October 8, 2016 § 57 Comments
The fact that you (the generic you) personally support the Frog Casino King or Grandman Abortion Witch doesn’t tell us anything about the candidates. And it won’t make any difference in the outcome of the election.
But it does tell us something about you.
Well, don’t leave us hanging. What DOES it tell you about us?
It is more important for you (the generic ‘you’) to ponder what it tells you about yourself; especially given the fact that your personal support will have no effect on the outcome.
Well, you wrote the post so I figure you must have an idea of what the primary motivations are of those who vote for Orange-Haired Crass Anti-Establishment Man or the Witch Queen of Angmar.
In 2008 & 2012, I refused to vote for either Romney or McCain – I ‘threw my vote away’ and ‘voted for Obama by refusing to vote for [them]’ as per just about every traditionalist Catholic I knew.
Strangely, those arguments have gone largely silent this go around.
I guess neo-Catholics are more worried about uncouthness & womanizing than the slaughter of the unborn – who’d have guessed it?
** Well, as much as I can be content given that republicanism isn’t my first (or even second) choice for a system of government.
At a very high level I would suggest that supporting the candidates produced by their old Master implies continuing loyalty to their old Master, political liberalism, despite all the feinting and posturing to the contrary.
If what you say is true, then Orthodox Christians, Catholics & fervent Protestants should have been refusing to vote since the inception of this Masonically-led & -inspired country.
Is that your position?
That I despise a system that lied to me, indebted me, which led me down the garden path, and now attacks me for stating truth as plain as the nose on one’s face? That I can respect and admire a man of healthy virility, with a record of adding value to the world and loving his children, despite his flaws? That I enjoy seeing the corrupt and mendacious tumble from their thrones as the machinations turn to sand sliding out between their fingers? That I thirst for justice against the wicked and unrepentant?
As modified, yes. There is a mathematical stage or mountain pass, past which your personal influence over outcomes becomes vanishingly small in comparison to the forces you propose to set it against and the influence that voting has on you and the people over whom you actually do have influence. When you are on that side of the mountain you definitely should not vote.
(This doesn’t imply that you should vote if you are on the other side of the mountain — the side where you personally have material influence on outcomes. Whether or not you should vote on the other side of the mountain pass is just a different discussion: a discussion entirely irrelevant to current circumstances).
Part of the perniciousness of the mind trap is that there is no precise definable ‘bright line’ place where this happens. But it is quite unambiguous that the rubicon was crossed before anyone presently alive was born, so objections on that front are academic.
Stated (hopefully) more simply and less metaphorically:
Voting always does two things. (1) It validates and supports the democratic liberalism that governs us, and (2) it influences specific election outcomes.
The first always operates on a small scale: on you and the people over whom you actually have influence. It is also always morally wrong to do, as material cooperation with evil, unless proportionate reason to do so is provided by your influence over the outcome.
The second decreases in significance with the size of the electorate: voting as member of a nine man board of directors or judicial panel is qualitatively different from voting as one ballot out of five million.
So unless you have enough influence over the outcome to counter the always present validation of democratic liberalism inherent to voting, you shouldn’t do it. And it has not been the case that anyone opposed to liberalism has had any material influence over outcomes for generations.
It has been helpful to me to also see that this Rorschach works in reverse. A non-participant in this election notwithstanding, I loathe and dread HRC to a degree that surprises myself. I dread I will have to listen to her and hear her name daily for the next 8 years. But it is interesting that I don’t equally dread liberalism in the abstract which has led to the current state of affairs. It’s the inverse of “hate the sin, love the sinner.” I still am a softee for former right-liberal heroes of mine (Reagan, Nixon, etc) and to some extent (though by no means a hero of mine) things Trump is saying. The criticism of “me” described in the OP is spot on.
FWIW I have a similar visceral experience.
However, one thing that is quite clear to me is that we are seeing how liberalism works in action, in real time, right now, to build and maintain its hegemony. This election cycle is throwing out just the right red meat and circus acts to draw in right-leaning or trad folks who sat out the last several.
ITT: Fervent but clueless partisans proving Zippy’s point.
