuch as many many of our Institutions have rebelled against God’s Law and have rebelled against the “Divine Right of God,” in that much we no longer owe these usurpers our obedience.

Symbol Change

Judges 6:5 That night the Lord said to him, “Take your father’s bull, and the second bull seven years old, and pull down the altar of Baal that your father has, and cut down the Asherah that is beside it 26 and build an altar to the Lord your God on the top of the stronghold here, with stones laid in due order.

Studying the book of Judges right now and in Judges we see how unfaithful Israel had built altars to Baal as opposed to previous generations who had erected altars to “I AM” thus communicating who the people and the land were being given over to. I was struck with the importance of those altars as symbols and declarations of ownership.

When we tear down old symbols and replace them with new symbols we are, like the Israelites of old, giving ourselves, our children and our land over to different gods. The tearing down of a flag or a monument and the raising of a new flag or new monument is a significant happening. What you are witnessing is the gods being changed out.

In the last 100 years, we have seen quite a bit of this. When you do any reading on the fall of Czarist Russia and the rise of Communism you note that the Communist went whole hog on this very point. They not only tore down Churches. The Communists changed those Churches usage from houses of worship to places where pigs were housed. The Communists changed the Churches from places where the soul could find relief to latrines where a different kind of relief was found. The Communists after the revolution went on a rampage tearing down old symbols and erecting new ones. Out with the old God. In with the new gods.

When the Soviet Union fell the process was reversed. I clearly remember many scenes of statues of Stalin and Lenin being pulled down by cranes. When “Desert Storm” was finished one of the clearest images of victory was the pulling down of a statue of Saddam Hussein.  Out with the old god. In with the new gods.

Now in our country, we have been experiencing the very same thing. First, it was the Confederate flag desecrated and hidden away. Recently, I read a longish piece on how it is the Gadsen flag that has been determined as “racist” and no longer can be tolerated in the public square. Statuary of our ancestors is being removed in favor of the ancestors of an alien and strange people. Out with Christianity. In with the new gods.

Whenever you find this happening you are witnessing a religious attack on the people. Where this religious attack is successful you are witnessing a people being conquered. In the book of Judges, the people had been conquered by Baal as witnessed by all those new altars built to Baal. In Czarist Russia the Christian Russians had been conquered by the Jewish Bolsheviks as witnessed by removal of their Christian Churches. Today White Western Christians are being conquered by the enemies of Christ and the evidence of that is the removal of our symbols in favor of the symbols of our enemies.

The old West — The West of Christendom — is under siege and most Christians aren’t even aware that they and their undoubted catholic Christian faith is under attack.

The Work of Social Atomization

The common error was to believe that if the individual were liberated from the smaller organic groups he would be set free. But in actual fact, he was exposed to the influence of mass currents, to the influence of the stage, and direct integration into mass society. Finally, uprooted, the individual became much less stable.
 
Jacque Ellul
Propaganda; The Formation of Men’s Attitude
 
 
1.) Most men are chameleons. They will blend into their socio-cultural background. Strip man of the Institutional covenantal backgrounds of a decidedly Christian family, community, and church, and man will not cease to be a chameleon. Instead, man will begin to blend into the larger pagan background of the pagan state, the pagan media-cultural complex, and the pagan legal framework.
 
Paradoxically enough, the Atomization of man that Ellul chronicles here does the yeoman work of creating mass man.
 
2.) On the issue of the uprooted individual becoming much less stable, I would contend that this is creating a kind of social insanity. Social sanity requires the kind of stability of which Ellul laments the loss. This kind of stability requires long established community and familial infrastructure, customs and routines that are inter-generational, and a sense of place. All those have been largely lost.
 
The uprootedness (the social insanity) that we often see in our social order can be directly traced back to the loss of our organic groups.
 
3.) However, this uprootedness serves the interest of the heathen state
 
An unstable and uprooted people are not likely to have the foundation or moral capital upon which to rebuke and resist the tyrannical state. It is a net positive for the usurpatious state to uproot and destabilize its citizenry because in doing so there is job security for the bureaucratic class.