I have a confession to make that will make virtually everyone mad. I think Donald Trump is uncouth, has worsened the political discourse in our country and continually says things about everyone from POW’s to immigrants that make me cringe. I am also planning to follow up my 2016 vote for the man with a 2020 vote for the same. Yes, I am amongst the reluctant Trump voters and here’s why.
I am old enough to remember when progressives considered George W. Bush just short of the devil incarnate and anyone who voted for him incredibly stupid, evil or both. I find it gratifying that Dubya is now held up as an elder statesman by many of the same folks – his earlier characterization never was deserved – and join them in looking wistfully back at the days when the presidency was not defined by poorly worded, often grating tweets.
Much of the reason I was proud to have voted for President Bush came down to his stand for the sanctity of life and his respectful stand for religious liberty and religious involvement in public discourse. These reasons that drove my votes then, have not changed for me and the stakes only seem higher a decade and a half later.
That leaves me with one choice on November 3.
Bear with me on this. The Democratic Party, and Biden by extension, as his somewhat principled, Catholic-flavored version of a Democrat has been eroded by the pounding waves of the party’s progressivism, has shown nothing short of open hostility towards traditionally minded Christians. Many of us care deeply about issues of justice and care for the poor, but aren’t willing to force the baker to bake rainbow wedding cakes in exchange.
If a bakery refuses to sell bread or pastries to someone for being LGBT+, I’ll join my progressive friends in condemning that proprietor’s hatefulness. Yet, there’s a line I cannot cross when the problem is not a refusal to sell to customers, but an insistence that business owners must make or sell things that violate their conscience. I do not care if it is a conservative Christian who cannot bear to produce a two groom wedding cake, a Jewish deli that will not sell me a bacon cheeseburger or a Muslim photographer who refuses to photograph my Christmas party – people should not have to choose between doing things they consider immoral and losing their livelihood.
(If you really want someone to worry about, worry about those who will gladly do things they consider immoral if it will keep money rolling in.)
The simple fact is that the sorts of judges and bureaucrats a Biden administration will appoint (much less a Harris administration, should the oldest ever major party nominee become unfit for office) will not respect anyone’s freedom of religion or conscience. Just because the Democratic partisans presently only openly roll over the freedoms of Catholic organizations that don’t want to hand out contraceptives like candy or Baptists who are squeamish on same-sex marriage should fool no one.
People who hold to traditional values of almost any religion fall outside of the progressive agenda and once the “majority religion” is pushed out of public discourse, those same powers will have no trouble rolling over Jews, Muslims, Hindus and any others whose consciences are not in lockstep with all of progressivism.
Does the Donald often tweet things that are unnecessarily offensive to religious minorities? Yes, of course. (They are offensive to many Christians, too, by the way, who see those tweets as violating love of neighbor.) Nonetheless, I will argue any day offensiveness is better than restriction of freedom. I am standing up for my Jewish and Islamic neighbors as much as for myself when I pick the person who speaks demeaningly over the one who will force all of us to actually do things we believe wrong.
There is no place this is more true than on the abortion debate. I have had a long running respect for pro-life Democrats who stood against the tide of their party. I have some respect for Biden himself on this as he was far more hesitant than many to embrace the abortion lobby’s full demands. However, any illusion that a Biden administration is moderate on the matter was dashed by Biden’s bending to the more liberal candidates and dropping his support of the Hyde Amendment. That amendment was the smallest olive branch to the pro-lifers, promising at least taxpayer dollars would not fund the murder of babies.
Whether or not you personally believe abortion is murder, consider the logic for those of us who do: if one candidate supports government funded killings of some group of people and the other candidate speaks with an offensive tongue, it is a no brainer to prefer someone who is crass over someone who will throw the weight of government behind murder.
Am I excited to vote for four more years of @realDonaldTrump? No. I would love nothing more than to vote for another Bush (or Cruz or Paul) instead. But would I rather toss a vote towards a party platform that no longer hides the intention to promote the restriction of religious freedoms and the (not just “safe and rare”) murder of babies? Absolutely not.
I’ll vote Trump 2020, thank you very much. Here’s hoping 2024 offers a better choice.
E. Ryan Haffner writes on politics for Open for Business.