On how evangelicals can support Trump, both libs and conservatives get it wrong
With both the Russia and Ukraine hoaxes having fizzled and the "legal" means for President Trump's removal perhaps exhausted, at least for now, the Left appears to have moved on to a "moral" argument designed to influence the 2020 election. Initiated by Christianity Today and advanced by figures such as CNN's Chris Cuomo, the idea is that Evangelicals — and by implication all Christians — should be ashamed to support Trump because he makes a "mockery" of their faith.
It's an interesting argument not because it's anything but a demagogic one, but because it relates to interesting issues completely eluding the very uninteresting people making the argument. Unfortunately, I've yet to hear them treated adequately.
Photo credit: Michael Vadon.
Were I to apply my own purity test, I couldn't vote for anyone, including myself. Characterizing myself, I shy away from ideological or party labels and rather say I'm sort of like Mayberry meets the Middle Ages. In fact, there's a certain (half?) joke I sometimes make with those around me, who are very few in number, after returning from situations in which I encounter large groups of people. "I had to interact with the humans today," I'll say. Yet I can still vote for the humans — including the very human Donald Trump.
The reason why has nothing to do with how, as many conservatives say, "I'm voting for president, not pastor." While rhetorically effective and having beautiful alliteration (which I can truly appreciate), this smacks too much of the Left's '90s defense of Bill Clinton: "Character doesn't matter."
Conservatives roundly dismissed this argument, and rightly so. Would you want to be pulled over by a police officer or hire a babysitter, auto mechanic, financial manager, or employee with bad character? Character is central to anything we may do and is why the Deep State is, well, the Deep State (see Brennan, Clapper, Comey, et al.).
The actual reason why I can, without reservation, vote for a very human human was expressed well by legendary German leader Otto von Bismarck. "Politics is the art of the possible," he said.
It's not the art of you get whatever you want right now, 100 percent, no questions asked. My ideal candidate for president would be Selwyn Duke (no, it's not narcissism, just love of aliens). But that's a non-starter. Next on my list would be Pat Buchanan or Alan Keyes, both great men with whom I've corresponded. That's not happening, either. So what am I left with?
In every general election there are usually just two viable alternatives, which brings to mind William F. Buckley's advice about voting for the most conservative candidate who can win. Moreover, my faith not only provides an accurate yardstick for measuring candidates' personal and policy-wise moral status, but informs about something else: everyone is a sinner.
This means every candidate is a sinner, which means voting amounts to supporting a sinner — that is, until seraphim, or at least cherubim, take corporeal form and enter the political fray. So, in a way, voting is always choosing the "lesser of two evils."
Then again, we could always just exit politics. Convincing some people of faith to thus retreat and refuse to vote, with Trump-shaming, is no doubt a Machiavellian goal of the Chris Cuomo types, too. That way, the field can be left to them — so they can elect someone with really bad character.
And that's the point. As usual, leftists are engaging in pure projection. Cuomo the Lesser supports Cuomo the Greater (N.Y.'s governor), a man who signed a bill allowing prenatal infanticide up to birth ("Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you," Jeremiah 1:5, anyone?). In fact, along with other purported leftist "Christians," the Lesser makes a mockery of his own faith.
It requires a striking lack of self-awareness, or a sociopathic lack of compunction, for the glass-house Left to hurl its White House stones. Who, Mr. Cuomo, is this saintly viable alternative who must exist if you imply that Christians should abandon Trump?
Whomever you suggest, it won't just be someone supporting prenatal infanticide, putting boys in girls' bathrooms ("[M]ale and female he made them," Genesis 5:2), and indoctrinating schoolchildren with sexual devolutionary propaganda ("But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea," Matthew 18:6).
As the Left has already demonstrated, it will also be someone willing to coerce Christians into violating their faith. Examples are forcing them to fund prenatal infanticide and contraception and to service same-sex "weddings." Why, the Left's overt Christian persecution makes mere mockery of the faith seem attractive.
In fact, while space constraints preclude a comprehensive theological and moral examination of left-wing failings (only so many bits and bytes in the world, you know), it's hard to think of a Commandment today's leftists don't violate.
But a dishonorable mention, aside from the continual bearing of false witness, is adding a one-night stand with God to leftists' one-night stand with the Founding Fathers. That is, "I pray for the president all the time," said Nancy Pelosi in a pretentious show of something far less than even Pharisaic religiosity. (In fairness, she didn't specify for what she prays or to whom she prays.)
But the Pelosi pretense is a common leftist one. As to this, I seem to remember someone (perhaps the theologian Democrats can jog my memory) saying that when praying, do "not be like the hypocrites" who make a show of it so "they may be seen by men."
Meanwhile, the pious poltroons of progressivism got perturbed recently because Justice Neil Gorsuch wished people Merry Christmas!
So, I can support Trump unabashedly and maintain my faith absolutely. Sure, along with the president's many accomplishments, he also just signed a horrid $1.4 trillion spending bill, and he's weak on opposing our Great Sexual Devolution. But I also know that the battle for civilization is fought on both the political and cultural (and, ultimately, spiritual) level, and what we want possible politically must first be palatable culturally.
So, to improve civilization, the culture more than the commander in chief must be changed. This would also help remedy the problem of Christian magazines that make a mockery of Christianity and journalists who make a mockery of journalism.