Morning of Agincourt, 25 October 1415 (oil on canvas)
ith the election only about a week off and Donald Trump going nowhere, you might reasonably ask me why I’m still here, pounding away on him. It’s a fair question. I admit that there’s nothing that can likely be done about him or his nomination. That die has been cast and now we must simply deal with the consequences. By taking this stand I please very few people – the Hillary supporters will still hate me because of my positions on the issues and the GOP establishment sees me as a traitor. Refusing to budge is costing me friends, could hurt my chances for inclusion/promotion at work, and I’m now labeled as a permanent member of the unreasonable political underclass. I was just “prophesied” against (not personally) and told to shelve my brain while opening my spirit to Trump in a video
I saw on Facebook. All this in defense of a lost cause. Why keep it up?
Part of it is no doubt due to my own unique psychological quirks. Maybe I read too many stories of knights and Robin Hood and Narnia when I was younger, but I’ve always had an intense dedication to honor and integrity. I routinely fail to meet my own ideals, but they are the ideals for which I aim nonetheless. They make sense to me and I have trouble understanding people who claim they can be good without actually doing good. There is that fundamental connection between right thought and right action that defines “honor” and “integrity” for me. If something happens to upset that balance, I won’t feel at peace with myself until it is restored.
And that is why I cannot be silent. I must do my best to live honorably. Donald Trump represents everything that I was once taught was wrong with American government and leadership. He is a haughty, dishonorable charlatan who proudly abuses women and shamelessly breaks his word. I do not feel that I can vote for a man like him. Christ calls me not to “win” but to overcome – to take up my cross and follow Him. (Matthew 16:24; Luke 9:23) By God’s grace, I will do so.
But why continue to speak out? Why not just quietly let the world run its course?
Because of the dramatic failures of the previous generation of leadership, American Conservatism now faces odds like those of the English at Agincourt. Trump’s candidacy has revealed more than a few fellow culture warriors who are not only willing to abandon honor and integrity explicitly to support him, they are actually attacking the people who won’t. Like King Harry, I “would not die in that man’s company [that] fears his fellowship to die with us.” I continue to fight so that I might stand apart.
But there are many more who are voting for Trump not because they want to, but because they feel they have no other choice. These are good people who feel forced into choosing between evils and so they are doing the best that they can. They are being led by the radicals to believe in a false dichotomy and being led through fear into damaging their witness and even their own soul. Each choice we make in life affects us, and my gut tells me this one has the potential to wound us more deeply than most (I hope I’m wrong). Therefore, out of respect and love for them, I must speak in stark terms of what is at stake until the choice has been made and to be certain they know their options. I hope and pray they will step back. If they do make a decision that does scar their souls, I don’t want it to be said that it was because I was silent.
There are still others outside the church who are currently looking on and beholding the blatant hypocrisy into which Trump’s candidacy is plunging the Religious Right. Nonbelievers are drawing the perfectly understandable conclusion that if Christians can violate their own moral standards so blatantly in the selfish support of a candidate like Trump, they are no different than anyone else – perhaps more hypocritical. If that is so, then there must not be anything to the God of Christianity after all. Some are making the observation with a self-fulfilled smugness. Others are doing so with disappointment and sadness. All of them are being turned away from hope to destruction. I will not be party to that – no matter how much I fear Hillary (and I do). And I will speak up as I can to hopefully show them, reasonably, that what they see is a violation of the Christian faith, not a fulfillment of it.
Finally, there is my family. I will need to look at my children and explain where I stood in the mess they are inheriting. I won’t be able to tell them I insured their comfort or their plenty. I’m afraid we’re too far gone as a culture for that – even if Trump is everything his supporters dream. I will be able to tell them that their father did his best to do the honorable, right thing until the end. In doing so, I hope to set an example for them to do the same.
And so, “once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more!”
Answering the arguments:
- “We allied with Stalin. Why not vote for Trump?”
- “If you can’t vote for the candidate, vote for the platform. Vote Trump!”
- “Haven’t you heard? Trump is a baby Christian now!”
- “Why is it only Bill Clinton gets away with rape? Vote Trump!”
- “Because Hillary. Vote Trump!”
- “You have an obligation to vote for the pro-life candidate. Vote Trump!”
- “Vote Trump. Because SCOTUS.”
- “But Trump is surrounding himself with good people! Vote Trump!”
- “If Hillary wins, it will all be your fault! Vote Trump!”
- “You should repent of your arrogance and vote Trump.”
- “You will answer to God if you don’t vote Trump.”
Interested in what I think we should do about it? Find out here.