Your “Lesser Evil” Argument Needs Work

Since I made my decision to vote for Joe Biden come November public, I have been accused more times than I can count of “voting for the lesser evil” by people mostly of the libertarian orientation. Rarely have any of these people addressed my actual reasons for coming to the (admittedly difficult) decision to vote for Biden — they almost unanimously lean on that catchphrase like some sort of crutch/broken record combination.

Evil Intent

If when people deride me for voting for a “lesser evil” they are speaking of that first kind of evil — the intentional, cruel, understanding of evil — then it is no sweat of my brow to immediately dismiss the charge as hyperbolic and ridiculous at best, or as dishonest at worst. When it comes to Donald Trump and Joe Biden, it seems clear to me that there is only one of those two who is clearly evil in the sense of this first understanding (and it’s not Biden). Of the two, only Trump has shown a consistent ethic of cruelty, spite, and psychopathy. Only Trump has made an intentional effort to signal vice rather than virtue. Only Trump has treated exploitation and the host of evil “isms” (racism, sexism, ableism, nationalism, etc.) as pillars of righteousness.

Evil Consequence

If those who say that I am supporting a “lesser evil” are speaking in the context of “evil” being defined by the consequences — specifically the unintended consequences — of actions and policies, then I suppose that I am. As I’ve already stated, I think it’s clear that Joe Biden has a long history of supporting policies with disastrous unintended consequences, there really is no denying that. He championed the 1994 Crime Bill that has resulted in “the New Jim Crow”. He supported both wars against Iraq and the nation-building fiasco in Afghanistan that have resulted in so much loss of innocent life. He’s supported Wall Street regulations and deregulations that have equally fueled crony capitalism and inequality. He was a part of the Obama administration that waged drone warfare across Africa and the Middle East and further crippled the Health Care system through the ACA.

Avid reader, writer, and unabashed Star Wars apologist | Tolstoy, Hauerwas, & D. B. Hart | “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.”

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