I often hear Christians ask why they should vote for the lesser of two evils. Here’s why:
“The lesser of two evils” is another way of saying “the better of two alternatives.” The Bible is not opposed to you making the best choice available between imperfect alternatives. In an imperfect world, when you choose between persons, your choices are always imperfect. They always entail the lesser or the least of evils, whether two or more. Given the depth and extent of human depravity and delusion, it can be no other way. It never has been and it never will be otherwise. No king, queen, prince, princess, premier, president, prime minister, senator, representative, governor, mayor, or school board member can possibly be an exception, whether they were born to the job or were elected to it. Some choices might be better than others, but they always will be imperfect. You always will be voting for the lesser or the least of two (or more) evils. No other choice can ever present itself.
Not only are the choices imperfect, but so also is the chooser. No voter escapes imperfection. No voter escapes personal or intellectual evil. But one never hears -- or at least I never hear -- those who complain about “the lesser of two evils” apply that complaint to themselves and to other voters, only to candidates. They complain about voting for the lesser of two evils, but not about letting “the lesser of two evils” vote. If one is a purist and says we ought to vote only for someone who is better than the lesser of two evils then, by their principles, only those who are better than the lesser of two evils should vote. The purists apply higher standards to candidates than they do to themselves and to other voters.
An aside: If you decline to vote for the lesser of two evils and vote instead for someone who has no reasonable chance of victory, or if you exclude yourself from voting altogether, you make at least two errors.
(1) You prevent yourself from voting for one of the only two candidates who can win, leaving the choice of winner entirely to others, thus robbing yourself of any meaningful exercise of your franchise in this regard. If the government prevented you from voting for the winner, you would call it tyranny. But if you prevent yourself from voting, you call it principle. You are wrong. Of the two choices available to you -- voting for an imperfect winner or not -- you have chosen the worst of two evils, namely self-imposed disenfranchisement.
(2) You have clearly misidentified who is and who is not the best available candidate. If candidate X is doomed to failure, while candidates A and B are not, and you vote for X anyway, then you do not know either the better or the best. “Doomed to failure” means that your candidate is not even the lesser of two evils, but is actually politically worse than the greater of two evils.