How Can They Live with Themselves?

trump%20johnson%20clinton

source: fox news latino

The following is a voter guide. Not for your own vote, dear reader, I trust that you have made a wise and moral choice. This guide is for you to understand how that heathen sitting across the aisle in church could vote for THAT other candidate (you know the one).

How can they just sit there and vote like that?

On Tuesday, one of the most contentious elections in recent memory will take place (check here for a ranking of contentious US elections) My prediction is that it will end in the 5 – 8 range.

This post is simply a guide outlining why anyone (especially Christians) would ever vote for THAT candidate. I have presented arguments for each of the three major candidates, as given by their supporters. My goal was to accurately state their reasoning, help readers better understand and sympathize with others, and also reflect on their own decisions.

I am not unbiased. Still, I’ve tried to present a balanced and fair summary of their reasons. As much as I say, “I’m not telling you how to vote, I’m just telling you the facts,” I am actually hoping to change your minds. Feel free to discuss my choice, but refrain from attacking the choices of others, my manhood, or my mother. While I believe I have represented other views adequately, it is wearisome defending my opponents.

Finally, these views are my own. These are not the views of my workplace or church.

I have not included a bibliography, instead I have provided links to articles/videos I refer to. I have tried to use news outlets that were reasonably neutral (or tilted in favor of the candidate).

Unattributed quotes are from supporters I interviewed. They have given me permission to quote them anonymously.

Feel free to message me on Facebook if you would like any clarification.

4 REASONS WHY I AM VOTING FOR TRUMP*

*Please remember that these are reasons given by supporters of this candidate. They do not necessarily reflect my own views.

  1. ABORTION

    As a believer, I am pro-life. I cannot support a candidate who does not take a position that defends the unborn. Whatever his faults, I believe lives are at stake. Interestingly, Trump’s position on abortion has been his most consistent. Although he stated in 1999 that he was ‘very pro-choice’,  I believe he has changed. From his Facebook page

    “The primary responsibility of the federal government is to protect the rights of its citizens. Life is the most fundamental right. The federal government should not diminish this right by denying its protection.”

    He opposes the use of government funds to pay for abortions. Trump does allow for abortion in extreme cases (rape, incest, mother’s life).

  1. The Supreme Court

    Franklin Graham has been one of the biggest proponents of this view (though he hasn’t actually endorsed Trump), I’ll quote him here:

    “The public needs to recognize that this presidential election is not about personalities the way the media is trying to make it sound. What’s at stake is the future of the Supreme Court. This court and their rulings on issues of religious freedom, marriage, abortion, and much more will impact this country for our lifetime and the lifetime of our children and grandchildren. There’s so much on the line here. Our next president will immediately appoint one justice, and could appoint three or even possibly up to five during their term…”

    We must win the Supreme Court, therefore we must vote for Trump.

  1. Mike Pence

    A true conservative, honorable, and a faithful husband. I may disagree with Trump on some things, but his pick for Vice President has gotten my vote. Perhaps Pence will influence Trump, or perhaps the Lord will use this election to bring Mike Pence into office.

  1. Hillary Clinton

    Simply put, I cannot support Hillary Clinton. The email mess, the tragedy in Benghazi, her super liberal policies, her support for abortion, immigration, gun control, and much more… She’s a lifelong dishonest politician. Anyone would be better than her.

There are other reasons for voting Donald Trump (He’s an outsider & Washington is corrupt, His platform, Refugee/Immigration policy, He’s not politically correct), though not every Trump supporter approved of those. The reasons listed above were simply the most commonly cited.

DIFFICULT QUESTIONS

What about the recordings of gross comments he made?

First off, the recordings were made 10 years ago. It’s locker room talk. Coarse joking, while unacceptable, happens.  We can’t expect a perfect candidate. Besides these comments pale in comparison to what Hillary has done. Finally, Donald Trump has apologized.  We should accept that and move on.

He’s lied before, how can we trust him?

The lies are overblown; the media hates him and they’re trying to undercut him. Politicians lie (we know Hillary has); Donald Trump is someone who says what’s on his mind, and he’ll hold them accountable.

