A question of voting for the lesser of two evils? Maybe.
If the 2016 general election comes down to Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, how will you vote?
Trump isn’t exactly evil, per se. Or at least I don’t think he is. Or at least I hope he isn’t. But one thing Trump definitely is: he is an egomaniac. Without a doubt, we should all have serious concerns about this man’s sense of what is and isn’t justice and fairness, especially where he embraces what seems to be a pronounced double standard. His person is off-limits for others, but practically nothing is off-limits towards those he disfavors.
For a very simple illustration of this double standard, watch Trump in any of the GOP debates he’s participated in so far. He’s happy to interrupt and shout over other candidates with reckless abandon, and he does it over and over again. But Heaven forbid anyone should try to interject something while he speaks. The childishness of it all would be delightfully comical if it weren’t so inappropriate for the man who has dominated as front-runner amid other much more stable conservative alternatives – Dr. Ben Carson being the most note-worthy example, with his calm, thoughtful, respectful, and dignified demeanor.
No insult real or imagined is too small for Donald Trump to take exception to. At the same time, seemingly no insult is too great against those who oppose him. The Donald will absolutely not tolerate the slightest negativity about his accomplishments, character, or judgment.
Contrary to what he seems to believe about himself, and more importantly what he wants us to believe, I don’t think he is a man of honor, except where he mistakenly supposes he is defending his own reputation. Ironically, he ends up more often than not tarnishing that reputation more-so by his own words and actions than his opponents by their questions and criticisms ever could.
Setting aside suspicions as to the sincerity or wisdom of Trump’s positions and proposals, the personality traits he’s shown in spades are deeply troubling. Do we really want to invest the great power and dignity of the office of President of the United States of America to a man who can be this petty and thin-skinned?
Yes, he wrote The Art of the Deal. But what sort of deal will he give to individual Americans who wound his pride by criticizing or disagreeing with him once we’ve given him that power? Can we put it past him to deport them to the other side of that wall he’s going to get Mexico to pay for? Or to waterboard them? I’m honestly not sure.
‘Make America Great Again,’ or Nah?
To be clear, I do hold out hope that Donald Trump has genuinely embraced some conservative notions and does sincerely want to “Make America Great Again.” It might surprise you to hear I’ve even been tempted to like and support him from the beginning of his bid for the GOP nomination. A lot of the core of what he’s said I’ve agreed with, and I guiltily admire and enjoy his chutzpah. God willing, perhaps a President Trump would actually ignite a revival of the American prosperity, strength, and courage that is so sorely needed these days.
By contrast, a sane, decent, thinking person should have zero hope that Hillary Clinton would have any positive influence on America whatsoever. That woman is not only incompetent, she is depraved, scandalously dishonest, and is wholeheartedly committed to continuing President Obama’s destruction of everything good and decent about America.
Hillary absolutely, positively, and in no uncertain terms must not win this election.
In light of that, in a Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton match-up it would be a gamble on a gambler versus a guaranteed decision to pull the plug on an American dream that is currently in critical condition and on life support. It’s over for “We The People” if Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders win the Presidency, whereas it only may be over if we elect Donald Trump.
Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton?
So what do we do if Donald Trump ends up being the Republican Party’s nominee?
As a man or woman of godly conviction and staunch conservative principles – or even good taste, for that matter – perhaps you can’t see yourself voting for anyone so uncouth and belligerent as Trump. Do you recoil at the thought of voting for the lesser of two evils if he wins the nomination?
If so, I sympathize. But really now, especially for Christians who accept that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” isn’t any choice between two non-Jesus candidates a choice between the lesser of two evils? Or at least the lesser of two sinners? No candidate is perfect.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying we shouldn’t work really hard to get a man of integrity, wisdom, and godliness. Yet there is something to be said for not throwing in the towel just because you don’t get someone who is 100% of what he needs to be. The primaries are the time to vote with your heart. Now is the time to speak up in favor of who you believe will be the best candidate among many diverse options. Once the primaries are over, however, it’s time to vote strategically. Staying home or penciling in someone else only guarantees another win for either the godless Progressives or an avowed Socialist.
We three here at On The Rocks Blog announced our endorsements – who we are each supporting and why – several weeks ago, before the Iowa caucus. I unapologetically hope Senator Ted Cruz wins the nomination. Micah is pulling for Dr. Ben Carson. Marshall satirically backs the Donald. Yet it will be one man rather than three who wins the GOP nomination, and we can’t all have everything we want. At some point we have to be prepared to coalesce around the best, or the least bad option available to us, do we not?
All that said, I will vote for Trump over Clinton without hesitation if the 2016 general election comes down to Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. But a big part of me hopes it doesn’t come to that.