Posted by: minnow | November 5, 2016

A Plea to My Friends

I understand some are tired of this election, simply wish it was over, and feel the need to plea for both sides to see the other as an equally valid choice in order to preserve the peace. I get that many have been told for 30 years how terrible Hillary Clinton is and have even repeated the mantra themselves without understanding how thin the evidence is to support it. I have even said I did not support Hillary because I did not want her husband anywhere near the White House.  I f the likes of Donald Trump had not been the GOP nominee I may have even stuck with that bias.  Had the Republican party offered up a reasonable alternative–say Kasich or even Jeb Bush, I certainly would not have looked into her past as deeply as I have. But they didn’t. And so, I studied.

Since the conventions, I’ve spent hours on-line, trying to convince various groups of people that the policies and vision Clinton has for our country line up with Christian values and building a strong middle class. I’ve shown the numbers for how abortions are lower now than when Roe VS Wade made abortion legal. I’ve illustrated how oppressive GOP policies increase abortion rates, wreck havoc on the middle class, and fail to protect our environment. Obviously, you are free to disagree. You’re free to listen to slander and unfounded conspiracy theories. But, if you vote for Donald Trump you are doing MORE than voting against Hillary Clinton.

If you vote for Donald Trump, you throw your support behind the most opening vile and unqualified candidate to ever lead a major party in America. You embrace his hate and his ignorance.  You accept his lack of experience, his connection to Putin, and his manipulation and abuse of the tax code and bankruptcy laws to avoid paying his workers and his taxes. You declare unimportant his racial slurs, his bullying, and his blaming of others in order to avoid responsibility and stir up fear.  You ignore his long and well documented vulgar and abusive treatment of women, including a pending hearing for raping a 13 year old girl. In short, you betray the values of freedom, good will, and common decency that have been foundational to what is right about America. You willingly gamble with your family’s future.  And you undermine any witness you might have as a Christ follower.

My mother used to say, “You are judged by the company you keep.” Now, I realize God is able to look beyond our words and behavior to the substance of our hearts and judge between the bone of our intention and its marrow.  Still, I’m pretty certain my mother’s words depict human nature fairly accurately; our witness to the world around us is determined by what others see and hear from us. Thus, your support of Trump’s candidacy implies that he represent your views. In essence, you give his rhetoric and behavior your stamp of approval. And, you will be at least partially accountable for what happens on his watch.

From what I can discern three kinds of people support, and will vote for Donald Trump. Wealthy people (mostly white men), who are afraid Hillary will move left after the election and who know Sanders and Warren will do everything in their power to force her to become more financially and environmentally progressive, have told themselves they can “control” Trump and plan to plug their noses and vote for him.  Uneducated people (again mostly white men) from the middle and lower economic brackets who have seen their jobs disappear and who have bought into Trump’s fear and blame game are the second group of Trump voters. They believe politicians are what’s wrong with Washington and pick Trump as the only “outsider” left in the game. What they don’t understand is that Trump, and the rest of the wealthy elite, are the very people who have bought the politicians they want to avoid. And, as long as the system that allows them to wield their behind the scenes political influence stays in tact Washington with remain in the hands of the wealthy elite.

The third kind of Trump supporters are single issue voters (often Christians) who have been told so many times Clinton wants to kill babies, destroy marriage (and the family), take away our guns, and give our jobs away that they accept the hyperbole as fact without really studying out the issues.  Unlike the fear mongers and cynics, these people believe in heroes, the guy in the white hat, and the protector–as opposed to the bully. Their underlying fundamental flaw is that they harken back to a day that never actually existed, to the good ol’ days of Ozzie and Harriette, and they want someone else to make it happen.  So when Trump swoops in with his “Make America Great Again” slogans and his promises to fix it all for us with the stroke of his pen and the because I said so attitude, his followers want to believe it’s that simple.  They are tired and they just want things to settle down so they can go about their business in peace.

YOU ARE THE VOTERS MY PLEA IS TO.  Please, do not throw your support behind this man.  He is a wolf in sheep’s clothing and it is time we discern the truth about how dangerously close America is to making a fatal error, a mistake we will not be able to take back, not in four years, not ever.  If for the love of God and family and country you cannot vote for Hillary Clinton, I will accept that.  But if you choose to vote for Trump we have no common ground on which to stand.  I cannot see that choice as equally valid, as have any principled reason, as based on any Christian value.  There is nothing so seriously wrong with Hillary Clinton that Donald Trump is a better alternative, end of story.

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