Principled voters have been placed in an understandable quandary by the state of the presidential election. Hillary Clinton is a leftist steeped in entrenched corruption and shady dealing. Donald Trump is a lecherous liar who built his fortune proving James 2:6 correct and has now embraced a schizophrenic and alarmingly neo-fascist set of policies. Neither shows any remotely believable commitment to protecting innocent life or to governing justly.
Neither is fit to be president, and yet the two appear to be the only possible options. It’s hard to blame Republicans–even high profile Republicans–for giving up and fearfully choosing to support Trump to avoid Clinton. However, working to put a deranged fascist in power not only isn’t the only option, it shouldn’t even be under consideration.
That Trump is unfit for the presidency barely needs saying. He is eminently disqualified both for his utter lack of sound moral character and for his staggering ignorance of current events, even if his policies weren’t equal parts haphazard and repulsive.
This much is rarely even disputed among most of his supporters. Instead, they point to Clinton and claim she’ll be worse. Some of the claims about Clinton are obviously batty–she’ll end free elections, outlaw Christianity, or set up concentration camps–but many have merit. She’s corrupt, her policies would be as destructive as Obama’s, and it’s clear that her election would be a step backward for the country.
What isn’t clear is that fear of that step backward is an adequate warrant to place an ungodly would-be tyrant in power. The Apostle Paul’s inspired admonition not to “do evil that good may come” does become cloudy where politics is concerned, and yet if the principle behind it has any meaning, surely it must apply to deliberately putting an evil man in power. It’s one thing to be beaten by an evil man seeking power, as happened in the Republican primary, but it’s quite another to go out of your way to put him in power–to know that a man who mocks God by falsely claiming His name while shamelessly committing all manner of evil holds power not because your best efforts failed, but because you decided he ought to. Indeed, there can be little doubt that one of Trump’s first acts should he take office would be to break his oath to uphold the Constitution (and then break it again), and those who put him in office knowing that to be the case would find themselves dangerously close to helping a man to break his oath.
Wouldn’t it be better to fight both diabolical tyrants, rather than only one? If we must lose, wouldn’t we rather lose for a cause we can take pride in? It would be one thing to face the country–and ultimately God–knowing that you’d done your best to prevent disaster. It would be much worse to know that you deliberately chose to create the disaster simply because you were afraid.
There is another way, and politically involved Christians don’t need to choose disaster. A number of third-party candidates have done their best to take up the standard of freedom the Republican Party so flamboyantly discarded.
The Libertarians faceplanted in their attempt, and instead put forward a truly dreadful totalitarian who opposes any cuts to funding for abortion providers. Tom Hoefling, America’s Party’s nominee, did better at presenting a conservative alternative, but struggled to gain any significant ballot access. After the more establishment brand of Republicans failed to find a candidate, Evan McMullin stepped forward to provide an alternative for that group, but his positions on controversial issues are alarmingly murky and despite being well funded he, too, has struggled with ballot access due to his late start. That leaves only Constitution Party candidate Darrell Castle, who leads the three conservative third-party candidates in ballot access, with a ballot slot in 24 states with 207 electoral votes, write-in status in another 10 with 101 electoral votes, and a campaign to gain write-in status in 15 with 220 electoral votes (only Oklahoma’s restrictive ballot access laws stopped him).
Castle has a long career serving his country. He volunteered for the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War, served for four years, and retired as a first lieutenant. Since then, he established a law firm in Tennessee and became politically active, serving in leadership positions in the Constitution Party and even running for Vice President in 2008. His political positions are conservative across the board, and his knowledge of and commitment to the Constitution is admirable–in particular, his defense of original intent as the only way of preserving the rule of law, something our writers here have touched on as well. In addition, his commitment to protecting innocent life, born and unborn, is both credible and reasoned: he not only claims to be pro-life, he backs it up by proposing a real solution (jurisdiction stripping) to the Supreme Court’s murderous overreach. Unlike Trump (or Libertarian Gary Johnson, for that matter) he promises that he will veto any federal spending for Planned Parenthood and any other abortion provider. His profession of faith is reflected in serving his local church and founding an orphanage in Romania, not merely in public pronouncements, as is all-too-common in US politics, and he seems to have demonstrated fruit worthy of his profession.
(As an aside, it’s worth noting that some of Cruz’s supporters saw that in an episode of his podcast, The Castle Report, Castle appears to give some credence to a few of the more ridiculous attacks on Cruz, and have savaged him for his apparent betrayal while Cruz was battling Trump. Castle emphatically denies the charge that he was attacking Cruz, and asserts to the contrary that Cruz is the “best example of a true gentleman and statesman left in the Republican Party” and that if he were a Republican he’d have voted for Cruz. There seems to be little support, then, for the charge that Castle had an irrational vendetta against Cruz.)
Where Castle has faults, it is because he might have a little overzealous in critiquing a fellow conservative, or because he lacks charisma, or because he might be a bit naive at times. He isn’t being quoted praising a pedophile for liking his women “on the younger side” or slandering victims of rape. He doesn’t have to pass off his donations to Rahm Emmanuel and Harry Reid as bribes, nor does he have to explain actually taking bribes. By all accounts he is a good man trying to do the right thing for the right reason, and he’s done well.
It appears likely that we will see a tyrant elected president. If we must, Darrell Castle is the kind of man I want to be fighting beside in opposition. Let’s raise a standard we can truly be proud of, and if we must lose, let’s lose with clean consciences fighting for what we believe, not fighting for one of our enemies.
Let’s get behind Darrell Castle.