Grappling with the Gray

Grappling with the Gray #64: Is the lesser of two evils still evil?

September 27, 2023 Yonason Goldson Episode 64
Grappling with the Gray
Grappling with the Gray #64: Is the lesser of two evils still evil?
Show Notes

Is the lesser of two evils still evil?

That's the topic the ethics panel takes up on this week's episode of Grappling with the Gray.

Here is our dilemma:

2024 is shaping up to be the third presidential election in a row where the majority of Americans oppose both candidates.  A recent Economist/YouGov poll found 56% of voters don’t want former Donald Trump to run for re-election and 59% don’t want Joe Biden to, either.  Yet odds are that’s exactly what we’re going to get.

Granted that there are no perfect candidates, and realistically we can’t expect to agree with any candidate on everything.  But if I conclude that one candidate is unfit to serve, whether because of character or competence or both, is it ethical for me to vote for that candidate anyway solely because the opposing candidate is even worse?

One common refrain is that voting for a third party candidate is either a wasted vote or a vote for the opposition.  But never in history has any vote with an electorate of more that 25,000 people been decided by one vote.  Which means that my vote by itself will not make a difference in the outcome.  If so, why should I not vote my conscience?

In his book Integrity, Yale Law Professor Stephen L. Carter writes:  I look forward to the day when we as voters will say, “I agree with So-and-so on most of the issues, but I could never vote for somebody who would say this or do that in order to win.”  Without discussing the merits or flaws of any specific candidate, why do so few Americans seem to accept Professor Carter’s ideal?

Meet this week’s panelists:

JC Glick is a retired Army Ranger Lieutenant Colonel. He is a leadership, strategy, and culture advisor, as well as an author and TEDx speaker.

Sarah Kalmeta, aka Sarah the Pivoter, is a speaker, author and relentless truthseeker. She is founder of Pivot Point International, a high performance consulting company.

S. Scott Mason, aka the Myth Slayer, is a speaker, podcast host, and coach working with executives and entrepreneurs to Magnetize & Monetize Professional Freedom by Dislodging Toxic Myths to Ignite the Charisma Within.