[…] Source: Zippy Catholic […]
Zippy, would it be justifiable to vote if you, while not really having any kind of personal influence over the results of the election, do so as a part of a larger movement voting one way for a specific reason? For instance, if concerned catholics believed that Hilary being elected would cause a much greater number of children to be slaughtered in the coming four years and therefore decided to band together to vote against her, believing that stopping this evil would be more important than the scandal they would give by voting, do you see that as a valid reason?
Also, since we are on the subject, we had elections for city mayors here in Brazil last week. It was interesting to note that many of the votes were either “blank”, “void” or justified (here in Brazil, it is mandatory to cast your vote in election day, but you can cast a blank vote. Also, if you can’t go to the vote booth, whether because you are sick or in another city, or whatever, you can justify your absence). In Rio de Janeiro, for instance, 38.1% of the voting population did this. In São Paulo, 21.84%. While this probably reflects more of a discontentment with the candidates than with the system itself, I still think it is good news.
Mandatory voting is a different story. It is more like taxation than what we have in the US, where voting is strictly voluntary.
As for the other questions, there is a lot of material linked under my voting (Bus …) permapost; and I’ve specifically addressed the ‘join the less bad team’ argument in a number of places, one of which is here: https://zippycatholic.wordpress.com/2012/10/22/choosing-team-litterbug/
Thanks for the reply Zippy. I think I mostly agree with your view on this but:
“We have to justify our choice on the absolute goods obtained by the mere act of joining Team Litterbug – whether they win or lose – versus joining some other team, or no team at all.”
It seems to me that, depending on what kind of team you are joining, it might justify the littering. Not in the case of simply joining one or the other side of the election, which seem pretty bad for me. But in the case of my example, where you join a group that specifically campaigns against an evil, it might be worthwhile. Especially if you get enough numbers that your group leaves a mark (even if a faint one) on the overall results.
By the way, I am saying all this hypothetically. I am just trying to understand the principles involved here better. After what happened in Poland, with that pro-life law (which, from what I understand, was actually pro-life) being shot down over the protests of the feminists, I don’t think it pays to put your hopes in politics.
Also, by the way, my comment about the elections around here were a bit off topic. I wasn’t asking about the morality of voting in them, I was just commenting that the dissatisfaction people have with it seems like a good sign. Sorry if this was too off topic or if it wasn’t clear.
It seems to me that groups which oppose some particular evil are distinguishable from groups which propose to oppose some particular evil through liberal politics. If you are welcome to join the group while nonetheless vocally refusing to vote and explaining your reasons why, that will tell you what sort of group you are dealing with.
Sure Zippy. But my question is really about whether changing perspectives from a single person to a group affects the morality of vote. As far as I understand, here is what you have said on this thread and in 2012:
A) As the number of voters is so large, you, personally, don’t really have an effect on the results.
B) Thus, by voting you are not really making it more likely that this or that candidate will win, or that this or that policy will be enacted. You are only grouping yourself with those that support that candidate.
C) On the other hand, you do cause a scandal by supporting the democratic institution (even if a minor one), for which you have a personal responsibility.
And since C would outweigh B even in the case of a really good candidate, it would make sense not to vote in most circumstances.
Now, the reason I think voting as part of a group might change this is because, once you are part of a group, B changes a bit. By voting, you are not only making yourself part of the people who voted for the candidate, but working in unison with the group. If the group has good reason to suppose they will make a difference by voting (which would not only include, as I understand it, actually getting a majority, but also making a defeat into not such a big one), it would be possible for B to outweigh C.
I am not saying that is the case in these elections, though. In fact, I think we need to get out of the liberal world view where the power comes from the people before we can hope to make progress on any important issues like abortion. However, I wanted to see if I understand correctly how the morality works in these situations.
As a Catholic I come at this from a different angle. I believe liberalism is repugnant to Catholicism. But I have admittedly struggled with the existential fact that I was born into a liberal republic. When does participation in that republic become mortally sinful? Which, to be honest and probably spiritually immature, is really all I care about at this point. I agree with Zippys views on voting, have learned so much, and have been sitting out for a while. But your remark on mandatory voting is interesting because some see, for example, paying federal taxes as participating in a correlatory sense to voting and have gone Galt. And yet we are castigated as being “holier than thou” for not voting Trump when actually all we want to do is be able to worthily present ourselves for communion. Strange times and forgive the personal digression.
