*Editor’s Note 1* “Tomsplaining” is meant to be a tongue-in-cheek reference to “Mansplaining”…but tomsplaining is good-natured and non-condescending.
*Editor’s Note 2* I fully respect the diversity of opinion on this subject…particularly among my fellow Believers. It is not my intention to impugn anyone’s choices or to call into question anyone’s motivations or moral and Biblical understanding. I am simply laying out the process and reasons the Holy Spirit has brought me to in this election. You are more than welcome to disagree…and if you do…I urge you to tell me! I thrive a bit on debate and discussion.
*Editor’s Note 3* And if you disagree with me, I hereby pledge to respect your opinion… even though you are clearly and quite objectively wrong. 😉 I kid, of course.
My Vote – Tomsplained
Quite a few writers (who actually get paid to write) have put these types of articles out there. I figured, I might as well add to the noise and offer some final thoughts on the farce that has been the election in 2016. [And if anyone would like to pay me for this opinion, out of a sense of fairness…. I will not object]
Greatest Show On Earth? Hardly
Let’s not mince words.
The 2016 election cycle has been nothing short of a ridiculous circus. The two ‘Major’ Parties gave us the two most unpopular Presidential nominees in American History. The only potentially viable third-party (the Libertarians) nominated a guy who is a self-admitted pot enthusiast (and that is not even to mention that their Vice Presidential nominee has basically spent this cycle campaigning for Hillary Clinton).
During the GOP Primary, we had name-calling during debates, suggestions that a female debate moderator was menstruating, and an endless cycle of Donald Trump saying something stupidly inflammatory (and being defended for saying such nonsense by his SuperFans) and then Trump walking back his rhetoric slightly (followed by his SuperFans swerving back right along with him and insisting that his moderated position was what he had clearly meant all along).
Remember how this whole things started? Trump’s infamous announcement speech where he basically labeled the majority of Mexican immigrants as rapists and drug dealers?
Yeah… that pretty much should have told us what the rest of the cycle would look like if we didn’t get rid of Donald Trump early.
Sadly, no one seems to have had both the intestinal fortitude AND the ability to usher Trump off Stage Left.
And then we had the Democratic Primary. Where the DNC ACTIVELY thwarted one of their candidates.
Of course… to be perfectly honest and fair, THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT A PARTY IS SUPPOSED TO DO! They are supposed to step in and save their party from fringe candidates. Now… The DNC being the DNC (and being controlled by the Clinton Machine), they of course went about it all shady and conspiratorially and wrong. So instead of doing their job and just weeding out the fringe they went the extra (crooked) mile and actively ensured that another specific candidate would win.
So, yes, they should have pushed out Bernie because his positions are extreme…but they also should have weeded out Hillary because… seriously…Clinton = Corruption. And not only corruption and sleaze (from Good Ol’ Bill) but Corruption and Paranoid Secrecy from Hillary. She is kind of like the Democratic Richard Nixon in that regard… except if you end up on her Enemies List, there’s a better than average chance you will end up unexpectedly dead.
So both of them should have been gently ushered out by pressure from the Party apparatus…and then they would have ended up with someone like Jim Webb or Martin O’Malley. Boring? Maybe… but a lot better than what they ended up with.
And the GOP should have gotten rid of Trump early on. Then we could have ended up with Scott Walker or Marco Rubio…heck, without Trump sucking up all the oxygen in the room, there’s an “outside” chance that Rand Paul could have picked up some momentum. There are plusses and minuses to all the other GOP candidates…but any of them would have made far better candidates and Presidents than Donald Trump (or Hillary Clinton).
I Cannot Vote For Hillary
I don’t think this position needs much
expla Tomsplaining. Hillary Clinton is unfit for the Office of President of the United States. (And would have been uniquely so, if the GOP hadn’t bungled their own nomination). She may project (at times) an aura of calm steadiness and professionalism. But everything she touches “she kind of screws up with hubris” (I agree, Secretary Powell).
The long list of Clinton corruption and sleaze need not be reprinted here. Anyone at least 12 or 13 in 1992 should well remember the cloud of scandal that not so much follows the Clinton’s…but rather that they themselves create.
Sadly, from her tenure as Secretary of State, it becomes quite clear that she has not changed one bit. She still has the overriding impulse to cover-up any perceived wrongdoing on her part…and then to lash out when people start uncovering the truth.
