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  1. In past presidential elections ideologically-driven party members found themselves frustrated. Do I vote for the moderate, compromising candidate who is likely to win, or do I side with the person who will fight the good fight, tooth and nail? Recently, this struggle faced Republicans, more than Democrats. Both McCain (2008) and Romney (2012) presented as conservatively as they could, but those on the right saw them as weak “go along to get along” politicians. Democrats had the presidency, and while a few liberal activists wished Obama would do even more, very few would accuse him centrism. Conservatives were asked to hold their noses and for “the lesser of two evils.” This year is a different scenario, but with the same dilemma—on both sides of the aisle. Democrats face a choice between Hillary Clinton, perceived as a centrist, with experience, and potential legal problems, on the one hand, and a socialist, promising big government programs, and to "soak the rich," on the other. Republicans appear ready to nominate a populist, who takes “extreme” positions that are left, right and centrist. His fiery, confrontational style has thrown the moderates in his party into a huge struggle. The mantra from both parties’ leadership is the same: vote for the lesser of two evils. If you cannot vote FOR our candidate, then vote AGAINST the opponent. What is different this year is that some Sanders supporters may vote for Donald Trump, if Clinton is nominated. They are not party loyalists, and prefer Trump’s confrontation of the establishment to Clinton’s defense of status quo. Likewise, some Republicans will abstain from voting for President. A few may vote for a third party candidate. Some will even vote for Mrs. Clinton. As a Christian, a minister, and a chaplain, I struggle with this dilemma. Do I vote for the lesser of two evils? Do I abstain because I find all choices morally objectionable? Do I pick a third party candidate, or write in one of the losing candidates, just to make a statement? Thomas Trask, former General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God, recently declared that every Christian should vote. If we do not know who to vote for, he insisted we get on our knees in prayer, and seek God’s wisdom. This is wise counsel. Personally, I’ve determined that I will vote, and I will choose one of the two major party nominees. America’s two-party system works. It generally leaves us with a president who has won a majority support and relatively broad approval. Which one will do the least to undermine society’s virtue? Which one will, at least indirectly, protect religious liberty and public morality? Both candidates have leadership skills, and can garner wise counsel, to rule competently. So, my choice will be based mainly on social issues, and on the candidates’ fidelity to the Constitution—especially the underlying understanding that our rights and freedoms are God-given, and that our laws merely protect what the Almighty has already provided.