This week in 2016, I declared I would be “Never Trump.” A friend suggested I use a hashtag that had started circulating on Twitter, i.e #NeverTrump. The piece exploded and pushed me into a whirlwind of coverage. Despite lots of pressure, protestors literally on my front porch, and harassment directed towards my family, I did not vote for Donald Trump in 2016. I voted third party.
Some of my concerns about President Trump remain. I still struggle on the character issue and I understand Christian friends who would rather sit it out than get involved. But I also recognize that we cannot have the Trump Administration policies without President Trump and there is much to like.
President Trump delivered on tax reform. He delivered on regulatory rollbacks. He delivered on undermining Obamacare. He delivered on moving the embassy in Israel. He delivered on withdrawal from the Paris Accord. He delivered on withdrawal from the Iranian agreement. He delivered on shifting American foreign policy focus to the Western Hemisphere to deal with Venezuela, Cuba, and other hotspots. He delivered on solid executive appointments, including to the judiciary.
I have ongoing concerns on tariffs, the national direction on North Korea, and other issues, but even with George W. Bush I had issues. No President is perfect. Some are badly flawed. In 2020, we’ll be asked to choose between a set of sinners and must decide which direction we want to go as a nation.
I chose a third path in 2016 and the nation decided otherwise. Now, as we head into 2020, it is clear the paths forward are still between the Republicans and Democrats. The path of opting out or protesting now to me seems irrelevant as we have a President who is no longer a hypothetical against any of a host of Democrats who too extreme for the nation.
We have three years on which to judge President Trump’s administration and vision for the country. We also have lots of real world examples of where the Democrats want to head.
We have a party that is increasingly hostile to religion and now applies religious tests to blocking judicial nominees. We have a party that believes children can be murdered at birth. We have a party that would set back the economic progress of this nation by generations through their environmental policies. We have a party that uses the issue of Russia opportunistically. We have a party that has weaponized race, gender, and other issues to divide us all while calling the President “divisive.” We have a party that is deeply, deeply hostile to large families, small businesses, strong work ethics, gun ownership, and traditional values. We have a party that is more and more openly anti-Semitic.
The Democrats have increasingly determined to let that hostility shape their public policy. They are adamant, with a religious fervor, that one must abandon one’s deeply held convictions and values as a form of penance to their secular gods.
On top of that, we have an American media that increasingly views itself not as a neutral observer, but as an anti-Trump operation. The daily litany of misreported and badly reported stories designed to paint this Administration in a negative light continues to amaze me. Juxtapose the contrast in national reporting on the President and race or Brett Kavanaugh and old allegations with the media dancing around the issues in Virginia. Or compare and contrast the media’s coverage of the New York and Virginia abortion laws with their coverage of this President continuing the policies of the Obama Administration at the border, including the Obama policy of separating children from adults. Or look now at how the media is scrambling to cover for and make excuses for the Democrats’ “Green New Deal,” going so far as to suggest that maybe, just maybe, the outline of policy initiatives was an error or forged.
In fact, many of my center-right friends who, like me, continue to have concerns with this Administration, are driven in part by the bad reporting on this Administration. There are certainly concerns. I have written often about my concerns, including on the character issue. I will not now be silent even in expressing my support. But I also recognize the media has done an amazing job of fraudulently amplifying those concerns and, frankly, the younger the reporter the worse and more unfair the coverage.
At this point I can head into 2020 knowing several things. First, the behaviors this President routinely engages in are not going to change. He is who he is. Second, the pretty smiles and calm demeanors the other side will probably work through the media to contrast with the President will not hide the fact they think children can be killed at birth, Christians should be removed from policy making positions, and the economy should be bankrupted to implement environmental policies that will not actually mitigate climate change.
My friends in the center-right coalition who are flirting with Democrats are, more often than not, not really socially conservative. But I am. That party offers me no home and is deeply hostile to people of faith. The President has shown himself to not share my faith convictions any more than the other side, but the President has shown he is willing to defend my faith convictions and is supportive of them.
I could stay home or vote third party as I did in 2016. But what will that get me? The ability to say “not my problem” or the self-assurance that I didn’t get dirty in having to choose? I have many Christian friends who, when I have discussed this, tell me I should just stay home and turn my back. Both parties, they tell me, are profoundly corrupt. And they’re right. But I am not looking for a messiah in politics and don’t have some religious sentiment tied to my vote. While I understand and accept the sincere conviction of some of my friends who have decided they will just sit out the process, I have decided otherwise. In 2016, we knew who the Democrats were and were not sure of who Donald Trump was. Now we know both and I prefer this President to the alternative.
I will vote for Donald Trump and Mike Pence. And, to be clear, it will not be just because of what the other side offers, but also because of what the Trump-Pence team has done. They’ve earned my vote.