Choosing a candidate in the absence of morality

Voters face a tough decision in the current election, and may see it as a vote for the lesser of two evils. Photo by Paulina Martin.

This election brings a most challenging decision to voters’ minds. This question is not only incredibly difficult to answer, but also displays the corrupt political dichotomy in which we live. Do we vote for the candidate who actually has some form of governmental experience, although morally and politically repugnant in her own ways? Or do we take a chance with a blustering billionaire who isn’t even sure what he himself stands for?

As a Catholic, the obvious choice seems to vote third party.  But when a voter actually learns more about the rigged political system, it then seems almost foolish to vote for any candidate other than a Republic or Democratic nominee. A third-party candidate, at least presently, holds almost no chance of winning. The only prevalent third-party candidate, Gary Johnson, is currently polling at 8 percent.

With the option of voting third-party removed, voters are left again with the dilemma of Clinton and Trump. Do we opt for experience or, essentially, luck?  Clinton, regardless of how much she is disliked or disrespected, clearly knows what she wants from the next four years. We can safely assume most of the types of legislature she will push for and against. She will be not vastly dissimilar from Obama, while pushing public education and women’s rights more forcefully.

Trump made an interesting observation in last week’s presidential debate that the experience Clinton has is all “bad experience”, referencing the scandals of Benghazi and her emails.  While I do not totally agree with this statement, I think there is a deeper point that Trump was trying to make. While not expressed very eloquently, I believe Trump was hinting at the fact that the Clintons, particularly Hillary, misuse and abuse the power they have. Whether it is by allowing U.S. soldiers to die when such events could have been prevented, or to store classified documents illegally on a private server, Hillary has misused what power she receives through her position. That much is certainly true.

Trump represents an even more difficult dilemma simply because no one, most likely including Trump, knows exactly what he will attempt to accomplish if he reaches office. The generalizations which he speaks about during debates tell the audience very little of his actual positions regarding different policies.

Another reason people dislike Trump is because of his harsh tone and reprehensible statements. Recently, another recording of Trump was discovered, which contains him degrading women in a most vulgar and unforgivable way. This particular recording was from 2005. Obviously, the media is enjoying the ability to bash the Republican nominee for something so objectively wrong.

I absolutely disagree with his statements and find them disgusting, unacceptable, and reprehensible. However, should this recording alter the choice to vote for Trump? No. A statement like this made by him in 2005 is not something which should severely impact your opinion of him. Anyone who reads into Trump already knows his morally flawed character.

Another issue which has recently been a topic of controversy regarding Trump is his practice of tax evasion. What does this say about the character of Donald? Does it prove his intelligence or his lack of moral character?

Well, frankly, it proves a bit of both. We already know that the Republican nominee certainly is not stupid or ignorant. He may sound foolish when speaking about complicated policies, but his construction of a clearly profitable business proves that he is certainly intelligent. While Trump clearly oversells his intelligence, business acumen, and integrity, the media causally undersells these same traits. They portray him as an ignorant, incapable fool.

No matter how much one may dislike his character, the argument that he is naive or foolish is simply unmarketable. He has experienced enough success in his life to defeat this argument.

You don’t have to respect, like, or even agree with a lot of Trump’s statements.  The reality is that Clinton is an evil which this country cannot afford. Her policies will push this country irreversibly to the political left and will, in all probability, increase the national debt exponentially.

For this reason, and this reason alone, I advocate voting for Trump. Voters, particularly Catholics, need to remember that Trump is not running for Pope or some other religious office. Obviously, we should consider his moral character. But, in a certain respect, a vote for Trump in this election can be viewed simply as a vote against Clinton, and not for Trump’s character.


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