Voting in a paradoxical world

I think this headline is unhelpfully reductive, but I DO believe this discussion from Quartz’s article Ethicists say voting with your heart, without a care about the consequences, is actually immoral to be crucial for progressives right now (h/t Chris Koski!):

‘The purpose of voting is not to express your fidelity to a worldview. It’s not to wave a flag or paint your face in team colors; it’s to produce outcomes,’ says Jason Brennan, a philosopher at Georgetown University and author of The Ethics of Voting. ‘If they’re smart, they’ll vote for the candidate likely to best produce the outcome they want. That might very well be compromising, but if voting for a far-left or far-right candidate means that you’re just going to lose the election, then you’ve brought the world further away from justice rather than closer to it.’

This is an opinion based on its own set of values and assumptions that I happen to be aligned with, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only one, or even the “right” one. My personal balance of principles vs. known consequences leads me to be a vocal voter for Hillary *while working to continually find resonant ways to advocate for a progressive agenda. Vitally, though, I don’t hold this opinion lightly OR without open questioning.


There is a distinct gray area—out of which emotional maturity is born—that lies between holding firm on a principle or commitment and opting out in a cloud of questioning and/or noncommittal relativism. I believe this crucial balance to be in play on both the macro-level of this election and individually in our capacity to hold more than one truth at a given time. What does it mean to live responsibly through such ambiguity? No matter your political position, it’s clear that we are all challenged to find our own personal balance of acting on our 1.) principles vs. known consequences, and 2.) steadfastness to our commitments vs. remaining open to other worldviews and priorities.

It’s a paradoxical world we inhabit, compelling us to operate not by facts as our paradigm pretends to but by an impossibly gray makeup of subjective truths and universal realities. More relevant and helpful than asking “What is moral?” might be: *Where on the ___ spectrum is your own personal fulcrum placed, in *what context, through *what lived experiences, and aspiring toward *what visions for the world? ‪#‎adulthood‬

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