Last week, I read Matt Walsh’s piece on the Blaze entitled, “Dear Christians If You Vote for a Godless Man You are Asking for Tyranny.” Just the title alone makes me, as a Christian, want to cringe. A few days later, Rich Lowry the National Review came out with a piece entitled, “Conservatives Against Trump.” An article comprised of excerpt after excerpt of people, apparently deemed true conservatives, not making their case as to who they think that we—conservatives—should be supporting in the primaries, but rather, the one candidate that we—conservatives—should not be supporting. And taking it even further—telling conservatives that they should not vote for Trump even in a general election, because that would be abandoning true conservative values and principles. A campaign that has become known as #DumpTrump.
Now, even though I have very strong political views, I typically don’t dive into writing about politics because it is just so controversial. I don’t have time to rebut all of the comments made out of ignorance or try to change the minds of those who are so set in their own opinions that they refuse to look at the facts. But this is different. This time, I feel compelled to speak out. Because if I don’t the same thing is going to happen Election 2016 that happened in 2012.
Do you remember what happened with the Election of 2012? Christians and good, grass-roots Conservatives elected our current President, Barack Obama, for a second term. Why would I say that Christians and Conservatives were responsible for electing a liberal, Democrat for President? Because they did. Not because they actually went to the polls and voted for him….no they didn’t do that—they would never do that. However, they voted for Barack Obama by staying home and refusing to vote for Mitt Romney.
Ouch. That hurts to hear, doesn’t it? No one said the truth would make you feel good about yourself.
Some say that you can’t blame the stay-at-home Republicans for the election results, after all, in 2012, overall voter turnout was down. Ok, even if that point is conceded, that we have no idea of assessing how the people who didn’t vote, may have voted, the very same sentiment has been declared as recent as January 19, 2016, in Matt Walsh’s piece:
“It’s very simple. If a man has no moral center, if he has ambition but no faith, if he does not demonstrate humility or integrity, I will never vote for him for president. I don’t care who he is, what he’s done, what he says, or what positions he holds. None of that will matter when we are living under his tyranny, and tyranny is sure to follow when you give unspeakable power to a man who believes he is God.”
So what if Donald Trump is the Republican nominee? Will Matt Walsh, Rich Lowry, and all of their followers stay home and just not vote? Would it be better to have Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders as President than to vote for someone who you feel doesn’t stand up to your code of Christian morals or level of conservativism? Everyday, more and more information comes out about how Hillary Clinton knowingly had classified, top secret information on her private email server, willing to risk the security of our nation for her own convenience (I mean who wants to bother with having to go to a separate, secure computer to log in if you are Secretary of State), and has perpetually denied it—even when her own email correspondences indict the very narrative she is espousing? Would you rather have a self-proclaimed socialist who wants to give every high school graduate a free ride to—living-it-up, drinking-the-night-away-with-friends, who-cares-if-you-pass-the-class-or-not, it-was-free-anyways—18-year-olds and raising taxes to, his suggested top bracket of, 90 percent?
Would either of those options really be better? Seriously, you need to ask yourself this question.
Because the fact is, that is what we would end up with—a liar or a socialist. And we could thank all of our non-voting, Christian, Conservative, Republican friends who couldn’t bring themselves to lower their standards and vote for, as Walsh calls Trump, “a self-absorbed pagan.” A non-vote for Trump is the same as a vote in favor of Hillary or Bernie. So ask yourself, does voting for either of them align with your high standards?
Well, at least you could still claim that you didn’t actually vote for the inevitable Democrat winner. Even though by not voting you actually did make a choice. A choice to allow Hillary or Bernie to win without opposition—because your guy didn’t get the Republican nod. Congratulations, your pious morals are still intact, and you just enabled the country to go further down the wrong path. Will the country be better off because you just couldn’t bring yourself to vote for the Republican nominee—if it happens to be Trump?
What if Trump were to pick Ted Cruz for his Vice President? He’s ok to vote for on your moral basis, right? But if he were to accept the Vice Presidential spot as Donald Trump’s running mate, would you still be able to vote for him? Or if Cruz were to accept a VP spot to Trump would that be morally wrong as well?
Now, let’s imagine something else. What if the tea party, Christian conservative favorite of Cruz—which is the guy that you want, right Matt Walsh—get the party’s nomination, and for some unknown reason, decides to ask Trump to be his Vice President? Would you be able to vote for Cruz because he’s at the top of the ticket? Would this somehow negate your moral stance? You watched the Republican debate last week, right? You remember the exchange between Trump and Cruz over Cruz’s Canadian citizenship?