Without attempting to revisit everything I’ve written on this subject over the years, I’ll just say that a group which requires you to to vote in a democratic election in order to be a part of that group is to be avoided. If membership or acceptance requires a ritual act of support for liberal governance (whether or not it is, in addition, support for a particular party or candidate), you ought to pass on membership — unless you have a solid reason to join which is entirely extrinsic to elections and election results.
And yet we are castigated as being “holier than thou” for not voting Trump when actually all we want to do is be able to worthily present ourselves for communion. Strange times and forgive the personal digression.
That’s because most of the attacks on Trump are by holier than thou, self-righteous people. Their rhetoric is over the top. It reeks of theatrics like the Pharisees who went to great lengths to prove what righteous people they are rather than the honest penitent who is sick and beats his chest in humility and frustration.
Take Paul Ryan’s theatrics about being disgusted and how we need to “revere women, not objectify them.” He did not call men to be holy and save sexualizing women for their wives, but engaged in ordinary American pedestalizing of women.
There is nothing, absolutely nothing, honorable about what these men are saying and doing in response. It is itself an error and a more pernicious one because it more easily stands in place of the truth than the behavior of men like Trump.
A father with sons should be far more worried about those men being role models for their sons than Trump. Odds are that they’ll never be able to pull of a Trump even if they want, but it is far easier to adopt the lick spittle white knighting behavior of gamma males in positions of influence.
The release of the Trump tape was politically savvy. Very few of Bill Clinton’s supporters would care about him engaging in locker room talk, but, like it or not, Trump depends on people with higher standards than Democrats for support. Democrats have a lock on the gutter vote.
That the tape triggered a bunch of Trump supporters to engage in virtue signaling against him demonstrates the fragility of his own coalition.
I realize that it upsets core Trump supporters that they need to woo a large portion of the Cuck vote in order to win. But that is what liberal democracy requires of everyone: ritually debasing yourself before things you despise in the name of liberty and equality. If you want Trump to win the general, you have to throw away your self respect and kiss the butts of people you despise.
And if you plan to continue voting, buy some chapstick and get used to it. And don’t blame me; I tried to talk you out of it.
There is of course no small irony in the party of interns sexually gratifying the president in the oval office benefiting politically from decade old locker room talk on the part of Trump over a hot mike.
But that’s liberal democracy for you.
While Trump’s talk was lewd like locker room talk is, locker room talk is about claiming real or imagined consensual conquests. Trump was boasting of his ability to sexually assault women because of his celebrity. Fairly big difference, at least to a clueless partisan like myself.
Paul Ryan did his little dance because he knows how to read polls. Although both candidates have low favorability ratings, Trump had been overperforming his favorable ratings among women by about 15%, if most of those women switch their vote because of Trump then the whole Republican ticket is in danger of a landslide defeat. If Trump loses the debate tonight like he did the first one, expect Ryan to pull the plug on his endorsement too.
There is no small irony that among the few conservative sites I visit the only one discussing the election right now is run by someone who refuses to vote.
It seems likely that you and I have experienced quite different locker rooms.
I’m the last person to defend locker room behavior, but I won’t ever hesitate to defend the truth. And the ‘sexual assault’ pearl-clutching seems to me to be quite far from the truth, absent some specific accusation backed by evidence.
I only listened to the tape once and don’t have enough interest in the subject to listen to it again. But what I thought Trump was rather clearly boasting about specifically was that the women to whom he referred enjoyed and welcomed what we might – for the sake of propriety – call his ‘tactile flirting’. Because he is a celebrity women welcome his tactile advances to an extreme degree, is what he was boasting to some youthful member of the Bush dynasty.
I won’t be backed into a position of defending the morality or social acceptability of either Donald Trump’s or Bill Clinton’s various gropings or other sexual pecadillos, but the ‘no touching unless you’ve signed permission papers in triplicate’ nonsense is … is highly contrary to the reality of men, women, and how they naturally fraternize.