As for trusting him, Donald Trump’s stance on abortion has been reasonably steady, so when it comes to that issue, we’re probably okay. While there may be some reservations about whether he’ll actually nominate those justices, I feel this is our only option for gaining the Supreme Court. Therefore, I will vote Trump.

Critics of Donald Trump like to bring up many other things (racist comments, denying he supported the Iraq War). I chose the most commonly cited ones.

Several of the other complaints about Trump are bogus (such as Russian connections and buying children) You can find them refuted here

4 REASONS WHY I AM VOTING FOR HILLARY*

*Please remember that these are reasons given by supporters of this candidate. They do not necessarily reflect my own views.

  1. Social Issues

    As believers, we should support and help those in need. We should be compassionate towards the poor, the oppressed, and even refugees. As a result, I support Hillary’s positions on welfare, immigration, and healthcare.

    I understand that people are worried about terrorists entering with refugees, but I believe that our vetting process is up to the task.  Statistics show that the likelihood of terrorists allowed entry as refugees is almost nonexistent. As Christians (and Americans) we should protect those fleeing violence.

    The Affordable Care Act needs fixing, but we shouldn’t get rid of it. Healthcare shouldn’t be looked at as a luxury; everyone should have access to it. Without government intervention in the insurance market, many are denied care (such as those who have had cancer, diabetes, etc).

  2. Experience

    Hillary Clinton is well prepared for the position. She has experienced the White House first hand, she was Secretary of State, and a Senator. While she hasn’t always done the best job, few candidates have had as much experience as Hillary.

  3. Lives Matter

    Our nation is struggling with violence and injustice. Whether it’s school/public shootings or violent protests, there is a problem. Hillary’s stance on guns, poverty, and race will help make our country safer and help address some of the underlying causes. While many worry and criticize Hillary’s stance on gun control, few have actually read her platform:

      • Expanding background checks to more gun sales and making sure to close any loopholes allowing people to bypass this requirement
      • Holding gun dealers who break the law accountable
      • Keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, other violent criminals, and the severely mentally ill

    While we may not agree the definition of ‘military-style weapons’, I think that with more legislation, we can make it harder for dangerous people to acquire guns, while keeping them in the hands of responsible users.

  4. Donald Trump

    Simply put, I cannot support Donald Trump. The tape-recoding mess, the inappropriate comments, suggesting that Saudi Arabia should be allowed nuclear weapons, his support for a wall, and much more… He’s a lifelong dishonest businessman. Anyone would be better than him.

There are other reasons for voting for Hillary Clinton (childhood education, mental health policies, women’s rights, climate change). The 4 Reasons listed above were simply the most commonly cited.

DIFFICULT QUESTIONS

Given Bill Clinton’s sexual past, why would we allow him back into the White House?

Bill Clinton cheated on Hillary. He abused his power (and abused women). I respect Hillary Clinton.  She had good reasons for divorcing her husband, yet she chose not to. Maybe she wanted to stay in power; maybe she chose to forgive her husband. At the end of the day, we’re electing her, not her husband.

Isn’t Hillary Clinton a socialist?

“I think in general people misuse the word Socialism or use it as slur and sound byte to tear down credibility of one person…The idea that America could ever become a pure socialist state, regardless of who is President, is a ridiculous idea. By the way the government is structured alone, I don’t see that happening nor would the free market allow that. No, I think people call her a “socialist” because they fear the idea that a national healthcare system would take away their right to choose whether to be insured or not or which system to be on. And since she’s been a proponent of that for decades, she’s been called a socialist since the 90s. At the very core, though, we’ve actually had dozens of programs that could technically be a form of socialism, but have benefited our country.”

How do you justify Benghazi?

A two-year Republican-led congressional committee investigated the tragedy and cleared her. I’m deeply sorry and shocked by what happened. Clearly there were costly mistakes, but Hillary Clinton was absolved by the investigation, we should be satisfied.

What about the deleted emails?

“The FBI investigated and chose not to prosecute based on the evidence they found. For me that’s a period to this story. I know it will never go away, but while I think it was an error in judgment, I don’t think it makes her unfit to be President.”

If there is (legitimately) more to the story and she is found guilty, she should withdraw (or resign).

As a Christian, how can you support someone who is pro-choice?

