While I’m a solid member of the #NeverTrump camp, I stand firmly in the #NeverHillary camp, too. Neither candidate represents me or conservatism. I will not cast a vote for either. Each would be a poor leader and poor example to the world of what it means to be an American.
Despite those things, many of the Republican persuasion still believe Trump is not just a better choice than Hillary, but a good choice altogether. Beyond the religiously unaffiliated regulars who vote Republican are Evangelicals who support Trump. Some support him because they like his style and brand of candidate. Many others support him simply because he’s not Hillary. The fact that committed Evangelicals even consider favoring Trump absolutely boggles my mind. He has proven himself to be the opposite of what a person and conservative candidate should be time and again.
There is no perfect candidate. That much has always been certain. We who make up the electorate, whether religiously affiliated or not, are imperfect as well. This does not mean, however, that we should openly support someone like Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, both of whom are spineless in areas requiring common sense and who disregard the true and honorable route. And please, spare me the excuse that voting for someone doesn’t mean you’re endorsing them, because actually, it does. I don’t care if someone holds their nose while casting a vote. That vote is still saying said candidate represents you. There is no other way around it.
We all know why Hillary Clinton doesn’t deserve our support. For Republicans, though, it’s tempting to see her opponent and allow them to capture our vote simply because their last name isn’t Clinton. But acting in that way is nothing more than a rehash of election year 2008 and its emotionally-charged voting. We’ve been living for almost 8 years with those repercussions.
Michael Gerson, in his recent Washington Post piece, laid out an excellent case for why Evangelicals should steer clear of Donald Trump.
Evangelical Christians are not merely choosing a certain political outcome. They are determining their public character — the way they are viewed by others and, ultimately, the way they view themselves. They are identifying with a man who has fed ethnic tension for political gain; who has proposed systemic religious discrimination; who has dramatically undermined the democratic values of civility and tolerance; who has advocated war crimes, including killing the families of terrorists; who holds a highly sexualized view of power as dominance, rather than seeing power as an instrument to advance moral ends.
…many are preaching a type of utilitarianism — a distasteful offering of incense to the emperor for the sake of the greater good. But in lowering the sights of Christian political involvement, they are no longer serving a faith where “justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.” They are dishonoring that ideal before a watching nation.To everything there is a season. This is the time for principled dissent.
The question has never been “do we dislike the enemy?” Of course we dislike and cannot support Hillary Clinton and her Leftist army. The actual issue is “can we knowingly support the candidate we have in front of us?” The answer is no. He should not be propped up by our votes. If that means Hillary Clinton wins the election, that’s not on us. It’s on those who have supported Trump all along and chose to cast aside other potential candidates in favor of what made them feel good.
On June 21, Trump is scheduled to meet with Evangelical leaders. Though it’s being marketed as more of a meet-and-greet, I think it’s a wrong move. The big names of Evangelical faith, who should already have been able to tell what type of person Trump is, will hang out with him while he tries to win them over.
Unsurprisingly, politics is not all there is to life. I do think, however, that what issues are important to us and who we choose to actively support says much about our worldview and priorities. Trump and Evangelicals should not and do not mix. His run for the White House is based solely on arrogance and ambition. He’s shown that he isn’t a man who seeks God’s guidance for things, and admits he’s never asked God for forgiveness. That is pure braggadocio and blindness. Evangelicals should want no part of it, regardless of what name is opposite him on our November ballots.