To live in — and, by extension, participate in — a democratic-republic system automatically means that you are comfortable with the ends justifying the means. I’ve heard that phrase used to pejoratively refer to fellow Hillary supporters, but I actually think it applies to *everyone* involved.
If you don’t vote? Your means are a hearty shrug that justifies that whatever happens, happens, ’cause whatevs.
If you vote Republican in this election, you are saying that the means of bigotry, bullying, oppression, and the subjugation of fair working conditions for everyone justify either the maybe-possible potential of slight economic improvement for some people which hopefully includes yourself although you can’t guarantee, or that you’ve eradicated the “establishment elite” (whatever that means) from the system to usher in some form of change (whatever that means, although it includes the means that you already justified).
Alternately, if you vote Republican strictly because you want to crush women’s rights to choose, you are justifying those same means of bigotry, bullying, oppression, and subjugation of worker’s rights justify that maybe-possibly-hopefully-for-you, there will be no more abortions. More on Jesus in a bit.
If you vote Third Party, you are saying that the means of either federally funding a Third Party in the future, or absolving yourself from the process of a two-party system, justifies whatever the end result may be.
(I suppose that, more specifically and less defeatist, Libertarian voters are okay with losing some administrative protections for people in the hopes that our social and economic rules both eventually level out in the favor of some Utopian ideal of freedom. Green voters are okay with electing a self-serving pseudo-fascist whackjob in the hopes of justifying the passing of literally any part of a far-left progressive that I, personally, agree with, which is why I’m being so unnecessarily harsh to Stein.)
If you vote Democrat in this election, like I plan to do, you are saying that some obvious cases of collusion within the DNC at large, and some unfortunate foreign policy issues, are okay if it means that the vast majority of our fellow US citizens still get to enjoy their civil rights, and that there will be more opportunities for advancement in this country for people from all walks of life.
(I guess it also means that you’re okay with the means of a qualified if flawed leader who married a guy who can’t keep it in his pants, finally having the power to make some damn decisions)
And here’s where we get to the Jesus proverb, since the evangelical vote is so significant, and because Christian mythology so informs our social makeup, for better or for worse:
All of these situations involve throwing some stones — which, for the sake of this intellectual idiomatic exercise, are the “means” of the other overly-simplistic philosophy. None of our votes or beliefs come without baggage or compromise. And unfortunately, we are complicit in the means that justify our desired ends (specifically for the sake of rhetorical Facebook argumentative bullshit logic).
We all want to present an image of ideological purity, but unfortunately, that’s just not a realistic possibility, given the way our country (and world) functions.
So the question remains: which stones are you most comfortable throwing?