Is it justifiable to vote on strictly moral grounds? Rather, is one justified in voting for someone in spite of immoral acts and beliefs because of that persons nonmoral policies? The labor to craft the right question alone has taken slow deliberance. As such it is clear that to answer it will be no small task.
At first blush it seems that the answer should be no. Resolutely, no! But to explain why goes well beyond the first blush. It also requires an answer to the first question. Or, at best an answer to both jointly. First I will attempt to answer the first fully and concisely.
Clearly it seems there are times in which it is justifiable to vote on moral grounds. Should one individual be so morally corrupt it seems our duty toward the body politic to vote against that individual. (Admittedly a question is begged here as to what is moral. The answer should be too obvious for those clear minded. It is that which promotes and supports equality among the body politic). In other instances to vote on moral grounds is not justified. Such as the case in which one votes for one who holds immoral or amoral beliefs because you agree with them. This then make the grounds of voting immorally. Likewise, one clearly cannot be justified to vote on moral grounds if a moral persons’ policies are so dysfunctional as to create more harm then good, regardless of the intent.
This, naturally, leads to the second question. To that at first the answer must be no. It cannot be without doubt that one who holds immoral beliefs or acts immorally would not be able to differentiate, or cordon off, those beliefs and acts from ones policies. “How can that be so?”, is the natural question to answer. Simply put, beliefs drive action, and action is a foundation of policy. It is impossible, unless within some sub-conscience state, to act without regard to a belief; even if that belief is to act without accord to ones other beliefs. Yet, if one had that belief and acted on it, that is the belief that one should act in such a way as to disregard, or without accord to, ones other beliefs, to make policy, what does that say about the individuals other beliefs? Is it possible to act against ones beliefs, yes of course. But to do so in such a dramatic way must lead the individual to questions those other beliefs. If one does not that individual will, in a position of power, be in a constant state of utter variance with factions of the mind. This assuredly cannot be a stable individual to vote for, nor moral to even ones own beliefs.
So it seems we have two answers to our questions. The resounding no!, no longer stands as the answer. To vote on moral grounds is a tenuous ground at best. One must be have a sound and rational understanding of morality to successfully do so. So the answer is both yes and no; it depends on the character of the individual voter. To vote on nonmoral policies is a clearer answer, no. Clearly, no. Immoral belief and action cannot be separated from any policy (there is a notion that no policy is nonmoral but that falls outside the scope of this post), as such there is no justification to vote for an immoral actor.