The last time I voted in a presidential election, I was 49 years old. My two little boys were in fourth and seventh grade. I am now 53, and my sons are now a sophomore, and an eighth-grader. Tempus fugits…
As I’ve said in previous Diaries, I really loathe the term “election cycle”– as if we just re-set the clock to zero, and the cycle begins again. It is manifestly not a “cycle“. Years, rather, are ephemeral wisps, quick to fade, and do not “reset”, or return to zero. “Cycle” is what the sneering sophisticates and jaded election consultancy calls these past four years. I call it “one quarter of my oldest boys life”. Referring to elections as “cycles” rather demeans the moral component of what we are doing: Ho-hum, this team with the Big D on the uniform won this year, the team with the Big R will win the next. I get paid either way. It’s just a cycle.
It is not just a cycle. It is a tapestry of filament-like threads, woven in a infinitely complex tapestry known as American Life. And, at it’s fundament, because it informs life in my home, hearth and family, an election is a moral undertaking. And, as such, it is not merely a calculation.
That’s why this election year sucks. I mean, it really, really sucks. We have come face to face with our decades-long decent into depravity, and here we are: Stuck with a foul, disgusting, loathsome, lying, power-hungry, souless, contemptible louse on one side, and her cotton-picken’ donor on the other. If you view elections as an expression of your moral code (unless you, too, are a foul, disgusting, loathsome, lying, power-hungry, etc), you have no choices this election. In the mere act of voting, it seems, you have immorality in all directions.
But, here’s where I’ve landed:
I will vote for no one at the top of the ticket. Why? Simply stated, no one has earned my vote. My vote –my one vote as a 53 year old father of a sophomore, and an eight-grader– here, in 2016, which will never come again, is precious. Too precious to throw at people who by world-view, temperament, or even basic humanity, have not earned it.
There is no box to “vote against” Hillary. I can only “vote for” Donald Trump or Jill Stein or Gary Johnson, or write in someone pre-approved by my State Board of Elections. And, voting for is an affirmative movement-oriented action.
I will, of course, vote on the “down-ballot” contests for local offices and what-have-you. But, I will leave the Presidential boxes blank.
With all due respect to the likes of Franklin Graham, and Dinesh D’Sousa (good, solid men, who have slipped on the Trumpian Banana Peel, I think), a moral case for voting affirmatively for Donald Trump cannot be made. Period. A political calculation, yes; a moral case, no.
It is the ages-old “lesser of two evils” argument, which, at it’s burnt-out, rotten ends remains, well, “evil”. Even worse, voting “against” Hillary is a fear-based lashing-out. Lashing out with evil doesn’t seem very God-scented.
Remember: God commands us to avoid evil, especially when considering committing it over the course of a 14-month long primary and general election season. We’ve had plenty of time to think about this evil before committing it. In a court of law, I think we’d call this “premeditation”.
“When the Godly are in Authority, the people thrive. When the wicked are in power, the people groan” says Solomon in Proverbs 29:2. It’s kinda hard to beat Solomon –especially on matters of Godly authority– right?
But, in my final analysis, it comes down to this: God is moving (and moving mightily, I think) in this election. After all, He chooses to chastise only those that He feels can be brought back to righteousness. And, boy, do we need chastisement, it seems clear to me, here in the Good Ol’ USA. I think his instrument for this can as likely be Hillary as it can be Donald.
Which brings me to an essential element of this analysis: For the same reason I despise the term “election cycle” (that four years is just four years, re-set the dials, clean out the lint traps, we humans are in charge), to view who we choose as President as having much meaning to God ignores the broader sweep of Divine Authority. That Donald Trump may wake up tomorrow by Godly Intervention and suddenly be Robert Taft seems as likely as Hillary Clinton waking up tomorrow and deciding that she’s on the verge of becoming the President, and maybe, just maybe, she might do some actual good.
I know, I know: It seems highly improbable, laughable, impossible. A 90-year old Sarah becoming pregnant seemed pretty sketchy, too.
The League of Extraordinary Heretics surrounding Trump insist that the Lord can work through Donald Trump. Well, yes, that’s true. He can work through my vacuum cleaner, too, if He so chooses. There was a time when ignited bushes were a favorite of His. Which means, of course, that He can work through Hillary.
God laid out his vision for how Man ought to interact, one with another. “When the Godly are in Authority…” A 70-year-old spoiled brat who brags about bedding married women, stealing hard-earned wages from his laborers, committing fraud from taxpayers in one failed casino bid after another, calling men and women of integrity liars and cheats without proof, who is obscenely boastful and vain, and who treats most human beings as toilet paper cannot be viewed as “Godly”, no matter how dim the light, or how out-of-focus the lens.
And God says to avoid this kind of evil.
My Earthly Eyes lie to me, and, like most everyone I know, I fall into fear because of this. But, the God I know is bigger than this world, bigger than Sean Hannity, bigger than Hillary or Donald or Ted. He’s bigger than this election, He’s bigger than the Supreme Court, he’s bigger, even, than Vladamir Putin.
Yes, yes, I know: Pastor Mike Huckabee has lately been turning orange in the face (–eeesh!) yelling at people like me to “get off my moral high-horse” and jump on the Trump Train– even as it hurtles into Choker’s Gulch. I think the Good Pastor doth protesteth overmuch. The psychoanalyzers among us might call such puffing “projection”.
My vote doesn’t exist to validate anyone’s poor choices, let alone the likes of Huckabee. My vote exists primarily as an instrument of self-government, which was (as a few moth-eaten pieces of parchment in Washington explain) granted to me as a gift from God.
I don’t think God likes it when you return a gift of His– especially because you are afraid.
What’s that aphorism of Hannity’s? Oh, yeah:
(Author’s Note: It is indeed curious that I continue to post diaries here at RedState. Not much seems to happen in the Reader Diary Ghetto since the Latest Improvements. In years past, I’ve had many entries float to the top of the –now extinct– “Recommended Diaries” list, where they might light for three or four days, or promoted to the Front Page, and the Zany Hi-jinx would ensue. RedState, it seems, is now patrolled almost entirely by an, er, “elite” group of Front Page contributors and their rather smallish three or four-hundred word subtly-edited posts –often, it seems, that are re-hashes of videos posted earlier at places like The Right Scoop and The Resurgent– , and the Community–such as it is– is relegated not to the “back of the bus”, but rather to the “storage bins underneath the bus”. I guess I do this now for my own White Rock Girl narcissistic entertainment. Tally-Ho!…”)