It’s time that a few things were said about Donald Trump and the next President of the United States.
First, let me clarify a few things:
I am writing to Evangelicals—that’s the group I belong to and understand the most.
Second, I am aware of all of the things that are distasteful to Christians about Donald Trump. I get it: he’s rude, arrogant, his language is bad, and he’s not Christian by our definition. Some would say he is racist, but these days everyone gets labeled racist, and I am not willing to allow a wall and protection against Muslim terrorists to be equated with racism. But, hey, I get it.
With these qualifications in mind, let’s get on with what needs to be said.
My Biggest Concern
My biggest concern is that Donald Trump is going to split the party. I don’t think that means what it used to in a party that is already divided in at least three ways. Nevertheless, there is the real threat that he will form his own party, siphon off conservatives from the herd, and a la Ross Perot, the democrats get their man (or woman in this case). But, even if Trump does not go independent and intentionally split the party, at the rate we are going, because of the sensibilities of various groups who simply cannot imagine themselves pulling the lever for Trump, the party is likely to split itself on principle.
Now, as I said above: I get it. Trump is not a holy man. Here’s my thing though, as it stands right now, I am not prepared to label “holy” anyone in the current race for the White House. That’s not as judgmental as it sounds. I don’t think American Evangelical Christians do a very good job of discerning the “holy” candidates from the unholy ones. Sure, we are good at recognizing adultery and abortion and same-sex support, and believe, I care about those things. But after that, we get upset at language, etc. Goodness, in our own churches we quibble over the most trivial things and divide ourselves over personality issues! Let me say this: If we think we are going to elect a candidate who is somehow going to legislate Christianity from the Oval Office, or that America’s spiritual problems could even be solved in this way, we have proven we have learned nothing. Between two equally qualified candidates for president, would I choose a Christian over an atheist? Yes, because I believe spirituality and morality matters. Is it possible, hypothetically speaking, that there could be an atheist qualified to be a good president or a Christian completely unqualified to be president, or vise versa? Absolutely!
But let’s get down to what we are after and what we can reasonably expect in 21st century American politics. Personally, I think that, in the past, when we Christians thought we had “found our man,” we were kidding ourselves (with the exception of Ronald Reagan, although even he was more in line with the morality of Christianity like a Lincoln more than he was any kind of overtly genuine evangelical, which I do not believe he was). Going forward, I think we are naive to think that anyone in the field of candidates is a “shoe in” to become our evangelical hero in the White House, and those who we may be convinced have a genuine faith will not likely be able to be effective. Like it or not, America is not open to an overtly evangelical Christian in the White House. But now, on the brink of a split party because of our Christian principles, we may help America to elect a socialist or, more likely, the heir to the Clinton dynasty.
Here’s another of my big concerns. We live in a country that was foolish enough to elect Barak Obama not to one but two terms in office! That reality comes with its own reprisals! But, from a conservative standpoint, Mr. Obama has all but destroyed America (some may not like that language but that is how Christian conservatives, particularly evangelicals, feel). He has taken the country in the wrong direction and drastically so. Is Donald Trump drastic in his own right? Yes! But it may take someone conservatively drastic just to offset the damage done over the last eight years! I personally think that anyone less drastic than Trump will likely not make a dent in Washington or have a hope of pointing America back in the right direction.
For those afraid or embarrassed to support Donald Trump, be careful that you are not intimidated or influenced by a sophisticated media that knows how to throw its voice and sound like it cares about morality. For those who have disagreements with Trump on principle, let me ask you a question: would you rather have Trump or Clinton? Because I believe that’s what it will come down to. In that scenario, I would choose Trump, but I don’t trust America to do so. Welcome to the White House, Madame President!