When it comes to voting, I am persuaded that our goal should be to make an actual difference in the world, not merely to make a statement concerning our political ideals. So if there are three candidates — A, B, and C – and if elected, candidate A’s stated policies will result in a 50% increase in evil, candidate B’s policies will result in a 30% increase in evil, and candidate C’s policies will result in a 10% increase in evil – and yet candidate C is a 3rd party candidate who will not be able to secure more than 10% of the popular vote – then we ought to vote for candidate B even if candidate C more closely resembles our political ideals.
Why? Because voting for C will result in more evil. How? Since candidate C cannot possibly secure enough votes to win the election, every vote cast for candidate C makes it more unlikely that candidate B will be able to beat candidate A (assuming that the nation’s political makeup is roughly evenly divided, as in our nation), and thus more likely that candidate A will win the election and cause the greatest amount of evil in the world. In a very real sense, then, a vote for candidate C is an unintentional vote for candidate A, which is a vote for more evil in the world. If our goal is to act in such a way so as to limit evil to the best of our ability, then we should vote for candidate B. The time to vote your conscience and make statements concerning your political ideals is in the primaries, not the general election.