“I’ll tell you what,” he [Cruz] told Trump, “if this all works out, I’m happy to consider naming you as my vice president, so if you happen to be right, you can get the top job at the end of the day.”
Trump’s reply: “I’d consider it, but I think I’ll go back to building buildings if it doesn’t work out.”
So maybe Trump will just take his ball and go home if he doesn’t get the nomination. Maybe none of this will be an issue for you—or would it? Would you be able to vote for Kasich, Christie, or even Bush who are more moderate in their views? Are we going to end up in the same situation we did back in 2012 when the conservative ideologues couldn’t and wouldn’t vote for Mitt Romney because he was Mormon or too moderate or whatever the excuse was?
The Walsh piece and the National Review very descriptively document all of Trump’s shortcomings, character flaws, and mistakes throughout his life. I’m not disputing any of these. The truth is the truth. Yes, Donald Trump has been unfaithful to his former spouses; he is too brazen with his language at times; he has probably stepped on some toes to get to his position in business; he can be arrogant and self-absorbed, he has changed his position on issues.
But, really, who isn’t? Do you know anyone who has given in to the temptation of an extra-marital affair? Do you know anyone who says things that they shouldn’t say at times? Do you know anyone who has taken advantage of a situation or made a mistake in dealing with others? Do you know anyone who thinks they are above reproach at times? Do you know anyone who has changed their mind on an issue after life experience or other facts have been uncovered? If we answer these questions honestly, I think we all know people right in our own lives that fit these descriptions. Maybe we, ourselves, fit some of these descriptions at times.
I agree that we should try to elect leaders that have a heart for God. That is what our country was founded upon and that is what, undoubtedly, has made our country so great. Because it is easy to see how the policy and implementation of laws effects the direction of our country—socially, economically, and spiritually.
Proverbs 29:2 says “When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan.”
I absolutely understand what Matt Walsh and Rich Lowry, among others, are trying to say. But, as Christians, painting ourselves into a corner when it comes to who we can and can’t vote for, based on our own moral judgements doesn’t make sense to me. Are any of us any better to judge others? I seem to recall a passage of scripture that similarly describes a situation of one caught in adultery:
John 8:3-7 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”
Seems pretty clear, doesn’t it? Jesus forgave. So should we. Or are some just using Trump’s indiscretions as a trap—a gotcha-type—question, like some sort of modern-day Pharisees?
If, as Christians, we are looking for perfection in a politician, we aren’t going to find it. Someone could be a good Christian, but if they aren’t a leader, they wouldn’t make a good President. And Jerry Falwell Jr. is right, the qualities needed to run a country are not the same as the qualities needed to run a church. As a Christian, am I looking to Donald Trump, or any politician, to be my moral and religious leader? No. Would I like to think that Donald Trump—or whoever our next President may be—would pray to God for wisdom in how to lead the nation? Of course. But we cannot truly know anyone’s heart but our own. So rather than try to persuade Christians as to why they must not and cannot support someone like Donald Trump, who very well may be the next President of our country, why don’t we call on Christians to pray about the decision; pray for the candidates, and pray that the right person is elected; and pray that God will turn our leader’s heart to Him… have Christians forgotten the power of prayer?
Proverbs 21:2 “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, But the Lord weighs the heart.” God can see the heart. So what is in Donald Trump’s heart? I don’t know. However, actions speak louder than words and the Bible tells us that we will know someone by the fruits that are produced. While Donald Trump may not be the ideal Conservative candidate, he seemingly has an adoring family; has not built the business empire that he has without wisdom, vision, and economic sense; he says that he will stand up for Christians’ values and morals; he wants to keep our country safe and make it great again—and with no teleprompter and his sometimes off-the-cuff remarks, authenticity is probably his best quality. This is all a stark contrast from our nation’s current leadership—and, to be very honest, it is refreshing.
Why don’t Republicans and Conservatives take a lesson from Phil Robertson on this one. Phil has endorsed Ted Cruz for President; however, in an interview with Sean Hannity last night, he said if Trump is the GOP nominee, he will note for him—because Trump is better than Hillary or Bernie. I couldn’t agree more.
So rather than coming up with self-righteous reasons why Christians shouldn’t vote for Donald Trump, put it in God’s hands, and support whichever Conservative candidate comes out the winner of the primaries. We need unity as a party, not divisive rhetoric.