She is vindictive and holds grudges. Do I really need to say why that is bad for a President?
And we have not even touched on Policy.
Needless to say, a Hillary Clinton Presidency would attempt to move the country further Leftward (in all the bad ways and none of the good… and yes, the Leftist way of thinking does have *some* things that are objectively good).
Chances are, she would begin her Presidency besieged from both sides (blocked by an uneasy temporary “re-alliance” of Center Right and Far Right on one side… and pushed, prodded, ridiculed, and complained about [and probably “peaceably” protested against] by her Far Left flank as not doing enough to advance the Leftist Agenda in EVERYTHING).
She would start her term immediately in Bunker Mode. Instead of “triangulating” like her husband, her instincts lean more to the Left. But she would be angry at the Liberal Activist Wing of Democrats, so she would tamp down on dissension while bungling slightly Leftward.
She has One-Termer written all over her… but it would be a disastrous One Term. (Not “end of America” type stuff… don’t listen to alarmists who talk like that. But, it would still be bad for everyone).
I Cannot Vote For Trump
In case you have missed it, I have been fairly harsh about both Implausible Candidate and now Worst.Nominee.Ever Donald J. Trump. And if you feel like it, you can revisit these here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and… here.
I have devoted far too many words of warning about this man. And frankly, that is both pathetic and a bit exhausting.
And yet… I have seen many ostensibly decent people defend or deflect Donald Trump’s failings again and again and again.
My question is… why?
No one is compelled to either cheerlead for or even nominally support one candidate over the other. It is a matter of conscience. I have never voted for a Democrat for anything in my life. But that doesn’t mean I have to be in lockstep with every GOP candidate. Neither Donald or Hillary has earned my support. One of them will (most likely) be President… but that does not mean I have to support either one of them.
And certainly, in the case of Donald J. Trump, it is my firm belief that “Fear of What The Other Candidate May or May Not Do If Elected” is just not a valid reason for supporting a man like him. So odious is the man himself. So vacuous is he when it comes to actual policy. So dangerous is the “me-first” spirit that he seems to inspire. The negatives associated with Trump are no more than the negatives of an elected Hillary. (Despite what his sycophants may scream).
So yes, my initial disgust for Trump may have begun with a general wariness for his (lack of) moral character – let’s face it….for most of his 7 decades of life, he has been little more than a “short-fingered vulgarian” with an obsession to either be accepted by the elites or to destroy them because they can’t stand him either.
I’ve no doubt, though, that being on the campaign trail has probably changed him for the better – and it may be true that he has put some good influences around him (although, for every Pence or Kellyanne Conway there’s a Roger Stone or Stephen K. Bannon to cancel out the good influence).
But, in the end he does still seem to be unrepentant and egotistical (in the way only someone who has not submitted their life to our Lord and Savior can be).
Regardless of the status of Trump’s soul (which is worth praying for no matter what, as is Hillary’s)… the reason I cannot vote for Trump is because I cannot give any kind of legitimacy to the alt-right (which has attached itself to Trump and Trumpism in an effort to sneak into mainstream thought).
The rise of the alt-right would be poisonous to conservatism and (far more importantly) very harmful to our calling as Christians here on Earth.
So, to protect my witness, I’ve been led to wash my hands of Trump, Trumpism, and quite possibly the Republican Party (barring a Bircher-like removal of the alt-right from Republican thinking).
Most “Christian” or erstwhile “Conservative” arguments (and pressure) for decent people to vote for Donald Trump are predicated on a false idea – the idea that your one single vote will decide the outcome of this election. If you think that, you are probably delusional, but hopefully just misinformed.
First, Presidents here are not elected by a mere popular vote.
We have the Electoral College which – for better or worse – tends to give an individual’s vote differing weights depending on what state that person live in. For example, I live in Alabama. There is no way in Hades that Trump will not win this state. So my lack of a vote for Trump does not really count or matter as much as someone’s vote in Florida (or, now apparently, New Hampshire).
But my vote does mean something to me. And, believe me, there is no High Horse I need to get off when I say I simply cannot – in good conscience – vote for Donald Trump.
People, I think, are not seeing the forest for the trees. I would wager that most people don’t even know what the alt-right is…or know that it has attached itself to Trump. But it is nothing less than a cancer on society.
