Tomorrow we will have the 2016 presidential election. I have been avidly exercising my right to vote since I became of legal age, twenty-seven years ago. My priority from the very beginning has been to vote pro-life, and I research candidates and proposals carefully, down to the local levels.
But this election is different. I have never seen such contention and opposing views, especially among fellow Christians. I’ll admit that in the heat of the moment, I have added my own fuel to the fire.
Some of my dearest and trusted mentors of many decades have chosen to advocate for Donald Trump, a man who has never represented any of the values that they have mentored to me. Though I understand their logic and have read extensively about their point of view, in other ways I am completely baffled.
Some of my friends (conservative and liberal) are going third party. I have liberal friends (many who supported Bernie Sanders) who now appear to be voting for Hillary Clinton. I don’t sense division in the democratic party that I see among Republicans. Other Christians friends that I deeply respect plan to vote third party this year, and that has been my leaning too.
What has never ceased to surprise me are the Christian friends who vote Democrat in presidential elections. They seem to believe the democratic platform is more compassionate and helps people. To this day, I cannot fathom how they can vote for people who think it is okay to murder an innocent baby and those who represent the biggest threat to freedom of religion. While I have attempted over the years, perhaps I will never understand their point of view.
A few weeks ago I “left” Facebook because I was so sick of Trump and Hillary posts. I couldn’t take all the nastiness anymore. I left because I needed time to think and pray on my own and reach my own conclusions. I did check a few pages that don’t have to do with elections, and I couldn’t resist updating my status a few times (GO CUBS!), but I have been mostly staying away from all things political and not paging through posts like I normally would.
The truth is, I don’t have any conclusion at this point. It is hard to trust anybody these days. The bias in the media is rampant on both sides.
I have always been and remain to this day, ardently pro-life. Some of my friends suggest that I am actually sinning and hurting my own children, because I would like to vote for Darrell Castle of the Constitution Party, someone who is strongly pro-life and represents the type of government I would like to see. He is on the ballot in my home state. (Another third party candidate I would consider is Evan McMullin.)
These same friends are trying to convict me that too much is at stake: The supreme court justices, for example. They add that Trump picked a good V.P. (Pence). I agree Pence is good. If he was our candidate for president, I’d have his sign in my yard right now. Someone actually sent me anonymous letters in the mail with articles they printed out that presented reasons why I should vote for Trump.
Many have told me that if I vote third party, I’m throwing my vote away and voting for Hillary. But my Hillary friends would tell me if I’m not voting for Hillary, I’m giving my vote to Trump. So what is the truth?
I see my one vote as my opportunity to say the type of person I would like to have in charge of this country. The kind of person I would like to have in charge of the United States is not Donald Trump. It makes me ill to think of it.
The truth is, Trump has a horrible reputation and history. I would love to be able to trust him, but I don’t. He has never served anyone but himself, and I doubt that will change once he is in office. I would not be surprised in the least to learn that he scammed pro-lifers to put himself in power. He has shown over and over that he will do anything to self-promote, and if that means changing a position on an issue temporarily, he will do it. Furthermore, his reputation and lifestyle do not represent anything that I want to be associated with. Truth be told, to vote for him makes me feel like a hypocrite.
Donald does what is best for Donald, and he serves his own appetites. He could cause our country tremendous shame. He seems to have little knowledge of the constitution. He says he is pro-life, but who is to say he won’t flip-flop after the election? The very first person he ever mentioned as a potential supreme court justice was his pro-choice sister.
Then I have my eight year old daughter, who said to me, “Mom, Hillary won’t do anything you like, but Trump will at least do some stuff you like.” From the mouth of babes.
For me, it will come down to that moment in the voting booth. What will I do? I will be diligent, as usual with the local and state options.
I believe friends who chose to promote Trump will still be my friends after the election. I have survived many election cycles with Democrat friends, and our relationship remained intact.
As for who I will put down for president? You may never know.