There's a debate going on about whether conservatives who refuse to vote for Rudy Giuliani to prevent a Hillary Clinton president are responsible if, because of that refusal, Hillary Clinton becomes president. I would have thought that the answer to this question is an obvious yes. But Joe Carter presents a contrary argument. His argument is basically as follows:
1. Only those who positively vote for someone could be responsible for that person winning.
2. People not voting or voting for a third-party candidate are not positively voting for Hillary Clinton.
3. Therefore, people not voting or voting for a third-party candidate could not be responsible if Hillary Clinton wins.
The first premise is flatly false. If a large enough voting bloc en masse decides not to prevent someone they see as the worse of two evils from being elected, and their influence prevents the lesser of two evils from being elected, then they are indeed responsible for the election of the worse of two evils. They might argue that it's still wrong to vote for the lesser of two evils. They might insist that being responsible for the worse of two evils winning is ok, since it would require doing something they believe to be immoral to achieve a different outcome. But the one position that Jop does actually say is just plain untenable.
Here is, according to the hypothetical, a group who could put Giuliani over the top to win, but because they didn't vote or voted for a third candidate Hillary Clinton wins. In that hypothetical, their not voting or voting third-party does indeed cause the Clinton victory. They are indeed responsible as a group, because the group did have the power to prevent that outcome and didn't use it.
Now it seems the rest of Joe's post is dedicated to defending the following claim. The people really to blame are GOP primary voters who put people like him in a position where both parties have candidates he won't vote for. If they had voted differently in the primary, then that wouldn't happen. Joe is correct, but that doesn't mean that the subsequent act of social conservatives to refuse to do what's now in their power to prevent a Hillary Clinton presidency is free from the same moral evaluation. Just because someone puts you in a tough position doesn't mean you don't have to do what's right in that tough position. You still have to make a moral choice, and you are responsible for your choice and its foreseeable consequences.