Stopping Hillary is less important than stopping the alt-right. We can survive a scandal-ridden, botch-a-mania four years of Hillary Clinton (if she wins).
The fight for Christians and Conservatives will actually be much HARDER if Trump squeaks out an unexpected victory.
I know that no one in Talk Radio is saying this and Sean Hannity has basically been using his Fox News show as an extended infomercial for Trump…and many “Evangelical” Leaders have even jumped on the Trump Train and are trying to guilt Christians into voting for Trump. They would suggest (sometimes emphatically) the exact opposite… that Conservatism and Christianity and this country can only be “Saved” by Trump’s election. (The folly of pinning the future of Christianity on any mere mortal is an argument for another day…but one that we must have. Put it on your to-do list)
But…quite frankly… they are wrong.
There is more potential “damage” to both Conservatism and our Christian witness if Trump is elected and the alt-right is ascendant. This is partly because Conservatism and Christianity would then be tied (perhaps for generations) to the thinking of the alt-right.
So, What To Do
According to my ballot here in Alabama, I have the following choices:
- Vote For Hillary Clinton
- Vote for Donald Trump
- Vote for Gary Johnson
- Vote for Jill Stein
- Write-In a Candidate
I’ve tomsplained why I will not choose 1 or 2. 3 and 4 are out too (but not worth wasting any time tomsplaining).
That leaves me with 5 or 6.
5 is a perfectly valid expression of our voting privilege. In many ways, I liken Voting more to an expression of Free Speech than anything else. (Also, don’t listen to the binarists)
But, I will be voting on Tuesday (For Martha Roby…and probably abstaining against Richard Shelby….among other things)…so I might as well make a choice for President.
That leaves me with Option 6.
I have pretty much stayed on that option since Trump was wrapping up the nomination in June.
The question is simply…who to write in?
In Alabama (and some other states… please check yours to see how it works), there are no special requirements to have a write-in vote be tallied. In most other states, the candidate must file paperwork to be counted (if an entry is not registered as a write-in candidate in that state, it is just tossed in an “uncounted” pile).
And some states just simply don’t allow for write-in candidates to be counted. Do some research and find out what your state’s situation is when it come to write-ins…if you are so inclined to consider that path.
So, I could technically write-in anyone and it would – ostensibly – be counted.
I have decided to write in Evan McMullin
On the issues, he presents a far more typical Conservative approach than the Hyper-Nationalist Populism that has come to define Trumpism.
And further, it is my belief that McMullin’s efforts here may be laying the groundwork for a new Party. I like having that option, since, if the alt-right takeover of the former Republican Party continues unabated, I will have no choice but to turn my back completely on the erstwhile GOP.
So, McMullin will receive my vote in Alabama…and possibly a handful more votes here. I think he is a solid option and an excellent, valid, and wise way to “choose neither” in our fight against “two evils”.
Join me, if you like, but at least read a little about he and Mindy Finn (his running mate) and what they say they stand for.
On Wednesday November 9th, there will still be an America – no matter who is elected. Maybe Clinton wins with Obama-like margins (2012, since 2008 margins would be near impossible for her). Maybe Clinton wins in an Electoral squeaker and floats across the finish line with 272 or so. Maybe Trump wins (and if he does with the electoral vote, it is likely he will do so after losing the popular vote). Maybe there really is a “Shy Trump Voter” phenomenon that will show up on Tuesday and actually flip this election to Trump in both popular vote and electoral vote. Maybe McMullin wins Utah and Trump does surprisingly well – which means no one gets to 270 and the House of Representatives gets to choose between McMullin, Trump, and Clinton for President (and the Senate gets to choose between Pence and Kaine for VP.
Who knows what will happen?
But, whatever does happen… God is on His throne. And our ONLY purposes as His ambassadors here on Earth are to bring Him glory in everything we do…to take care of fellow believers…and to look after everyone (reflecting the Love He has shown us to a world that needs His Light).
That means both speaking up for the unborn as well as taking care of the immigrant. (Among MANY other things)
Which means no current “Major” Political Party is a truly good fit for Christians. We should remember that in our efforts. Let’s not so tie ourselves to Earthly things, men, and institutions that we lose sight of our “set apart-ness”.