Would You Vote for a Racist Candidate?

By Guillermo Moreno

April 19, 2020

‘Would you vote for a candidate who is racist? If not, then why would you vote for one who favors abortion?’ This is the rhetorical question that I pose to anyone who calls themselves “Catholic” and who advocates for a political candidate who is in favor of abortion. The point is to shed light on the fact that abortion is worse than racism. Abortion is the direct killing of innocent human life,[1] whereas racism is an attitude of disdain for people who are not of one’s race; it is the doctrine that one’s own racial group is superior or that a particular racial group is inferior to the others.[2]

 

History does show that racism can be exercised to the horrific extent of genocide, but to get a point across, let’s say that “being racist” is the attitude itself, exercised subliminally, such as by sitting further away from someone of a perceived inferior or menacing race while on the bus, or exercised vocally, such as by critiquing folks of other races or joking about them. For example, at a Thai restaurant with family members (we are of Central-American descent), a relative of ours pretended to address us all in Chinese as he passed over the curry chicken and taking the pad thai from across the table, etc. doing so even as the Asian waitress walked by. At least one other relative who was at table with us laughed at the joke.

 

This is obviously a poor taste in humor, and inarguably racist. But two of our relatives thought it was funny, and no one’s rights were actually violated. In fact, my relative exercised his right to freedom of speech. As racist as that act was, it was not to the extent of violating anyone’s rights.

Which brings me to my point. Racism has its various degrees (humor, hatred, prejudice, etc.) and God will judge the individual who has such a mindset. When it comes to abortion, however, voters must be alarmed that a candidate who is running for office seeks to legislate in a way that puts other people’s fundamental right to life in jeopardy. God will judge those candidates as well, and those who vote for them and thus helping the pro-choice candidate to take office and authorize abortion.

Whether we like it or not, people have the right to be racist in attitude and vocally, but they don’t have the right to violate other people’s rights, such as causing them physical harm up to the point of killing them. That is exactly what abortion does, though. After having this argument several times with Catholics who vote for pro-choice candidates, whether or not those Catholic voters themselves support abortion, I realize two things: either such voters would be permissible of the potential legalization of abortion depending on the circumstances (in this case, racism), or they don’t really acknowledge that abortion is murder or evil.

We can see this clearly in the reactions of the 2016 presidential elections, in which Republican nominee Donald Trump was accused of racism and called “literally Hitler.” Comedian Bill Burr refers to Adolf Hitler as the “Michael Jordan of evil” because when someone does something gravely evil, he is compared to Adolf Hitler. Admittedly, Hitler’s motives were racist, but he is infamous precisely for going to the extent of violating the right to life of six million people, not merely for hating on them. Yet, the evil itself is associated with the racism instead of the murder. That’s clear in this case due to Trump’s apparent racism and despite his vocally prolife stance.

But this exposes an interesting revelation. For the sake of argument, let’s say that Trump is in fact racist. Be that as it may, he ran on a platform that sought no legislation that was racist in and of itself. It’s not like he sought to bring back Jim Crow laws, which legalized racial segregation. So even if he is racist, he didn’t even pose a threat to violate people’s rights based on race. On the contrary, he vocalized his stance against abortion. His opponent, however, 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, regardless of whether or not she is racist, was vocally in favor of abortion. According to what they proposed to legislate, one advocated for violating other people’s rights, while the other advocated against such violations. Yet, Trump was demonized as comparable to one of history’s most infamous monsters, while Clinton received no similar treatment despite her stance in the murder of the unborn for the sake of one’s choice. This shows how certain Trump haters and or “prolife” people believe that racism is worse than abortion, and that allowing abortion is better than allowing someone to have racist opinions but not legislate according to those views.

This article is not in any way meant to endorse Donald Trump per se. Rather, it’s meant to show that abortion is worse than racism (once again, in attitude and in speech). Of course, if a political candidate sought to take away any kind of people’s rights based on race, especially the right to life, then voters would have the moral duty to vote against such an individual. Some candidates do aim to violate the rights of others, but whether their motives are racist or not must be critically examined. This does call for a separate article addressing Trump’s vocally harsh approach to illegal immigration and his actions once in office.

Regardless, racism is not a threat amid the 2020 presidential elections. No one is trying to legalize racism once more (unless that includes the agenda of the Alt-Right and/or affirmative action, both which call for separate articles), much less to the extent of murder. However, the Democratic platform includes abortion.[3] Therefore, an entire political party is striving to legalize murder. It would be immoral to vote for a pro-choice candidate. If the excuse to vote for a pro-choice candidate is in order to dethrone a racist Trump, then one would have to make a bullet proof argument to explain why legalizing abortion outweighs Trump being racist.

I conclude by affirming that the allegations of Trump’s racism are misleading, but that does call for a separate article. Furthermore, for clarification, and possibly for relief to the reader who would rather not join the Republican party, a practicing Catholic owes no loyalty to any political party or candidate per se. What Catholics must not do is to vote for a candidate for office whose authority would legalize abortion.[4]

 

Endnotes

[1] Pope John Paul II, The Gospel of Life (Boston, MA: Pauline Books and Media, 1995), pgs. 95-96.

[2] Dictionary.com - https://www.dictionary.com/browse/racist?s=t

[3] Democrats.org - https://democrats.org/where-we-stand/party-platform/ensure-the-health-and-safety-of-all-americans/

[4] Catholic Answers, Voter’s Guide for Serious Catholics (San Diego, CA: Catholic Answers Press, 2012), pg. 6.

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