Thabiti Anyabwile on Why Voting 3rd Party Shouldn’t Ease Your Conscience
Published May 12, 2016
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23 min
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    Last week, John Kasich and Ted Cruz suspended their presidential campaigns, making Donald Trump the presumptive Republican nominee. The news left many evangelicals praying for Nebraska senator and avid Trump critic Ben Sasse to jump into the race as a third party candidate and sharing Russell Moore’s article on voting for “the lesser of two evils.” D.C.-based pastor and writer Thabiti Anyabwile took a different tact. “Let the hate begin,” he tweeted earlier this week. “But if choice is between [Hillary] Clinton and Trump, I'm voting Clinton. I'll go back to not voting when this man is defeated!” But a lot of people aren’t convinced. Just prior to Cruz’s concession, polls showed anywhere between 16 percent to 24 percent of churchgoing evangelical voters faced with a Trump vs. Clinton matchup, would choose to stay home or vote for a third-party candidate. (Here’s a deep dive into the numbers.) Anyabwile, who has emphatically stated that he is no fan of Clinton, has abstained from voting in recent previous presidential elections. “For the last several elections, I’ve been that principled guy saying ‘I just can’t vote for anybody,’” Anyabwile said. “But this particular election has brought me to a place where I’m staring my principles in the face and I have a different type of crisis of conscience. I can’t opt for a personal type of quietism here, where I palliate my own conscience. I actually have to inform my conscience.” Anyabwile joins Katelyn and Morgan on this week’s Quick to Listen to discuss third party options, what it’s historically like to vote as an African American, and what makes the Trump option different. (5:49) In response to Trump's likely Republican win, many Christians are advocating for a third-party option. Thabiti, you have explicitly critiqued that option. Why? (15:42) What does it mean to inform your conscience? How should our consciences play a role in determining how to vote? How can they also mislead us? (17:35) It’s rare that most people have found candidates who represent all their interests—in fact, many times minorities have had candidates representing their parties who have little love or interest in serving their needs. To what extent are those calling for a third party candidate showing their privilege in expecting to have a candidate that primarily agrees with them?
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