Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Trump Post or, So, It's Come to This, Has It?

If you don't follow me on Twitter (and apparently most people don't), then you probably haven't seen what I've been saying about Der Trumpenf├╝hrer. I will sum up: I don't like him.

But that's not enough, and this is something that I think (in agreement with others more intelligent and informed than I) will matter a great deal in the future. Those of us who are on the conservative end of the political spectrum and particularly those of us who are Christians who (at least claim to) take our Christianity seriously need to put markers down now. So, here we go.

Trump is an embarrassment and a disgrace. He is not someone who anyone on the right, much less the Christian right ought to support in any way in his political endeavors. Now, were Trump to repent of his sins, of course I would support that. We are all imperfect, fallen creatures deeply in need of grace. But Trump has reached a point that, while he is still within the reach of the Lord to redeem and save, he is never going to be a man for public office. Some things carry temporal consequences that cannot be effaced.

I was opposed to him when he first joined the race for the Republican nomination. I was opposed to him throughout his campaign leading up to the caucuses and primaries. I was opposed to him throughout the primaries and caucuses. I was opposed to him at the convention. I am opposed to him now. And I will be opposed to him after the election no matter the outcome. He should not be president.

Even were he only "an ignorant, amoral, dishonest and manipulative, hyper-litigious, isolationist, protectionist blowhard" that would be enough for me to find it immoral to support his ascent to the highest office in the land.

But to top this off, he is also by his own admission a philanderer and sexual molester. He is guilty of the same sins we criticized in Bill Clinton. The same crimes that we said should disqualify him from being president. How can we turn around and say otherwise now? To do so is to put the lie to all our protestations about morality and values. I cannot, I will not do it.

And I know the arguments. I know the means-ends cases that have been made. That Hillary Clinton is a greater peril. That she will spell doom for our country, persecution for my religion, and injustice for all. Granted; in every case granted that Clinton is a greater threat. I fear for what will come under her administration. But I cannot do violence to my conscience and be party to supporting a lesser evil (and I am yet to be convinced that Trump is even a lesser evil instead of merely a different one!) that a greater may be avoided. This is basic morals and ethics. More than this though, now that Trump is being revealed for the man we all should have suspected all along, these utilitarian arguments cease to carry weight even were one to grant their initial premises. The damage to our witness over the long term will be generational. It will not be four or eight years to recover, but 20 or 30 or more.

Perhaps this election is, in the tendentious phrasing of an anonymous coward, a Flight 93 election. Perhaps it spells doom for our nation. Then let it be so. I will weep for what is lost, but I have been given an example of how to answer when asked if I will accept power on earth in trade for my soul.