Karen Swallow Prior: Voting for Neither


Author and Professor Karen Swallow Prior on voting third-party in the upcoming election.

Candidates for office should be evaluated based on what they want to accomplish and how they will do it. On this basis, I cannot vote for either Biden or Trump.

While I am not a single-issue voter, the protection of human life and dignity tops my hierarchy of political concerns. Neither Trump nor Biden addresses these matters consistently, holistically, or satisfactorily.

For me, as well as for many other Americans, abortion is a social justice issue. In aiming to increase abortion access and funding locally, nationally, and globally, Biden and the Democratic Party’s position is so extreme that it is out of step with the majority of Americans, even most who are pro-choice. Some will assert that the decline of abortion rates which followed a peak in the 1980s is the direct result of Democratic policies and that, therefore, laws regulating abortion are not the most significant factor in its reduction. Perhaps this is so. However, the most important function of the law is to protect human life, dignity, and rights. Tragically, U.S. law has failed to do this too often throughout history (and even today). But such failures are all the more reason to ensure that this primary purpose is fulfilled. Just as racism, for example, must be fought in hearts and laws, so, too, human lives must be guarded by both. Conversely, while refusing to elect a racist won’t in itself end racism, it sure does help. Likewise, abortion will not be reduced by electing one who champions it. I will eliminate for consideration a candidate who does not support this basic function of the law.

President Trump, on the other hand, switched from being pro-choice to pro-life while running for president in 2016. Even so, his record on abortion since then …

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