If a nation has a national election with only so to speak "bad" candidates, what teachings from Tanakh, Talmud, Jewish law or Jewish ethics in general, and the mystical teachings of the Torah, can teach us about whether or not voting for the "lesser of evils" should be considered giving consent to that candidate's actions once they are elected, or to the system that produced him or her, even in cases where the voters did/do not specifically have any say in that system's creation, continuance, or significant change except for by voting?

I've come up with a better way than before, I think, to ask the question that gets beneath the surface of "should I vote or not?" and to the deeper, much more interesting layers: Say there is some fictional nation. John and Rob decide to run for its presidency. John campaigns that if elected, he will send 100,000 troops to fictional nation B. Rob campaigns he will send 50,000 troops there. The rest of the citizens want no war at all, but those are their only choices, so some vote for Rob so at least less troops will be sent.

When Rob wins and sends 50,000 troops, can he argue "they voted me in, therefore they consented to what I did" even though they had no legitimate choice really because the only other option was even worse, or can he not? Would that argument be correct, or incorrect?

The question is not "was it moral or immoral for Rob to send 50,000 troops to that nation," the question is, regardless of whether the action was moral or not, can he say they consented to it because they voted for him after he said he would do just that if elected? Or does the fact they never had a "fair" or "real" choice, or whatever word you would use, mean that they have not in any way consented to anything Rob does as president even though they voted for him, not even the things he told them he would do before they voted for him, due to the fact that they were stuck without a better choice than him? (Please assume for this question that the voters being asked about have no legitimate ability to run for president themselves due to the costs and influence required to become a legitimate candidate).

In other words, is only Rob responsible, or only Rob and John, or only Rob and John and whatever backers they had that helped ensure they would be the only two options on the ballot, for the actions Rob takes as president, or are the citizens who voted for him, or who voted period, also responsible? And does voting make the voters responsible for supporting the system itself they are voting within, even if they have no way to mass organize a nationwide "no vote" action and their individual abstainment from voting for the "lesser of evils" will not only fail to change the system, but also possibly be used as justification against them for why they got with the worse candidate? For example, we can all remember people who didn't vote being told "This is what you get for staying home and not voting!" after many elections ended with widely unpopular results.

Main question ends here, next two paragraphs are a modifier, and an idea for how to answer if people are stumped.

That's the question. This paragraph is just a modifier to it, which is, would the answers change, in the real world, depending on if it were Jewish or non-Jewish voters being asked about, or if it were an Israeli national election or a non-Jewish state's national election?

Lastly, if the question is stumping people, one idea where an answer might reveal itself is to examine, "what is the deeper spiritual meaning of voting?" Voting is something where you are putting your stamp of support to something. What effect might voting have in the higher worlds? You are literally putting your name down in support of another person, or a cause or organization, and it goes without saying how important names are in Torah and especially the mystical teachings of Torah. And yet, many times you have no good choices for who to support, thus this question. So if we can explore the deeper meanings of the Hebrew word for "vote," and what words are associated with it, especially ones singled out by authoritative sources, that might help us answer this, although there are multiple good ways to answer most questions so please don't feel constrained by this suggestion if you have other ways.

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    This post could be much more compelling if if included some motivation for why one might expect Judaism to address the specific questions raised in it. See judaism.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/2160/… for discussion of this issue.
    – Isaac Moses
    Jun 28, 2022 at 10:43
  • @IsaacMoses Im asking because until Moshiach comes almost all Jews live in democratic nations not monarchies, and as members of those nations, it's a decision we all have to make. Everything is in the Torah so I dont even understand such questions as "why one might expect Judaism to address this." I expect it to address every question we could ever think to ask, and if no Rabbi has addressed an issue specifically yet, then I would look for the next closest answer to be posted. Aug 11, 2022 at 7:12
  • @IsaacMoses But if you're asking what are the deeper lessons I am hoping to learn from the question, it is a question of whether making a binary choice within a corrupt system is considered as giving your consent to that corrupt system. I have a friend who argued that the gentile nations like USA are just corporations under maritime law and rather than voting in a U.S. election, and he is considering applying for sovereign citizenship, or I forget what he called it exactly. Aug 11, 2022 at 7:15
  • @IsaacMoses By not voting for the lesser of evils, you can get a worse outcome, which does more damage to the world, since many others will still vote and they may vote in the worse candidate. By voting for the lesser of evils, you get a better outcome, which helps the world, but my question is whether if by doing so, you are in some sense feeding the existence of the corrupt system? If nobody voted at all in a corrupt election, could the system go on existing or would it not? Aug 11, 2022 at 7:17
  • @IsaacMoses In its most summarized form, the question is basically whether voting counts as giving your consent to the system, so that even making the "right" choice out of two subpar options ("right" because all you have are the two, so if you pick the best one it is the right choice under the limitation of the two options you have which is out of your control) is consenting to something wrong? Aug 11, 2022 at 7:20


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