I am pro-life. This is why I support Hillary Clinton’s policies toward the poor, refugees, immigrants, and welfare. I do not agree with her stance on abortion. George Bush, with a majority in the Supreme Court, wasn’t able to overturn Roe v Wade, I doubt Trump will succeed in a more divided nation.

Abortion is an issue that won’t be stopped just by a law. America needs a law change AND a heart change. Abortion is at its lowest rate since 1973, let’s work on changing hearts while we wait to change the law.

Critics of Hillary Clinton like to bring up many other things (being a war hawk, dirty politics, ties to Wall Street). I chose the most commonly cited ones.

Many of the other complaints about her are bogus (such as freeing a rapist, stealing White House furniture, shutting down the NRA, USA can’t vet all the refugees). You can find them refuted here.

4 REASONS WHY I AM VOTING FOR JOHNSON*

*Please remember that these are reasons given by supporters of this candidate. They do not necessarily reflect my own views.

  1. Less Government

    The government has overstepped its bounds. Gary Johnson has promised a balanced budget. We cannot keep spending money we don’t have or overtaxing our most productive people. Rather than taxing income, which penalizes those working, Johnson’s Fair Tax Plan would impose a single sales (consumption) tax (roughly 29%) with certain exceptions for the poor (prebates)

    Repeal the NSA. This act is a violation of our privacy and freedom of speech.

  2. Less International Involvement

    As someone who believes in the sanctity of life, I think we need to avoid foreign wars. This includes the War on Terror.

    “…Terrorism will never be eradicated, thus we are locked into perpetual warfare. We’ve killed or displaced millions of Iraqis, Afghans, Syrians, and made the Middle East less stable. We are not the policemen of the world. Bring the troops home immediately and defend our borders.”

  3. You Can’t Legislate Morality

    “Adults should be as free as possible to do whatever they like as long as they do no harm to others”

    I believe in right and wrong, but we should be free to make this choice. We cannot force someone else to subscribe to our own code of ethics.

    “Rates of addiction remain unchanged, overdose deaths are at an all-time high and drugs cost less than ever before.”

    The War on Drugs has failed. We need to decriminalize drug use and make addiction a health issue, not a criminal one.

  1. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton

    Simply put, I cannot support Hillary Clinton. The email mess, the tragedy in Benghazi, her super liberal policies, her support for abortion, gun control, and much more… She’s a lifelong dishonest politician. Anyone would be better than her.

    I cannot support Donald Trump either. The tape-recoding mess, the inappropriate comments, suggesting that Saudi Arabia should be allowed nuclear weapons, his support for a wall, and much more… He’s a lifelong dishonest businessman. Anyone would be better than him.

There are other reasons for voting for Gary Johnson (such as his views on immigration, state’s rights, lack of scandals). The 4 Reasons listed above were simply the most commonly cited.

DIFFICULT QUESTIONS

Isn’t voting 3rd Party throwing away your vote?

I don’t believe that voting for Gary Johnson is throwing away your vote. While he will probably not win the election, if enough people vote for him, the Libertarian Party would gain ballot access, more federal election funds, and help change our Two Party System.

Doesn’t Gary Johnson support Abortion/Prostitution/Homosexual Marriage?

I am pro-life. While I disagree with Gary Johnson’s views on abortion, he has stated that since it is not mentioned in the Constitution (he’ll let states decide). I think this is better than what we will get from Clinton or Trump, and hopefully more states would come to outlaw the practice. I believe that more of us should adopt, which, hopefully, would help put an end to this.

As for the other two, I don’t believe we should force others to adopt our morality. I don’t think prostitution or homosexuality is right, but I also don’t think I can force someone not to: if they want to sin (and are not hurting anyone), we should not stop them.

After Gary Johnson asked ‘What is Aleppo?’ on an interview, many questioned his qualifications for handling foreign policy. How do you respond to this?

“Admittedly, Johnson is not well versed on foreign policy. As President, he would have access to the top foreign advisors and intelligence in the world to assist him.”

In addition, Donald Trump has just as little foreign policy experience (not to mention a dangerous temperament), and Hillary Clinton’s record is abysmal as well.

