by Dr. Ed Berry
A common Tea Party Voting Mantra is:
“A vote for the lesser of two evils is still a vote for evil”
Montana’s tea party Libertarians use it as their personal “feely-good” justification to not vote for the “lesser evil” Republican candidate while knowing full well the result of their actions will help elect the “greater evil” Democrat candidate.
Why do they follow this Mantra? Because they believe (incorrectly) that it is the moral thing to do, that it helps America, and it makes them feel good.
But is their Mantra valid? Will it pass the tests of logic, science, philosophy, religion, law, and politics? Let’s review these tests and find out.
Logic Part One
Since voters will differ in their opinions of “evil”, we will assume the perspective of a tea party voter who uses the Mantra as a personal excuse to not vote Republican.
The voter who uses this Mantra as an excuse to vote Libertarian must assume the Libertarian candidate is 100 percent free from evil … or “perfect”. Otherwise, voting for the Libertarian candidate would be a vote for the “lesser of evils” which contradicts the Mantra.
Logic Part Two
The Mantra is ambiguous. Ambiguity, of course, makes the Mantra easier to sell to those who don’t think. The Mantra can mean these different forms:
- “A vote for the lesser of two evils candidate is a vote for an evil candidate.”
- “A vote for the lesser of two evils candidate is a vote for an evil outcome.”
- “A vote for the lesser of two evils candidate is a vote for a more evil outcome than electing the greater of two evils candidate.”
Form (1) is clearly true but it has no meaning. It contains no information. Its logical form is
“If A is true and B is true, then B is true.”
Only voters with less than room temperature IQ’s would claim Form (1) is the meaning of the Mantra. So, to be rational, they must be talking about outcomes rather than candidates.
Form (2) focuses on the probable outcomes of a vote rather than the “evilness” of a candidate. It predicts that electing the “lesser of two evils” candidate will result in an evil outcome.
The problem with Form (2) is all political outcomes will be a mixture of “good” and “evil”, and all candidates will result in a partially “evil” outcome. There is no “perfect” candidate.
Form (2) properly focuses on the “outcomes of a vote” rather than on the irrelevant “morality of a candidate” but it does not compare the estimated outcomes for each candidate, which is critical for a voting decision. Therefore, the only rational meaning of the Mantra is Form (3).
Logic Part Three
Form (3) has the following logical form:
“The election of Greater Evil A (due to not voting for Lesser Evil B) will result in less evil outcomes than the election of Lesser Evil B.”
This is what those who support the Mantra really mean when they parrot it as an excuse for not voting for the Republican candidate.
To test the Form (3) prediction, we use the following 5 statements that every Republican, even those who Libertarians call RINOs, will conclude are true:
- Romney would have made a better president than Obama.
- Hill would have made a better governor than Bullock.
- Rehberg would have made a better Senator than Tester.
- Zinke will make a better Congressman than Lewis.
- Daines will make a better Senator than Amanda Curtis.
To prove their Mantra is true the Mantra supporters must prove the above 5 statements are false from a conservative point of view, since the result of using their voting Mantra would be the political outcomes of electing Obama, Bullock, Tester, Lewis, and Curtis. Proving these Democrats have preferable outcomes from a conservative perspective is impossible.
After years of parroting the tea party Mantra without proof, as their excuse for not voting for a “lesser evil” Republican candidate, no one has shown, or even attempted to show, that the above 5 statements are false from a conservative point of view.
The statements are true only from a liberal point of view, which means Mantra supporters are either liberals or insane.
Mantra supporters do not realize they must test their Mantra hypothesis before they vote. If they did test it, they would learn their Mantra produces the exact opposite of their desired goals.
Mantra supporters complain about all kinds of political problems but they vote for their own worst enemy … and then they proclaim they are “patriots”.
Some tea party radicals claim the way to improve America is to reject the “lesser evil” and elect the “greater evil” candidates, like Obama, Reid, Pelosi, etc., until, they think, Americans will “wake up” and vote for tea party candidates. This is an illusion. It won’t happen.
To prove their radical claim is true, these “Patriots-in-Name-Only” (PINOs) must show a historical record that demonstrates voting for the “greater evil” has produced more conservative laws than voting for the “lesser evil” in similar situations as we have today. It can’t be done. They are operating on emotions, not logic.
PINOs now tell you to vote for Democrat John Lewis rather than for Republican Ryan Zinke because Ryan Zinke has some “imperfections”. They ignore the much greater imperfections of John Lewis, which is irrational. Then they claim if we elect Lewis it will help elect a “non-evil” tea party candidate in 2016. This is absurd. The probability of this prediction happening is miniscule. Therefore, those who promote this claim are not only wrong, but they are promoting fraud.
When you give your opponent more political power, they use their power to make irreversible changes that give them greater political advantage.
Politics is like a Monopoly game. Give your opponent all the hotels and you cannot win. Maybe the tea party Mantra supporters never played Monopoly.
The Scientific Method
The Mantra is not Truth. It is a hypothesis. The scientific method is the only proven way to falsify a hypothesis. It requires testing a prediction against reality, and concluding:
“If your prediction is wrong, then your hypothesis is wrong.”
The 5 statements are true for all conservatives. Therefore, until some Mantra supporter demonstrates the above 5 statements are false, Mantra supporters are using an invalid hypothesis.
We have shown the tea party voting Mantra is a hypothesis whose predictions fail. Therefore the Mantra is wrong and using it as a basis to vote will lead to more “evil”. The surest way to take down America is to follow the tea party voting Mantra.
When will the people ever learn?
Part 2 will review the tea party voting Mantra from the viewpoint of religion. Some religions have discussed and taken positions on the Mantra … and they do not agree. Part 2 will show which religions are right and which ones are wrong about the Mantra. The discussion will show an interesting and important twist to the Mantra that changes forever one’s outlook on voting.