The Lesser Evil

Previously by Chris Sullivan: Questions for Presidential ‘Debate’ Participants

Suppose it were possible for anybody who ever lived to be president of the United States.

At every election, we’re always told that if we don’t vote for Tweedle Dum, Tweedle Dumber will be elected and the Supreme Court will be filled with activist judges or some terrible UN treaty will be pushed through or what’s left of our rights will be further eroded. That’s probably true in either case, but may be worse in the case of Tweedle Dumber. But what if there is a third or fourth or any number of other candidates who have no chance of winning, but are decent people with a zeal to protect individual rights – sort of a Clark Kent of politics. Should you stick to principle and vote for them or "hold your nose and vote for Tweedle Dum"?

Since this is all theoretical, lets say that Lucifer has the nomination wrapped up for the Evil Party and is polling something like 46% of the vote against any nominee of the Stupid Party.

The Stupid Party has a hard-fought three way race with Hitler, Stalin and Lincoln eviscerating each other in a political gladiatorial game. As the votes are counted at the convention, the great state of Erehwon casts the winning votes for Stalin and the crowd is jubilant. Ten thousand balloons are released as fourteen tons of confetti are dropped on the delirious crowd. All the delegates agree that Stalin is the electable candidate even though some are less than convinced he can defeat Lucifer since Stalin only polls 40% in a match up against Lucifer.

Stalin is the clear favorite among religious people since he is clearly not as bad as Lucifer and has pledged not to appoint any mass murderers or child molesters to the Supreme Court.

Things start looking better for Uncle Joe after focus groups find that emphasizing his WW II alliance with the U.S. against Hitler plays well and old pictures are brought out showing him kissing babies. Stalin, after reinventing himself and hiring the best public relations consultants has now closed the gap to 42 – 47% against Lucifer.

Just as Stalin starts to look like he might have a chance to catch Lucifer, disaster strikes. The Truth Party, a small splinter group of what most people would classify as extremists nominates Jesus Christ as its candidate.To make matters worse for Stalin, the Truth Party is on the ballot in 42 states, in some of which he has his greatest strength.

The Stupid Party establishment tries to persuade the officers of the Truth Party to withdraw Jesus’ nomination and throw their support to Stalin, but the Truth Party people won’t hear of it. The Stupids launch an advertising campaign through a political front group advising people not to waste their vote on Jesus. Bumper stickers are printed with the slogan, "A Vote For Jesus Is A Vote For Lucifer."

The anti-Jesus campaign back-fires and causes his numbers to go up and Stalin’s to go down. Now the situation appears desperate, so the Stupids promise to balance the ticket and put Jesus on as Vice President.The Truth Party extremists remain intransigent and will not take the deal.

Just as the nimbus clouds appear to be gathering over the Stalin campaign, Pastor Jack Agee gives it a boost by reminding his followers that Uncle Joe set up Birobidzhan as a Jewish autonomous region in the Soviet Union and has pledged increased support for Israel. Pastor Agee seems miffed that he can’t get any assurance that Jesus will support Israel; in fact, he’s been unable to find out Jesus’ position on anything.

Jesus seems uninterested in winning the campaign and has not made any speeches or gone to any political rallies. When located by a reporter for Mendax News Service and asked about his program, he says something about his kingdom not being of this world and also something about bearing witness to the truth; nothing very good for a soundbite.

As the campaign is in the closing days, Stalin and Lucifer are polling within the margin of error with each other and with Jesus as a spoiler. Should good people vote for the good or for the lesser evil?

Reprinted with permission from Different Bugle.