That Evangelicals are wringing their hands at the news of Donald Trump’s presumptive place on the Republican ticket for president this November is no surprise. To add insult to injury, it appears that Hillary Clinton will most likely be the Democratic candidate. These developments have broken the I-can’t-believe-this-is-really-happening meter, and a distinct level of uncertainty and despair has settled over many of my Christian friends.
Faced with a Trump/Hillary choice, many people who once disdained the idea of voting for a third party candidate are now considering this option, yet arriving at this decision has not been without its trials and tribulations. One blogger even went so far as to compare their list of personal reasons for disliking Trump to the “train of abuses” perpetuated against the colonies by King George III, writing a Declaration of Independents. The overzealous nature of the comparison aside, this author’s concerns were not unlike those I’ve encountered elsewhere.
This anti-Trump hype has nearly overtaken recent political discourse, but when the facts are examined, the concerns are unfounded.
I’m not a fan of Donald Trump, by any stretch of the imagination, but, well . . .
He’s no worse than any other candidate in recent memory.
While Trump has talked a lot, elected officials on both sides of the aisle have acted a lot.
- Richard Nixon holds the unofficial record for being most verbally profane U.S. president.
- Ronald Reagan raised the debt ceiling a record 18 times, and the national debt tripled during his time in office.
- Trump’s imaginary wall along the U.S./Mexican border is anything but original; Republicans proposed a similar idea at least as far back as 2005.
- Obama has consistently authorized drone strikes that have a proven track record of killing more innocents than combatants, and actions taken by the Bush administration have been called into question as possible war crimes.
- The U.S. has been meddling in the Middle East for over sixty years, propping up dictators, arming tyrannic regimes, and generally provoking the wrath of its enemies.
- Republican president George H.W. Bush memorably pledged, “No new taxes,” yet raised taxes, and it was under the pen of his son, George W. Bush, that the 2008 Economic Stimulus Plan took effect.
- President Obama’s fiscal policies have largely continued what Bush started.
Trump might have a foul mouth and a fat wallet, but he has literally done nothing to impact the trajectory of this country, politically speaking, for good or for ill. Nothing. I repeat, NOTHING.
He is not a politician.
He has no public record.
He has never held public office.
He has never signed a piece of legislation.
He’s a businessman.
The mayhem of Donald Trump is entirely conjectural. The mayhem of every administration over the past hundred years, Republican and Democrat alike, is factual.
If you’re inclined to ditch the Republican party and run for the hills, maybe you should have started a long time ago.
In other words, my dear conservative Christian Republican friends, before you continue to alternately rail against Trump and weep because of him, read a bit of history and be prepared to relinquish a few sacred cows.
Again, I’m not a fan of Trump. This isn’t me subtly promoting Trump. I don’t think he’d make a great president, just like I can’t think of a current or former president or presidential candidate who was or would have been a great president.
I have no plans to vote this November, for him or any other candidate. I’ve actually sworn off voting altogether (more on that in a later post). For now, though, if you’re one of the many people frantically searching for a third party candidate, or desperately trying to justify to yourself a vote for either Trump or Hillary, take a deep breath.
If you don’t like Trump and don’t want to vote for him, don’t. But if you’re wrapped up in anguish over his nomination, or are mourning because you think you’ve witnessed the demise of the Republican party, and if you refuse to “give power” to “that man” by using his name and instead insist upon referring to him by his initials—“DJT”—
for the love of all that is good and holy, please . . . just . . . stop.
Instead of pretending this is the worst thing to happen in the history of the Republican party, let’s give the guy an A for effort. Maybe even a gold star sticker. Because no matter how you look at it, it’s quite a feat to walk into the Republican National Convention entirely uncontested, and with zero political experience.
Let’s stop reacting emotionally, and instead bring a bit of rationality and common sense back into the political conversation.