One Issue Voting

I have been thinking alot about one-issue voting lately. I have long been an advocate of this as it relates to abortion. I have oftentimes told friends that if both Republicans and Democrats were pro-life then I would have a much harder time – I might even vote for a Democrat. I have heard some evangelicals respond that they are going to vote Democrat because the Republicans have failed or messed things up. I fail to see the validity of such a charge as Democrats have not been the saviors of the world either; merely voting for one will not remedy our situation.

There are so many issues, why have I chosen one to ride my horse on? One of the dangers in calling my perspective “one issue” voting  is the misnomer that there is only one issue that a candidate needs to agree with me on and the rest is chaff. The is a farce since there are myriad issues that I also evaluate when picking a candidate. I have said for several years that if all parties agreed that abortion should be illegal that I would have a much harder time deciding who to vote for.

Am I being petty and naive? I am sure I am in several ways. However, when you talk to people it is obvious that they are also one issue voters. For example, those who are pro-choice have this as their one issue that will steer them towards one candidate over another. Another person may not vote for someone because he wants to leaglized marijuana. Someone else may be allergic to joining hands with the Castros in Cuba.

Why did we go to war with Nazi Germany? We went because they were war-mongerers. This was one issue. The killing of babies (let’s not use “abortion” as the primary term as it is mechanistic and euphemistic for what is really happening to the child) is a heinous crime against humanity. We cringe at the thought of chimpanzees or polar bears eating their own young, but celebrate the virtue of choice in the similar decision to take the weak’s life.

Political renovation does not stop with the illegalizing of the killing of human babies. Movements must start somewhere. This is the most immediate need right now. Of course there are homeless people, hungry people, unemployed people. But if we can’t even take care of those who are helpless, what kind of policy could we dream up that would do justice for the poor?

It is a shame that the Republican party believes that if they say “I am pro-life” then they have the evangelical vote. It is a shame that it is only the Republican party that has said this most resolutely. I wish it would be across the board that sucha  statement would be made. But we are tyrannized by other (yes, important) less immediate issues.


Filed under Ethics, Politics, Social Justice

2 responses to “One Issue Voting

  1. To make matters worse, merely being “pro-life” as the media portrays it, isn’t even being biblically ethical enough.

    If a candidate is anti-abortion, but supports stem cell research, embryo destruction, in vitro-fertilization, and human cloning — to vote for them would be to betray our own “pro-life” principles, and thereby undermine our own purpose of electing a politician who will defend human life at all stages. And yet many evangelicals see those issues as compromisable in light of an anti-abortion stance; when in fact it is nothing more than political expediency at its very worst — all under the guise of ‘life’.

  2. Good point. We need to have a full-orbed view of what it means to foster a culture of life. The culture of death is not merely pro-abortion, it also indoctrinates people to embrace euthanasia. The quality of life is a farce, since who is the judge of said quality? As those who embrace and cultivate life, we need to think more broadly on what it means to truly live – procreation, eating, drinking, smoking, self-control, etc.

    Thank you for your thoughts. Do you find that expediency is helpful in taking a first step, though, in propagating a culture of life? In other words, if anti-abortion is the FIRST step towards a culture of life, then it is temporarily feasible to tackle that one issue?

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