Conclusion: 3 Points, 2 Questions, 1 Vote*

*Yes these are my actual views; no these are not my church’s views.

I actually have about 40 points per candidate, but I’ve settled on 3.

  1. Abortion

    I cannot support Hillary Clinton’s views on abortion. I fear that she will further the practice (and I worry that her political experience will help her do so).

    Donald Trump’s views on abortion are a compelling argument for voting for him, but I struggle. If President Bush, with a conservative Supreme Court, was unable to challenge the practice, I do not see Trump succeeding. Voting for him will (at best) preserve the status quo.

    Gary Johnson’s views are less compelling. He is pro-choice. Johnson believes that the government has no right to tell you what to do with your body (which extends to abortion). As president would he be willing to fight to allow the states to make that decision? Doubtful.

  2. Abuse of Power

    When Donald Trump is in power, he has a history of abusing it. Some examples:

    He’s been sued at least 60 times for failing to pay his employees.

    The obscene recordings. (Careful clicking, they are bad)

    I understand that the recordings happened 10 years ago, and I understand that Bill Clinton committed some lecherous acts during his presidency. Neither of these are good defenses. Bill Clinton’s sin does not justify Donald Trump’s.

    Calling these statements simply dumb comments is incorrect. In the recording he talks about what he had done. This is not a crude joke, but a proud admission of sexual harassment and assault. Assault which he claimed he could do because “when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.”

    His apology was not much of an apology either. He says he regrets it. He says he’s changed. And he says ‘let’s be honest, this is the real world’ Bill has done worse.
    As for changing, threatening to sue those accusing him and defending himself by saying “believe me, she would not be my first choice.” This is a strange response since he admitted to saying that he did similar things (and that he regretted it).

    Donald Trump has a history of abusing his power to get what he wants. I cannot vote to give power to this man.

 

  1. Refugees & Immigration

    We should be compassionate towards the poor, the oppressed, and even refugees. I understand that people are worried about terrorists entering with refugees; but I believe that our vetting process is up to the task: statistics show that the likelihood of terrorists allowed entry as refugees is almost nonexistent.  As Christians (and Americans) we should protect those fleeing violence.

    Most importantly: Muslims need to know the saving power of Jesus Christ. The chances that they would hear the gospel in a war-torn Middle Eastern nation are minimal. The chance that they would hear the gospel in the United States? Bring the mission field here.

DIFFICULT QUESTIONS

Not voting for X is a vote for Y!

Not a question, but I’ll answer it anyway. I will not vote for Donald Trump. Nor will I vote for Hillary Clinton. Nor will I vote for Gary Johnson. Not voting for any of the 3, does not constitute choosing one.

Voting is a privilege and a responsibility. A presidential vote is supposed to be our choice. I do not believe that if someone CAN’T win, we shouldn’t vote for them.

I’ll quote Atticus Finch, “The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience”

And I’ll leave this here…

vote-pedro

What about the Supreme Court!?

I am afraid of who Hillary Clinton would appoint.

I am thankful for our system of checks and balances. Whoever is nominated still needs to be approved by the Senate.

BONUS PREDICTION

First I’ll quote Max Lucado’s excellent statement:

I have a prediction. I know exactly what November 9 will bring. Another day of God’s perfect sovereignty. He will still be in charge. His throne will still be occupied. He will still manage the affairs of the world. Never before has His providence depended on a king, president, or ruler. And it won’t on November 9, 2016. “The LORD can control a king’s mind as he controls a river; he can direct it as he pleases” (Proverbs 21:1 NCV).

Finally, I believe that our next president will be slandered and falsely accused by the opposing party. I also think the next president will have most actions criticized and blocked by the other party. We’ll be left with an administration that will struggle to accomplish much and will blame their opponents. I believe the opponents will point to failed policy as narrow escape and false accusations as certain truth.

In four years we will repeat the venomous process.

MY VOTE

I’ve spoken my piece; I cannot support any of the three. I will write in.

3 thoughts on “How Can They Live with Themselves?

  1. Sam, I read through the whole thing before I realized you were the author – man, tremendous job! I thought someone my own age (that is, “older and wiser”) had penned it. I’m going to post some links to the article. See you soon!

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