Who to Vote for If I Don’t Like Either Candidate?

Anonymous asked a question:

I have no idea what to do about the upcoming presidential election. I want to vote because I can, but I don’t see either of the options as fitting for the role. Any advice?

Hey dear friend, at the risk of alienating others: I also don’t want to vote for either candidate. I think that’s a perfectly legitimate option, all the way up to the voting booth.

Here’s the thing. An American President only has so much actual deciding power, as there are checks and balances to limit what one official can do (though of course, their policies are certainly a factor in how you vote). But my main concern is that the elected officials in any government are part of a greater social influence that describes and decides who we are as a country and a people.

I think the question that I ask is: How will my vote affect the story and direction of our country?

We may not agree on this, but I believe it’s critically important that the face of our country must be someone who, at least to the best of our situation, is capable of calling us to our most reasonable selves. If an elected official is an enabler of destructive attitudes and a “dog whistle” for anger and unrest, then our culture will shift towards this particular mentality at the political and social baseline. This is a subtle shift, and perhaps I’m generalizing, but every President we ever had always empowered a particular voice in our nation to the detriment of others.

We’d have to ask: Is this candidate I’m voting for going to help defuse our current racial tensions? Is this candidate going to hold themselves accountable as an example? Is this candidate capable of proper foreign policy as well as bridging the divisions between American individuals? Is this candidate a step forward in the tapestry of progress and history? Is this candidate the kind of person who can address grief, loss, and prayers with sincerity and movement?  

I don’t mean perfectly, but I mean: Who are we more or less comfortable with in directing our social and cultural narrative?

So I’m not trying to sway your opinion either way. I hope this is a fair assessment of our country right now (please tell me where I’m wrong, I’m open to talk). I can see how there are reasons to dislike both candidates, just as there are reasons why we might support them, too. The reason I don’t especially care for either is because I cannot imagine that they might truly repair much of the pain that our country is facing right now, without making it worse. But then, it is my responsibility to vote, and I must choose. Whoever is elected, I will be praying for that person, and rooting for them to do what is best. And regardless of any negative changes we may see, we’re still called to be politically and relationally active in the restoration of our people, as best we know how.


9 thoughts on “Who to Vote for If I Don’t Like Either Candidate?

  1. If you don’t like either candidate, don’t vote for either or vote for a third party. There are plenty of offices to vote for this fall, you can skip the presidency. In fact many times your local government probably has more impact on your daily life than the president does.

    Or you could choose the person who you think will do the best job at upholding the Constitution. The president’s job is defined by the Constitution, primarily to enforce (execute)the laws of this country. The president also appoints justices, determines foreign policy, and submits a budget to Congress. Choose the person that you think will best do these things. Even if you don’t like the person.

    Many of our presidents have been flawed, immoral, corrupt people. That is why we have checks and balances.

    Finally, don’t look to the president to be prophet, priest and King. You will always be disappointed and the role is already taken. Only Christ can heal our nation. No one else can.


    1. I have had people tell me they were voting not on who they liked because they didn’t like either candidate but on who would do the least damage. I have also heard people say they weren’t going to vote. I have some of the same feelings so I will tell you the questions I ask myself and the other considerations to make my decision. Are you happy with the direction the country is going and decisions of the current administration? Do you like the decisions the supreme court has been making and the country’s ever increasing debt? If you are vote for Hillary for more of the same. If you wish these things were different vote for Trump and have hope for the changes you want. The next president will will select at least one supreme court justice and possibly up to three. If Trump is elected his selections for the court will follow the laws as they were written only interpreting their meaning based on what the law when it was written. If Hillary is elected her selections will continue to change the meaning of laws based on what they want rather than the original meaning or declare the laws unconstitutional and throw it out even though it is the law. The court justices will serve for many years so this is a very important decision that reaches far beyond the next presidency. The election also effects future spending, future debt, jobs, and the economy. I hope the next president can fix the economy and the debt before the bankruptcy of the country.


  2. “Whoever is elected, I will be praying for that person, and rooting for them to do what is best. ”
    I think we forget to do this when Presidents are in office, especially ones we didn’t vote for.

    I am having a difficult time myself, especially when a candidate promotes fear, provokes anger and advocates exclusion based on race and religion. As followers of Christ, we are called to do exactly the opposite. I don’t want us to repeat history. Hyperbole and stereotyping doesn’t have a place in politics; it only takes us backward, not forward.


    1. Yes. Sometimes praying for them even means that God will rebuke them, revoke them, or do what is best in a way that we can’t see right now. It also means empowering us, the country, to speak up when necessary, with the right balance of passion and gentleness.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Well said. Ultimately our prayers, public dialogue and involvement will affect change. So let’s go to work and end the bickering America.


  4. I don’t like both Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton because they’re both have bad attitudes and I don’t like arrogant people so I’m NOT voting for anyone of them. I wish the 3rd party or independent candidates have more votes though… I’m not from the USA, but I feel bad for the future of USA if Trump or Clinton will be the president… I don’t like my country’s president too (I’m from the PH and I wish I was a Japanese or Norwegian instead)… 😔😕


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