Service of Voting for One Issue: What’s the Thinking Behind it?

October 29th, 2020

Categories: Disagreement, Flexibility, Questions, Strategy, Vote

If I insisted on having to agree 100 percent with friends, and if each one needed to act the way I would in every instance, I’d have none.

My parents didn’t always agree about politics, how strict to be with me, what film to see or event to attend, so there was plenty of lively conversation in my childhood home. This, I suspect, is why I am unlike some friends who say “If a person felt this way about __________ [name the subject such as global warming, religion or a political figure] I couldn’t be friends with them.” [There are obvious exceptions of extreme nature: If someone tortured people or animals for example that would be a deal breaker.]

Early voters NYC, October 2020

On the other hand, if most everything about a person is abhorrent to me–their behavior, beliefs, lifestyle, actions and ethics–we wouldn’t be pals even if we share one passion or background.

This is why I don’t understand how people support a politician when they agree with him or her about only one issue when the person otherwise exemplifies everything else they oppose.

For example, on social media, @americamag, The Jesuit Review, asked: “Do we have to ignore the fact that Mr. Trump sometimes behaves in a manner unworthy of a president of the United States, and ignore the damage that he inflicts on the rule of law in our body politic, just because of his good pro-life policies?”  America Media describes itself  asthe leading provider of editorial content for thinking Catholics and those who want to know what Catholics are thinking.”

Pro-life initiatives are left in the dust by traditional “pro-lifers” who vote that issue alone such as health care for all, food for the hungry, clean water, keeping immigrant children with their parents, simple attempts–enforcing masks and social distancing–to control Covid-19 and the like. The irony is that you don’t have to partake in gambling or ingesting marijuana or taking prescription drugs or drinking alcohol if you disagree. What’s the difference?

Have you voted for someone for a single issue?  If people don’t see eye to eye on most everything else about a candidate, how do they justify their decision to vote for her/him? Are you inflexible in your friendships, refusing to see someone based on disagreement over one issue when you like most everything else?


4 Responses to “Service of Voting for One Issue: What’s the Thinking Behind it?”

  1. MarthaTakayama Said:

    I don’t recall having ever voted for a candidate just because of a single issue. I have found that when I do not favor or choose to vote for a given candidate it is because he or she represents more than one policy that I do not agree with. My husband always cautions me to avoid politics. A political science professor I had years ago, although I am not sure that it was accurate even then, that Latin Americans and Europeans didn’t shun people socially because of broad political divergences. It was in reference to the vestiges of the post-SenatorJosephMCarthy shaming of people. I do try to avoid conflicts and maintain respectful friendships with people who have different values. However, I am afraid that I cannot bear anyone who tolerates or supports our current President and his band of grifters and scoundrels. Those sympathies really make it very difficult to maintain a friendship.

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:


    One friend feels as you do about DJT but made an exception when it turned out that a relative was a supporter.

    The difference between candidates is vivid. One considers himself first and his followers, exclusively, second; the other espouses the opposite philosophy.

    I don’t know about Europe or Latin America. I’ve never lived there and as a tourist avoided politics as a subject. In the old days there was a distinction in class for some in France and in England that no doubt impacted voting choices. That may have changed.

  3. Lucrezia Said:

    The purpose of an election is to choose a person best qualified to represent everyone in a given district. These “right to life (RTL)” “pro-choice” “women’s” & etc., parties trumpet complete disregard for the democratic system in hopes of ramming one sided views and/or questionable programs down the communal throat.

    As things now stand, a stinging example of minority rule is exhibited in the US Senate, by a leader who knows that 70% of the country doesn’t want a new Supreme Court justice appointed until after the election. May his attitude of “country be damned” be repaid by loss of both Senate and his seat. We deserve better.

  4. jmbyington Said:


    He’s been running around like a dervish saying any old thing that comes to mind. Remarkable that in spite of his disregard for even his fans they continue to cheer and booo on command. 2 examples: the rally in Omaha where hundreds of his supporters waited in frigid temps for 3 hours for busses to take them back to a parking area to retrieve their cars and the Rose Garden fiasco. Both are symbolic of his administrations disrespect for others that amplifies the tone he sets. People don’t matter.

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