The recent “October surprise” release of a video of Donald Trump from several years ago has once again prompted great angst among many, along with new and renewed calls for conservatives and/or Christians not to vote for him. His comments about women are despicable and deplorable and indefensible. Yet, I do not think the October surprise yielded any information about the man that was particularly new. Rather, it was more confirming of what we already knew. Trump is all about himself, and sex and bragging about sex are a big part of that.
I know several who have pledged never to vote for Trump for various reasons, including his boastfulness over sin; his consistent criticism and attempts to discredit and harm those who disagree with him; and their legitimate doubts over just who Donald Trump would be as president. I cannot, nor will I attempt to, defend him, and I voted for a far better candidate in the primaries.
So, in the face of all of this, just why is it that I am going to vote for Donald Trump? That is a good question that is worthy of some explanation. I have seven key reasons.
- Human lives—particularly the weak and defenseless. Whether Trump will defend the unborn and the weak in all the ways I think biblical and necessary, he is far less likely to wage war on them. Neither Nixon nor Ford nor Reagan nor the Bushes stopped abortion in America. None of them stopped the holocaust that is our inner cities. I doubt Trump will trump them on this, but every lean toward life a president makes is good news for the weak and defenseless among us.
- He is America and not Russia in World War II. If you do not understand this analogy, let me point you to a superb post by Paige Patterson, the president of Southwestern Seminary. (Click here.)
- Deeds trump words. See Thomas Sowell’s (a Trump basher) column on this. (Click here.)
- Supreme Court. He has promised to appoint a solid Supreme Court justice, probably more than one. We know for certain the extreme and unending damage the Supreme Court has done to our children and to our nation and to the world already. Clinton has vowed to use the court system as a political weapon against me, my children, and what we know in Christ to be right and true. We must fight this.
- Mike Pence. Both candidates are older, so both vice presidential candidates have a higher than normal chance of ending up in the chair. I want Mike Pence in that chair.
- My vote is not sacred. While I believe my right to vote is a sacred privilege, my actual vote is not sacred in that I am not required by Scripture to cast it for someone who is holy. God does not give qualifications for president, only for pastor and deacon. People who vote long vote for lost candidates and for candidates of whom they do not know the spiritual status. My vote is not sacred, but the right to vote, given by God, is sacred, and I take that seriously.
- I’ve done this before.
Last week, I preached a spiritual growth conference in a middle-sized church that is more than 100 years old. Since families have lived in this community for generations, I was able to witness firsthand the pain and devastation that is being poured out upon our nation, and especially upon our children, through multiple generations, by no-fault divorce.
As Wilcox affirms here, “In the case of divorce, as in so many others, the worst consequences of the social revolution of the 1960s and ‘70s are now felt disproportionately by the poor and less educated….” Wilcox further observes that while the elites in America have regained some stability in their marriages, at large, “This imbalance leaves our cultural and political elites less well attuned to the magnitude of social dysfunction in much of American society, and leaves the most vulnerable Americans—especially children living in poor and working-class communities—even worse off than they would otherwise be.”
In 1980, I voted in my first presidential election for a man who had signed the first no-fault divorce law in the nation as governor of California, setting this unprecedented American carnage in motion. His name was Ronald Reagan. He was divorced, and he did not like what he had to go through to escape his vows. Today, he is a vaunted hero of many I know who would never vote for Trump. Yet the likelihood that Trump’s presidency would open upon America anything like the destruction that Reagan’s governorship had is unlikely.
But we have become used to divorce, even in the church. We see it as part of life, a part of life to which children should learn to adjust. We have classes to fix things after the divorce. But most of those children harmed by divorce leave the church, and millions more never enter the church. So we speak in hushed tones of Reagan while we rail on social media and blogs against Trump.
Reagan later regretted the decision, at least politically. And yes, it likely would have happened without Reagan. And yes, Reagan was able to slow and even stop much in our world that was harmful. And yes, I would vote for him again. But let’s not kid ourselves that we have not faced this decision before or that we will not face it again.
Reagan promised the closing of the Department of Education that Carter had opened. Never happened. And Reagan did not stand up for Robert Bork, perhaps the strongest conservative jurist of the century. Instead, he then nominated Anthony Kennedy, who forced upon us homosexual marriage. Had all that been known in 1980, would Reagan even have been nominated?
You know, we never know what will happen. So we exercise the best wisdom we have with our vote. I never look back on a vote. For the reasons above, I pray and do the best I can. And this year, in the real world, the best I can do in the presidential race for the weak and defenseless among us, and for my children, is vote for Trump and Pence.