It is a part of the modernist attempt to replace natural human relations with a mechanized bureaucracy enforcing formal rules and procedures, as a means to the end of achieving ‘equality’.
We apparently have different definitions of flirting if groping is considered flirting. No you don’t need signed permission slips, but Trump didn’t claim any sort of welcome at all. He talks about his tactile advances as an uncontrolled magnet and done without any waiting.
Trump: You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.
Bush: Whatever you want.
Trump: Grab ’em by the. You can do anything.
Bush: Uh, yeah, those legs, all I can see is the legs. (which seems to me like an attempt by Bush to change an awkward subject)
There is a leftist phenomenon which corresponds to what the kids call ‘cuckservatism’ on the political right. Leftists encourage promiscuity, sexual brazenness, sluttiness, serial monogamy, adultery, etc and then whine incessantly about the consequences of their victory once all those things have become pervasive.
Liberalism always blames its own victories on some scapegoat or other.
He wasn’t giving a deposition. Even if he had been, you seem not to have noticed the words you yourself quoted: “And when you’re a star, they let you do it.”
Saying they let you do it doesn’t mean they welcomed it, she is probably legitimately shocked by the brazenness of it. Frankly, just the way he described it as walking up to an attractive woman and immediately groping her seems very problematic from a consensual standpoint and it definitely doesn’t qualify as flirting.
Even if I stipulate all of the begged questions in world view, which I really shouldn’t, there is a nontrivial difference between “welcomed” and “consented”. People consent to work for a price, etc, without implying the emotional warmth connoted by ‘welcoming’.
Though my own interpretation when I listened to the tape, including tone etc, was that Trump was boasting that he can grope women (the particular ones to whom he is referring) and they like the attention even when they won’t
bed the big stallion (in his own Leisure Suit Larry mind).
That is morally despicable, and as everyone who reads here knows I am not a Trump supporter. But it isn’t assault.
It is a good illustration of the point made in the OP though. Reactions to this tape reveal things about the persons doing the reacting.
As for me, when Trump says “make America great again” what I hear is “bring back the eighties”. I liked the new wave of British heavy metal as much as the next headbanger, but no. Please don’t. All the doors that Trump supporters think they can slam shut were blown off their hinges in the age of Reagan and Carter, if not before. Please.
And I can’t see Hillary Clinton without seeing ghost images of John Lennon glasses, lesbian love beads, and a Depends bulge. Behind her is a vast pile of dismembered aborted fetuses, way bigger than the pile of aborted fetuses and condoms behind Trump.
So even though I will never vote, these public spectacles are a Rorschach test for me too I suppose. Trump’s groping boast is just Trump being Trump — a small matter in the inventory of more significant things that are wrong with the man.
I liked the new wave of British heavy metal as much as the next headbanger, but no.
That reminds me, I wanted to share this video with you. Headbanging classical music, it’s funny.
Saying they let you do it doesn’t mean they welcomed it, she is probably legitimately shocked by the brazenness of it.
The more attractive you are to the opposite sex, the more you can get away with with them.
The 2Cellos guys are great. I’ve long held the opinion that metal is the new classical.
Dalrock’s take on the Trump tape outrage is both hilarious and on target:
One can add that the same folks are nowhere near as spittle flecked in their reaction when their kids are taught things that are the antithesis of church teaching on sexual morality.
I think your sex ed comment misses the target.
The tape is a target rich environment in terms of opportunities for outrage and criticism (as is, really, just about everything we know about both candidates). But, getting back to the OP, the targets chosen for outrage and their ranking tell us as much about the particular critic as they tell us about Trump.
A by no means exhaustive list:
A) Trump is always hitting on women, presumably sleeping with some of them, and boasting about it using vulgar language.
B) Trump uses his celebrity to try to cuckold other men.
C) The ‘tactile flirting’ approach that Trump articulates offends modern feminist ‘rape culture’ sensibilities about stepwise negotiated consent.
D) Trump’s assertion that the women he gropes welcome/allow his aggressive advances and groping offends against the modern pedestalization of receptive female sexuality as morally superior to aggressive male sexuality.
