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The Moral Case For Breaking Your Word

Ted Cruz endorsed Donald Trump, after calling on Republicans to “vote your conscience” while Trump and his family looked on in Cleveland. Cruz gave two reasons: (1) “I promised to support the Republican nominee. And I intend to keep my word.” (2) “Hillary Clinton is wholly unacceptable.”

As Erick and others have noted, nothing has changed between mid-July and now. Trump is still Trump–a lying, amoral, sociopathic archetype. Clinton is still Clinton–wholly unacceptable, as Cruz wrote. Only Cruz’s mind has changed, and that can’t be attributed to any new facts emerging.

Cruz cited key policy differences between Trump and Clinton, as if Clinton’s policies need to be juxtaposed in this manner. Cruz wrote “If Clinton wins, we know — with 100% certainty — that she would deliver on her left-wing promises, with devastating results for our country.” But nowhere did Cruz write that Trump would deliver on any of his promises.

Based on Cruz’s prior comments, we know that he believed:

  • Trump is a pathological liar;
  • Trump is a narcissist;
  • Trump is utterly amoral;
  • Trump is a bully;
  • Trump cynically exploits anger.

Faced with two options: Breaking your word, or supporting a person with the chronic defects Cruz listed, breaking your word would be the most moral action.

The Bible, in the Ten Commandments, says not to bear false witness against your neighbor. Either Cruz made these terrible accusations against Trump and then pretended without apology he never said them, or he meant those accusations (or they are true!). Either way, Cruz has had a major ethical lapse: False accusations, or a false oath.

There is only one moral action available to Cruz, or anyone who believes what Cruz said about Trump. That’s not to vote for Trump.

Regardless of binary choices, party loyalty, career, friends, or what you think might happen to America, morality is tied to far more than the flavor of the day. As I’ve written before, there is a binary choice in this race, but it’s not between Trump and Clinton.

A vote for Trump is a vote against God. A vote for Hillary is a vote against God. Therefore the only way to vote for God is to not vote for either.

Cruz voted for himself over God–that his own political survival and whatever small amount of influence he might have bought with Trump, should he win is greater in value than God’s blessing. There is no more dangerous choice anyone could make.

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