I may say some bold things that others may not agree with. I welcome input and feedback – that’s exactly why I’ve written this article – to provide my input and feedback on what I see is a fatal trend in America.
I know there are many good, conservative Americans who are considering (or who have already committed to) supporting Donald Trump. But what has alarmed me recently is that even close friends of mine have started to show interest in supporting Trump. I feel a need to lay out my thoughts on the subject in hopes that if this angle hasn’t been thought of before, or that if it has any merit, it will be something that may change hearts and minds. (And, if you feel it’s appropriate please feel free to pass on to others.)
The media and conventional wisdom has done a really good job of continually pushing us to an expanded view of presidential powers. I find it ironic and interesting that so many people put such a large emphasis on policy as pertains to presidential candidates. In very simple terms (though not exclusively) the president’s role is to implement policy decided by the Congress. The policy decision isn’t his to make. Of course, today the president actually does play a fairly substantial role in policy decisions since many presidents get away with refusing to implement Congressional policy or altogether make their own policy decisions through unauthorized executive orders.
Policy being set aside for the moment, one of the main functions of the president of the U.S. is to be a figure head. Is Trump the type of figure head we want to promote as an example of America throughout the world? If he wants to make America great again, do we trust that he knows what and why and how America was made great? Does he believe in God or does he act like he thinks he is God? What does he know of virtue? Are we fine with a man whose marital affairs have been less than upright by anyone’s standards? Is he humble? Is he good? Is he honest and wise – as the scriptures teach us are qualities we should seek out in public servants? Do honest and wise men live the lifestyle he lives, use the words he uses, participate in the moral indiscretions he has participated in, treat others the way he treats them, deal financially the way he deals?
From personal experience and from the lessons of history (especially the history of our country) we know that the fabric of our freedom is interwoven with and dependent upon a moral and religious people. We cannot take lightly the words of two founding fathers: John Adams, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” And George Washington, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim tribute to patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness — these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens.” To ignore these statements would be to our own demise.
No amount of good policy or good laws can force men to be moral and virtuous. Our only hope is in the goodness of America, as Alexis de Tocqueville so eloquently stated, “America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” Our Constitution and Declaration – as inspired and marvelous as they are – are nothing without a moral and religious people who live and uphold the principles, not just the technicalities, of Americanism. Why would we elect an immoral and unvirtuous president thinking that policy can save us? We know it cannot. Relying on policy would be approaching a solution to our problems in a top-down fashion that lends credibility to a man-made solution. “In God We Trust” was the motto and the very literal salvation of America in the beginning, and it still is today.
In my mind, there are certain qualifying pre-requisites a presidential candidate must pass before even being considered for the position. First and foremost, the candidate must be a person of honor, virtue and honesty. If a candidate doesn’t pass that pre-requisite, in my book he is automatically disqualified from being considered for further levels of consideration – like policy, issues, or, even, Constitutional adherence. If a person is not honorable and trustworthy, then nothing else matters.
I think Trump presents a great opportunity for the citizens of the United States to choose between relying on the arm of flesh and relying on God. That might be a little harsh to say, and I’d appreciate your feedback if you think I’m being too judgmental, but from my perspective this is exactly the choice we are being faced with. Does that mean I think any other candidate is perfect? No. But I do see Ted Cruz and Ben Carson as wise and honest men – the only two who, in my mind, are worthy of serious contemplation and consideration for my vote. (In all fairness, I reject Hillary and Bernie more for their lack of wisdom and honesty than I reject them for their socialistic policies – which are born of foolish and dishonest character.)
I know it sounds a bit fatalistic, but for me, a vote for Trump is a vote against God and a public manifestation that we as a nation reject him and that, “will have a king over us; that we also may be like all the nations.” (1 Samuel 8:19-20) But, we are not like other nations. We are the only nation that was built and established on principles of godliness – principles which are embodied in their spiritual sense in the Declaration and in their governmental sense in the Constitution.
Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t see Trump as a principled man of godliness. And, if that is the case, I don’t see him as the man for America nor as a man whom God could honor and use to bless this nation. I am fearful that if Trump were elected, America could deservedly hear God say, as he did to Samuel, “Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee; for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not rule over them.”
A scripture from Joshua seems to be an appropriate end to this soapbox sermon of mine, “Choose you this day whom ye will serve … but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
God bless you, truly, in the important choices you face and make these next few weeks and months.
“Duty is ours. Results are God’s.” – John Quincy Adams