I could go on in all sorts of detail: there is an overabundance of targets.
But I expect that there is significant overlap between those who (1) are against sex education in schools entirely or certainly how it is presently being pushed; and (2) consider the idea that many slutty women are actually quite receptive to being groped by a celebrity – even if they wouldn’t sleep with him – a hatefact.
One fact unremarked upon so far is who it is that controls cultural discourse, and it is not controlled by Christians; cultural discourse is controlled by Messias-Deniers.
That assertion can be largely sustained by comparing the responses directed at he who denies certain aspects of the Nazi war crimes against the Jews (and against them alone) vs the response directed at those who deny that Jesus is Messias.
The messias-deniers control and enforce the beliefs of cultural marxism which is Jake with abortion, sodomy, usury, divorce, etc (the list of approved sins is quite long) but it anathematises anyone who uses mean language IF the language is directed at the groups approved of by the Cultural Marxists.
This has long been noted in the actions of those who support abortion; their sins against women are ignored just so long as they keep baby-killing legal but woe betide a man like Trump who says what he says.
As to the voters who think a man of Trump’s character can be relied upon to keep his promises made while whoring for votes are voters deserving of the government we have.
O, and the very proof that America is the exceptional nation is the exceptional politicians we get to vote for in these exceptional national elections.
In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is…in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control.I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.
Even the temptation to vote for the first candidate for POTUS to be married to a former Impeached POTUS and which woman is also one who has been excused from the consequences of having committed high crimes prior to becoming POTUS can not be resisted by a majority of Catholics.
Yes, we are a society of emasculated men and yet men who will vote for Trump are no better than the emasculated men who will vote for the gal married to an Impeached POTUS who, it certainly appears to be the case, raped a woman.
But our exceptional country has had a lot of, um, men of questionable character in our colorful past, haven’t we?
And so what if one of the lessons to be learned from The Books of Kings is that an entire nation will suffer for the serious vices of its King and that an entire nation will be blessed if its King is virtuous, well, that was not written about our exceptional nation and so we are excepted from that rule of reality.
On election day, stay home, drink some quality cabernet, and listen to Vivaldi.
My suggestion for folks who really feel pangs of conscience about non-participation in liberalism’s liturgy is to take the time they would have spent voting and spend it instead before the Blessed Sacrament, praying for the good of our country. It seems to me that this alternative use of time and resources is vastly more effective at achieving the good.
But a good book and a single malt (to propose a variation on the theme) is, I concede, better use of resources than voting.
“All the doors that Trump supporters think they can slam shut were blown off their hinges in the age of Reagan and Carter, if not before. Please.”
We’re about physical walls, not metaphorical doors.
But a good book and a single malt (to propose a variation on the theme) is, I concede, better use of resources than voting.
Or you could at least draw inspiration from the alt-right and do whatever little bit you can to create or encourage alternatives to the liberal establishment. Even if it’s just volunteering to be an editor at Infogalactic to do something to help keep it from being taken over a la Wikipedia.
Do you see the alt-right as an alternative to the liberal establishment?
Another thing about all of the spittle flecked shrieking about Trump’s treatment of women, it shows how little most cucks care aobut treason and serious corruption of public office. They cannot seem to even get around to speaking at all about those things in the Clinton camp except to defend themselves by making it sound like they have something other than a singular focus on Trump’s faults.
Yes. It is an alternative to our current liberal establishment. It still has liberal elements in it, but it is the first real signs of life of a large chunk of the right starting to question liberalism.
So would you consider your support of the alt-right as a sort of layover on the flight to an illiberal nation?
What do you think I am doing here, Kemosabe?
I consider what is labeled the ‘alt right,’ in the current year, to be a perfectly predictable (and predicted) spasm as liberalism attempts to cope with – and find someone to blame for – its own comprehensive triumph.
I don’t know what world you are seeing. I see almost nobody fundamentally rejecting liberalism or even grasping how to begin questioning it.
Liberalism, remember, consists of free and equal new men and oppressor classes which are officially hated. In the current year that is ‘anyone but straight white men’ and straight white men, respectively.
