Grave Evil and Political Responsibility

I will let a single historical example illustrate what I think is the strange naivete of finding no worthwhile difference among such parties. In 1860, American voters faced four choices for President: John Breckenridge, an open defender of southern slavery; Stephen Douglas and John Bell, who favored trying to keep the peace by ignoring the question of slavery; and Abraham Lincoln, who opposed slavery extension but held that slavery must be respected in states where it already existed. Since chattel slavery of millions of human beings is a grave moral evil, all of these candidates were involved in that evil to one extent or another. Yet it ought to be evident that the morally responsible choice was to vote for Lincoln, since that was a vote to contain the evil to the extent realistically possible at the time.

via Grave Evil and Political Responsibility « Public Discourse.


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