A Pragmatic Vote Versus a Principled Vote? Then Where Do I Fit In?
As I continue to dabble in a little more writing on politics, a theme I hear peripherally from my perspective among Christians is this idea that there is a moral (principled) vote according to conscience and a vote that is “pragmatic.” Please note: I haven’t endorsed any candidate and it is my goal here to clarify definitions and theories, not to take any side regarding Hillary versus Donald.
So let’s discuss this whole vote based on principles versus a pragmatic vote. To be honest with you, I got up early this morning and read several articles and only then began to obtain understanding in regard to this position. What prompted me to do so? Susan has been harping (because she is an angel) about this issue for some time and finally motivated me to look into it.
In one article I read, the author seemed to say that voting for a person imputes their values upon you as an individual; ie, you now own that person’s values. And because voting for a person imputes their values to you—you can no longer claim a high ground because you invested in the franchise and are therefore just as responsible for all of the debt. Or something like that.
Let me put forth some more honesty here: on its face, it seems to be either/or with nothing in-between epistemology. In this construct, there are two circles only: principled and unprincipled. And, pragmatism is relegated to the unprincipled circle. What is this? Sorry, but this is Dualism. As harped about on this blog often, Western culture is fundamentally divided into two interpretive constructs: Plato and Aristotle.
Plato proffered a strict dichotomy between material knowledge and invisible knowledge. Each knowledge has its unique distinction and there in no overlapping of application. For example, truth in the invisible circle NEVER changes, it is immutable. However, truth in the material circle is ever-changing which makes it patently untrue. In the Venn diagram, change is in the untruth circle and does not overlap with the truth circle as something that has a mutual relationship. If it changes—it’s not truth. Change is not something done by truth and untruth both—it is not a common element. This is Dualism.
Plato had a fundamental problem with the common man; he (man) believes the changing world before him is reality. Plato actually had a deep disdain for those supposedly enslaved to the five senses. These are those enslaved to the evil material world. This philosophy morphed into religious disciplines of Neo-Platonism and Gnosticism. The latter was the absolute primary nemesis of the first-century assembly of Christ.
Continuing on with defining this in painfully simplistic terms, Aristotle put forth the theory that common man can know reality by using the five senses. You may make two circles of material world and invisible world and overlap them with empirical knowledge. In this metaphysical construct, complex elements of reality are going to overlap with each other.
Now back to this idea that you either vote on principle or pragmatism which is in the unprincipled circle. It’s either/or. This also disdichotomizes personhood and ideology. In other words, you either accept the whole person or you utterly reject the whole person; either/or. In this Venn, there is no recognition of confusion within that person regarding their intellectual standing and how they actually function. It would reject, for example, that an intellectual deist can function like an atheist. A dualist will either define that person as a deist or an atheist with no in-between distinction. In regard to some of the articles I read, neither Hillary or Trump are confused about who they are. While I believe that about Hillary, I don’t think the same is true about the Donald. However, a dualist would reject this distinction…it’s either/or. The candidate is either principled or unprincipled, and since both are unprincipled, you declare yourself unprincipled by voting for either despite what you claim to the contrary.
This also disdichotomizes cause and effect from good and evil. One of the primary characteristics of dualism is the rejection of cause and effect. In the specific issue at hand, voting for Hillary or the Donald will yield the same effect because they are both of the unprincipled circle and the two circles share no common elements. Likewise, in the Protestant Venn of saved and unsaved, there is no overlapping of common good or cause and effect. Predeterminism, which is indicative of Dualism, therefore excludes cause and effect and also excludes common good in the same way that Platonism does.
So let’s bring this home. The construct at hand rejects a common element of good between the two candidates. In a good and evil Venn, both candidates are in the evil circle and there is no cause and effect or common good between good and evil. If a Boy Scout is unsaved, his act of helping a little old lady across the street is evil because he is of the material realm circle—there is no common good shared between saved and unsaved. And therefore, your vote for Hillary or Trump cannot be line-item. And, cause and effect are irrelevant if not a metaphysical misnomer—to vote for either of these two is voting for the person and not anything regarding a cause and effect produced by either; there is absolutely NO dichotomy between who these people are and the cause and effect elements that define them.
If you vote for either, you are voting for a person which imputes the unprincipled circle to your personhood as well. There are not common elements between the two circles of principled and unprincipled that will yield a different cause and effect.
Sorry folks, this is Dualism straight up. This is Plato and not Aristotle.
Now, let’s discuss how this indicts me in the way I voted from my perspective. I didn’t vote for either candidate, I voted for cause and effect elements. I didn’t vote for a person, I voted for a cause and effect element. Do you hear the sneers and jeers? How dare I think that there is a dichotomy between a person and what they will affect?!!!! If they are unprincipled, everything they do will be unprincipled, and therefore, I am unprincipled. I own it. If I think any choice has a line-item I believe there are common positives between the unprincipled circle and principled circle. But, this is merely a reframing of the evil/good Venn of Gnostic Dualism.
Let’s bring this more into focus. I am in the total caregiving industry. Hillary Clinton has promised to continue Barak Obama’s collectivist healthcare policies which are wreaking havoc on the home healthcare industry. I have personally seen at least one person under my care die because of these policies.
Full stop: I did not vote for freaking Donald Trump…ok? I voted for an element of his platform. A person is not necessarily a plenary principle unless you are a backdoor Platonist.
I didn’t vote for Trump, and if the truth be known, I didn’t vote at all, I went to cast a vote for my clients on their behalf because some of them are poor people who are quadriplegics and paraplegics. Some are severely mentally handicapped as well which also often entails quadriplegia.
And by the way, some of them hate Trump and would have voted for Hillary if they could. And hey, I understand why they feel that way, and that’s why I didn’t vote for him either. But I did vote for an element of a platform; a platform that at least promises to dismantle the collectivist “Affordable Care Act.” If this act continues, more of my clients will die and I am the one that will have to watch them die so I voted for a platform that has life in the charter. My humble apologies.
I also voted for my stillborn grandson, Isaiah. He isn’t where he can vote, but I am very confident that he is pleased about my vote for life. I voted against a platform that rips fully developed babies out of their mother’s wombs, not against Hillary. I voted against a principle, not a person because…
…a principle is not always a person.