Every now and then, when a Final Solution fails to achieve finality, the oppressor-untermensch rebels and attempts to switch from oppressor class to superman while declaring a new oppressor-untermensch class as the subhumans who have been screwing up liberalism.
Notably, a certain race of our Semitic friends made the switch during the twentieth century; though the cost to them was millions of their brothers and sisters rounded up, gassed, and incinerated by a then-superman now-subhuman group — a group consisting mainly of straight white men. On the basis of that great sacrifice the Jews managed to switch from subhuman oppressor to superman victim class.
I see no real evidence of mass-scale fundamental rejection of liberalism. The question of the current spasm isn’t whether we will finally rid the world of the scourge of liberalism. It is just a matter of who will emerge from the upcoming spasm as the oppressor-subhuman who gets blamed for screwing liberalism up, and who will belong to the new superman-victim class.
The ‘alt-right’ seems to me to be very much an American movement, and like all American movements I’m aware of, it carries with it a stubborn refusal to reject America’s liberal foundations.
The 20th century already showed us what happens when you decide to reject parts of liberalism yet hold on to the “free and equal new man vs. the oppressor untermensch” narrative. Sadly this narrative is woven into the very fabric of our young nation and I don’t know how we get rid of it.
Far-right European groups aren’t much better, but at least European nations have long-standing ethnic traditions, an authentic Christian tradition (Roman Catholicism for most but also Christian Orthodoxy in the East), and a rich history from which to draw upon. It certainly will never happen so long as European nationalists cling to the overarching liberal narrative, but at least tradition is there for them to grasp on to. At least European peoples have the option to return to the culture, religion, and beliefs of their fathers, and pick up as a people where they left off two and a half centuries ago.
Americans have no such luxury. Our tradition is liberalism, our national Christianity is a hodge-podge of all the worst heresies to get booted off the European continent, and we have no real ethnic identity as a people. As long as the ‘alt-right’ exists as another liberal American movement at its core, I don’t see how it makes things better.
Zippy, does your stance against voting extend to Yes/No votes on specific laws? For example, Colorado’s ballot includes a law that would allow assisted suicide. In your opinion, should Colorado residents vote on such a measure?
Rejecting a bad law in a referendum is a ‘hard case’ for my moral theory of mass market liberal democratic voting, because it lacks the confounding property of material cooperation with evil with a bad candidate or law. The same would apply with a ‘none of the above’ option for candidates, if a particular jurisdiction provided that option.
But the remaining facts still apply. It is still the case that you have de facto zero influence over the outcome: that the potency of your vote is literally below the chad-counting software bug noise floor of the process. So the entire moral evaluation rests on whether or not it is good to vote independent of your influence on the outcome, which is negligible, given a ballot which our liberal democratic process has produced.
In my view voting in the current year and its concomitants in such a case – understood as distinct from outcome – remains wrong.
Consider a Moloch Cocktail Party. At the Moloch Cocktail Party, innocent babies and other defectives are sacrificed in a big blood ritual to Moloch, and you can cast votes for your marginal preferences on various predetermined questions. Suppose one of the things you can cast votes for is to sacrifice fewer black babies to Moloch, say by limiting the age of sacrifice to 3 years old. This is put onto the ballot as a way of enticing people like you to come to the party and act like a good, civilized Molochite. Millions of people attend these parties around the country, so your vote has effectively no influence.
You have the choice of protesting the whole thing by refusing to attend at all, or of attending and politely casting your vote for fewer black baby murders. Which should you do?
Our situation is objectively quite similar if not identical to this, which can be seen once you extricate yourself from focusing on marginal outcomes over which you have no influence.
Liberalism, remember, consists of free and equal new men and oppressor classes which are officially hated. In the current year that is ‘anyone but straight white men’ and straight white men, respectively.
For the sTrumpets, it seems to be the other way around.
Remember, a particular instance or kind of liberalism is distinguished from other liberalisms by (1) its unprincipled exceptions, and by (2) whom it considers to be the oppressor (subhuman) and whom the oppressed (free and equal superman). (What they have in common is commitment to liberalism).
Naturally nobody sees his own group as subhuman oppressor, so it is ‘normal’ (in a liberal context) for straight white men to reject their categorization as the officially hated group.
