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.”
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.
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.