My Dilemma with the Election of 2016

Note: This article is a reflection of my own personal beliefs–not of any group or organization I am affiliated with. I do not speak for any organization or church.  I am speaking only for myself.
I still believe what I wrote in an earlier post: “Let’s not make this into some sort of litmus test. The last time I looked ‘love your neighbor’ is still the summation of the law and the prophets (Romans 13:8-10). Voting Republican, Democrat, or Libertarian is not. I just looked it up…trust me; the command to love as central to God’s rule hasn’t changed during this election cycle.”
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I am having a difficult time.

Since I turned 18 in 1975, I have always voted Republican. In the past I have even chastised those who voted third party (or who refused to vote) as voting for the opposite party.

No more.

This year I have come to understand why so many have refused to vote or have voted third party. At some point in time someone has to say “enough is enough.” I will no longer hold my nose and pull a lever.

Donald Trump has demonstrated a crassness that goes beyond political rhetoric. His cruelty toward those who question him is well documented. From attacking women based on their looks to ridiculing reporters with handicaps, Trump has showed himself not as a truthful person, but as a cruel person. He shows no respect for anyone who disagrees with him.

His insult of a war hero (McCain) was beyond the pale (“I like people who weren’t captured”).  He suggests we employ torture and even target the families (which include children) of terrorists. These actions are not only unethical but are recognized by the world as war crimes.

“And the other thing is with the terrorists, you have to take out their families. They, they care about their lives. Don’t kid yourself. But they say they don’t care about their lives. You have to take out their families.” -Donald Trump, Fox & Friends

In short, he is a bully. This is not the kind of person I want in a president.

Trump proposes a total ban on Muslim immigration and wouldn’t rule out the idea of registering Muslims in America. Need I remind us that when one curtails the religious liberty of one group it can have unintended and disastrous consequences for other groups later on?

This is not a matter of some policy differences (“Is he really conservative?”).

It is a matter of character and freedom.

One can point to pragmatics, one can say “He’s better than ______.” But that just doesn’t resonate with me anymore.

I have consistently said one must vote his or her conscience. I will not disparage anyone who seriously considers all of the alternatives and votes according to their heart-felt beliefs. But I do ask everyone to seriously look at the rhetoric of Donald Trump. Is this the person you want leading our country?

Even the choosing of Supreme Court Justices won’t sway me. After all, every election cycle I hear the same argument: “We’ll probably have justices stepping down, look at their ages! We don’t want ‘X’ appointing a justice, do we?” Well, that’s always been a mixed bag. Some justices have turned out the way we expected and some have not.

It isn’t enough for me anymore.

Some have compared Trump to King David. After all, they say, David had his faults and some of them were very serious. This is true. But David didn’t start off with those faults. They came about over the years and as a result of the corrupting influence of power.

What if you are already corrupt?

I can’t help but think of another king: Ahab.

He used his own form of eminent domain to obtain the land of one man named Naboth.

No, I won’t elect someone in the hope they will become better than they already are.

So I will go against both major parties. I will vote for third party.

Yes, Hillary Clinton may win.

But a third party might garner enough votes to eventually break the two party system that has been running our country for far too long.

Lincoln and the Republicans broke the two party system of the Whigs and Democrats. It won’t happen all at once, but it can begin to happen. It certainly won’t happen if we keep believing the rhetoric of the two parties in power.

I will not accept the accusation that I elected Hillary Clinton, because I will vote for someone other than Trump. That is a logical fallacy called moral equivalency.  To buy into that line of reasoning and vote for Trump means, then, I will have to take responsibility for  everything done under his administration.

That is something I will not do.

I am often guilty of rebutting immediately–and sometimes without careful reflection. This usually leads to a lot of editing after the fact–or a total deletion of my comments. So, I would ask you to be better than me in this regard (I’m working on it, really).

Before your respond. Wait. Think through what I’ve written. Try to approach it from the outside, as someone who doesn’t have “skin in the game” so to speak. Perhaps you will still disagree with me, and that’s OK if you do.

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Note: I realize many good Christian folks will vote for Donald Trump in this election cycle. Many good Christian folks will vote for Hillary Clinton, too. They will have a variety of reasons behind their votes.
I first ask that people do not question the Christianity of those who vote differently. My only request is that you seriously think through all of the ramifications and vote according to what you believe is best for God’s kingdom–not necessarily what is “best for the country”.  If you feel compelled to vote for Trump, then do so. If you feel compelled to vote for Hillary, vote for her. If you choose Johnson or Stein then vote without remorse! But please vote after thinking it through. Do not vote along party lines or out of fear. Vote for who you think best demonstrates God’s will for the world.
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About Darryl Willis

Darryl has been working for non-profits for over 36 years. His current work takes him to Ukraine several times a year. He has fallen in love with the country and the people. Darryl writes poetry and his work has appeared in several online and print journals.
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3 Responses to My Dilemma with the Election of 2016

  1. Paul Smith says:

    Brilliant! I wish more people could see through this a clearly as you have stated it.

  2. Pat Warren says:

    Well said, Darryl! Thank you for saying what I’m thinking!

  3. I’ve recently read another article that offered a “logical and unemotional” rebuttal of those who think like I do (I’m not referring to Wayne Grudem’s article–which many have already effectively rebutted). It was filled with exclamation marks. So much for “unemotional”.

    She guaranteed if I read it through I would agree with her.

    I read it through.

    I remain unconvinced.

    (The fact that she listed Grudem’s article as the best answer to “never Trump” didn’t help).

    The basic problem I think most people are missing is the problem of Trump’s credibility. The assumption is: “All candidates are flawed, but he is going to appoint the right justices…he is going to advocate pro-life…etc, etc”.

    The flaw with this assumption is that Trump has a track record for dishonesty, manipulation, and deceit. He knows how to sell himself. He can promise the moon with no intention of delivering. That is what we have to assume. When I invest my retirement funds I don’t look at promises, I look at track record.

    Add to this his obvious moral flaws (which were the same flaws conservatives used to attack Bill Clinton and claim he was unfit for the presidency–and it wasn’t just that he lied under oath–can we say “hypocrisy”?). Have we become so bound to a party that we cannot look at a person and say, “He/she is unfit?”

    And is Clinton the worst of the two evils? Really? (Not that I’m voting for Clinton, I’m not).

    What if Clinton wins? Has abortion rates gone up under Obama? No. They have gone down. Have we lost our religious freedom? Not that I can see. Have we experienced another 9/11? No.

    Supreme Court? You can’t trust Trump will do what he says. Nor do you know for certain how many justices will leave office (or even if they will) during the next term. Most presidents (Republican and Democrat) pick centrist judges–or judges who become centrist after appointed. Even if the most conservative justices were picked, the will not overturn Roe v Wade. There have been opportunities to do so and it hasn’t happened yet. Quit relying on politics and politicians to stop abortion. Presidents usually have little impact upon abortion, anyway. (Note: I am staunchly pro-life).

    The truth is abortion is becoming less popular. A president, a justice, a law will not stop or make abortion more prevalent nor will it make it go away. That war will be won in the hearts and minds of individuals–not in the ballot box. Would it matter if abortion were legal but no one chose to have abortions?

    Just think about it.

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