Now there is nothing wrong with straight white men rejecting their own categorization as the officially hated group, as long as that rejection includes unequivocal rejection of liberalism (political modernity) itself. But that isn’t what I am seeing on the alt right; and in any case it is difficult for straight white men to reject liberalism, since we invented it in the first place.
Sorry to post here again, but I was thinking a bit more about this and I thought I should report back on what I figured, since this is what got me thinking about voting in first place.
My initial post here was more about how I understand merit works in corporate situations. That is, how you evaluate individual actions of people that works as a group. I am not sure whether my understanding of this is correct, but what I suppose is that the merit of a good deed done by a group is not so much divided between the members of the group, but rather it is equal to the merit of the whole, but lessened by how perfectly each member participates in the group. In the same way that each member of the Mystical Body of Christ receive the merits of His sacrifice not by dividing them (which would be impossible, given that action was infinitely good), but rather by a participation according to love to our Lord (by the way, if I am saying something dumb here, apologies. I am on shaky ground here, but this is how I understand this at least).
At any rate, I figured that it would be possible to have a situation where the merit of voting as a groups (thus circumventing the very real issue of your single vote not mattering in the grand scheme of things) would be greater than the evil caused by giving an unintended scandal.
However, when I was thinking today, I think I finally understood Zippy’s point. The issue, as far as I can understand, is this:
Liberalism is, in a way, similar to the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Much like that fruit, it makes us begin to determine good and evil by ourselves, by our own metrics. It fools us into thinking we are lords of our own destiny and that we can act like gods. Take, for instance, the bitter fruit of communism in China, where a frightening number of abortions have been performed (I’ve heard 336 millions in the last 40 years). The policy there still make many westerns, people completely caught in the modern idea of liberty, to shudder. But wouldn’t liberalism do that all and more, if it deemed it needed to? If man only puts faith into his own hands, and they believe, say, that the number humans in the world will cause an unmitigated disaster if they are not culled, wouldn’t they go even further than this, and believe all the while they are making a sacrifice for the greater good? All this madness seems to me necessary once you believe that destiny is up to you. It would be the case even if you believe in God, or in a god, but if you didn’t trust him above your own devices.
And thus we get to the issue (sorry for taking so long). I suppose some people trying to get others to vote so, say, liberal abortion laws aren’t passed in the near future, mean well. But these people make the same mistake the liberals make. They trust more in their own hands than God’s mercy. Zippy, you are completely right when you say time voting would be better spent in front of the Blessed Sacrament. And I thank you for making me see that.
There is some validity in looking at group efforts in this way. In the case of mass market democratic elections we are looking at group efforts to win the election. In this specific kind of case we have to consider the consequences of our effort to win, whether or not we succeed or fail, separately from the consequences if we in fact win.
The fallacy in most analyses of material cooperation with evil in voting is that they only consider the latter. This is ironic and entirely fallacious given the negligible potency we have to actually affect the outcome.
In order to make common cause to (e.g.) elect Donald Trump, you are going to have to work with a lot of right liberals that you know personally and ignore your fundamental differences with them. Your personal reinforcement of their right liberalism is a real, tangible effect of your actions: your personal capacity to affect the outcome is negligible. By making common cause with them in attempting to achieve an electoral result, you undermine your own criticism of liberalism even if you manage to make a vocal criticism of liberalism effectively toward everyone with whom you cooperate, and in doing so manage to avoid having the group anathametize you and your silly opinions. The more influence you try to have on the group, the more you have to suppress and hide your illiberalism.
And there is literally no point whatsoever in voting as a purely isolated, private act. All that that accomplishes is to affirm the legitimacy of the whole liturgy to the folks standing in line.
I’ve explained this in a bunch of ways in a bunch of different posts, but it is at one and the same time the central point and the very thing that people find counterintuitive to the point of incomprehension.
The more influence you hope to have, the more you must first ignore and then embrace and affirm liberalism. The objective potency of your affirmation of liberalism always vastly outweighs your potency in terms of determining the outcome.
Thanks for the reply, Zippy, and sorry for the overly long comment.