Like many Americans, I find myself in a quandary, now that it appears that the two main presumptive Presidential candidates are Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. I find myself wanting neither of the above.
I do not see Mr. Trump as an acceptable Presidential personality, I do not think he has sufficient political experience, and I do not trust that his positions will match most of my own. I do not find his bullying braggadocio attractive, and I do not want to listen to it for the next six months, let alone four (or eight) years after that.
I have disagreed with most of Mrs. Clinton’s positions for more than two decades, I do not think she is a trustworthy candidate, and I despised her husband’s peccadilloes in office and don’t want him anywhere near the White House again. Although she has a good political pedigree, she is as paranoid as Richard Nixon and about as charismatic.
I don’t typically write about religion in this blog, but I find myself reflecting on a bit from Thomas Merton this week:
“We find ourselves more and more backed into a corner in which there seems to be no choice but that of a ‘lesser evil’ . . . . But an evil choice can never have wholly good consequences. When one chooses to do good irrespective of the consequences, it is a paradox that the consequences will ultimately be good.”
We must recover our inner faith not only in God but in the good . . . In the power of the good to take care of itself and us as well.”
From Conjectures of a Guily Bystander, part 2.
And so I have decided that my task over the next several months is to decide what the “good” is. I will not stoop to picking the lesser of the two evils.
I don’t know yet what the “good” will be for me.
Can I find one of these candidates acceptable? Will one of the two contenders rise above “lesser of two evil” status and make me think he or she will be a good President?
Will a third option become appealing? Who are the other candidates, and what do they have to offer?
Should I choose not to vote in this election? I can’t allow my dissatisfaction with the top of the ticket to harm other candidates for state and local races, but I can choose to leave the first spot on the ballot empty. That may be the “good” this year.
I have until November 8 to decide. Whatever I decide, however, I will remember that I do not need to choose the lesser evil. If I do, it will not have wholly good consequences.
When have you faced only unfortunate choices?