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In 2016, I supported Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) for the GOP nomination. I supported him all the way through to the Republican National Convention and was among those holding out for the tiniest possibility that he could somehow be gifted the nomination by a magical “conscience” vote. When it didn’t happen, I skulked off knowing candidate Trump would bring about challenges for the nation if he won. But…
… and this is a big but…
… there was absolutely no scenario that would have made me wish for, cheer on, or vote for Hillary Clinton.
She was bad. This new batch of Democrats running for the White House are even worse.
I am no longer a Republican. I had high hopes for a third party I co-founded, but it went in a different direction from where I initially wanted to take it, so now I’m officially an Independent. But one thing hasn’t changed. There is still absolutely no scenario in which I could support socialism-loving, pro-abortion, anti-gun, big government preaching Democrats. Even the “moderates” in the race are lurching to the left. If Joe Biden ends up winning the nomination as the only semi-rational Democrat (almost) in the race, I still couldn’t support him.
Today, there are still plenty of things President Trump does that discourage me. His bump-stock ban opened Panora’s Box for future gun confiscations and his administration’s push for Red Flag Gun Laws is only Constitutional if you eliminate the 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 14th Amendments. I am often struck with hope that deals are in the works to finally end his destructive tariffs, but there’s always a roadblock. As North Korean dictator Kim Jong un visits Russia’s Vladimir Putin, I’m reminded of the debacle we witness as the “negotiations” to end their nuclear program were completely botched.
But here’s the thing. He’s our President. From the beginning of his administration, I’ve consistently said I’d praise him when he does right and I’d criticize him when he does wrong. This type of intellectual honesty is not present in either the #AlwaysTrump camp nor the #NeverTrump camp. Just yesterday, I Tweeted agreement with three out of four points Charlie Kirk made about the President’s successes. By mentioning there wasn’t really a North Korean deal in sight and it should’t be considered a victory, I was summarily attacked for being a “pearl clutching” Democrat or something like that.
The same happens when I praise the President, only much worse. I won’t even mention the things that are sent to me on social media, through direct messages, and via email. Many of the folks who followed me when I supported Cruz are terribly offended by my support for the border wall, for example. They tend to forget that Cruz supports the wall as well as the fact that we desperately need it. To many #NeverTrumpers, any praise for actions the President does, even if they’re conservative, is a betrayal to the credo of “orange man bad.”
I wish the President would let someone read his Tweets just to prevent him from embarrassing himself. I wish he’d alert his staff of policy changes instead of making them react to Tweets. I wish he’d stop talking about how great he is all the time. I wish he could be a statesman instead of a strongman. But as our President, he has my support. As someone who has reversed many of the evils from the previous administrations, he has my praise. As a President who is willing to acknowledge Israel as a sovereign nation and our ally, he has my pleasantly surprised smile.
One does not have to gush over the President to be a supporter. One does not have to hate everything he does to be critical. It’s preferable to look at each individual action and determine if it’s good for America or not. That level of intellectual honesty is sorely needed right now, but instead it is conspicuously absent. We are polarized. Either Trump is evil or Trump is godlike depending on which tribe you’ve sworn your allegiance to. Personally, my allegiance is to my God, my family, and my country, and I am fully capable of molding my support or not for individual policies, choices, or words based upon these three criteria.
Sometimes I’m asked how I can be a Christian and support a man who is clearly not. I look to Daniel, Joseph, and others for guidance in situations like that, but I also remember Romans 13:1:
Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
I do not have to support the President’s adulterous affections or misogynist statements in order to support many of his policies. But perhaps most importantly I cannot justify supporting the existential threat of socialism just because I object to our leader’s personal sins. I wouldn’t leave my wife alone with him, but that doesn’t mean I’m opposed to his desire to end visa overstays.
Then, there’s the issue of abortion. Can a Christian say, “Trump is too sinful to support” and then support a pro-abortion Democrat as a result?
Lastly, there’s the challenge of pushing the conservative philosophy, an act that superseding my personal feelings about President Trump. He is malleable. We’ve seen this time and time again, especially when he’s been on the verge of shifting to the left on important issues. Those who incessantly oppose him cannot help sway him towards the right side of an issue. If they’re attacking him when he’s being conservative, their attacks on him when he’s being progressive are meaningless.
It’s time for #NeverTrumpers to ask themselves if we’re really better off with someone they like better even if that person is a pro-abortion, anti-gun, socialism-loving Democrat. The right answer is obviously “no.”
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