Salvation Doesn’t Change Your Basic Nature
When people ask why I didn’t vote for Trump, my answer is short and simple. I don’t TRUST him.
That’s a fairly uncommon answer. Many people don’t like Trump but liking him and trusting him are two different things.
Likability is not a primary issue anyway. It is a good quality to have but it doesn’t really qualify anyone as presidential.
Evangelicals started the like/dislike campaign when they claimed he is born again implying, of course, that that made him a good candidate. The problem with that theory is born again doesn’t qualify anyone as presidential either. I know many Christians I wouldn’t vote for.
“Born again” also doesn’t qualify anyone as likable. I’ve listened to many biblically sound messages delivered by people who weren’t that likable. But not to worry, saying someone is unlikable isn’t the same as saying they are bad. If someone is unlikable to you, it only means you and he or she don’t necessarily mesh.
The goal for Christians is to be Christlike but I don’t mean that in the absolute sense, nor should it ever be taken that way. No one is 100% like Jesus. Not you, not me. Not your parents, siblings, or the people at church.
Christlike means you’re different from what you were. Not perfect. Not likable. Just different.
Trump may be different from what he was but, likable or not, his flaws are still quite obvious. Taken together, those flaws raise many questions but none of them alone make him untrustworthy. There is one flaw, however, that I believe makes him unfit for the job. Let me explain.
Lying Isn’t The Problem
Yes, Trump is a liar, pathological even. He has a workaround-correction-explanation or outright denial for every misdeed-action-misspoken word and he doesn’t hesitate to blurt out completely erroneous data to prove a point he can’t really make. It’s so common that fact checkers can’t keep up and many people don’t seem bothered.
Who knows. Maybe folks think it’s entertaining.
Strangely, the people who speak against lying most (evangelicals) defend him the loudest. It’s an oddity historians will marvel at for years to come.
There are a few puritanicals who won’t vote for a liar but all politicians lie and Trump’s deception is so obvious it almost seems harmless except for the fact that some believe it.
In spite of that, His lying is not my primary reason for distrust.
Immorality Isn’t The Problem
Yes, Trump is also immoral. Even worse, he is shameless, and like his lying, his immorality is public knowledge.
That’s enough to make some people withhold their vote and no one was more aware of that possibility than Trump. Immediately before the 2016 election, he tried to cover his worst indiscretions with DNA’s but other than that he doesn’t seem to care enough even to lie about it. The record of his gutter-talk is quite extensive.
If they weren’t before, the public is now well aware of his below-the-belt drives and no one seems to care.
But, although his immorality reaches the level of debauchery (he’s not the first but is definitely one of the worst), that isn’t the primary reason for my distrust.
Policies Aren’t The Issue
Some people live for policy issues like small government, tax cuts, green issues, GDP, trade agreements, and, of course, anything involving moral regulations.
That last issue is very prominent. And, yes, it does seem counter-intuitive that anyone with Trump’s sexual proclivities could be relied on to manage moral policies but that’s another contradiction for historians to feast on at a later stage.
Issues are important. None should be dismissed or taken lightly, but the truth is, every leader does some things right and some things wrong.
The economy is a biggie but neither Democrats nor Republicans can claim the high ground. In fact, they balance each other nicely.
I do tend to lean toward Democrats these days but I’m not siding with either entirely. They both have good and bad points.
Republicans decry big government but on their watch, government, whatever the size, has reached its highest levels of inefficiency – FEMA during Hurricane Katrina, for example. If you know anything about life, you know inefficiency is expensive.
Democrats, on the other hand, are a bit slow-moving. They invest in things that take time to develop, like education and infrastructure. Democratic economies grow as well as Republican economies but in a different way and at a slower pace.
Of course, if you listen to Trump, no one has ever implemented better, more effective policies (not even Republicans – refer to my first point about lying) but the facts tell a different story.
The way Trump tells it, everyone has more money now than ever but the median household income in 2018 was a few dollars less, in real terms, than it was in 1999. He’s obviously reading from a different report. Again, refer to point number one.
Also, economic growth under Trump is about the same as under Obama and Obama inherited a failed economy so maybe Trump should be doing better. Come to think of it, he did make that promise but the promised result hasn’t materialized.
Trump, by the way, began his term in office with markets having reached record highs in the two preceding years. There’s no reason he shouldn’t at least keep pace.
On social issues, Trump is a failure. His abrasive approach to and attempts to block racial justice initiatives is a matter of record. Protests are enflamed by him and he doesn’t know how to back off.
There is another more important reason to distrust Trump but the racial issue runs a very close second.
Flagrant Disregard For the Law Isn’t The Issue
Republicans claim to be “conservatives” but they’re the worst at breaking the law. I guess it’s a Republican thing. They love to bend the law and I don’t mean slightly. The number of indictments and convictions for Republicans reads like a high scoring football game and Trump slots in comfortably.
- Nixon – 28 key indictments with several convictions.
- Reagan – 33 key indictments with several convictions.
- Trump – too early to count.
In total, there have been 142 indictments under Republican administrations, since the days of Nixon, with Trump leading the pack. He’s still in office so we don’t know how high the number might eventually be.
By comparison, only two indictments are recorded for Democrats during the same time frame, both under Clinton.
Republicans have also led the charge for voter suppression. Twisting the law is a game for them.
I find it incongruous that the people who preach the rule of law the loudest and spared no expense in the war on crime so readily break the law when it gets in their way!
Still not my primary reason for distrust.
The Issue – He’s Erratic
The issue that worries me most is his erratic nature, and you can’t change nature. Not even salvation changes a person’s basic nature.
Salvation gives you a new heart but the biggest lesson any Christian will learn is not the meaning of the word soteriology but how to let the new heart lead and leave the old nature out of your daily decision making. The old nature isn’t eradicated till you go to heaven.
And it is a daily problem. Paul said, “I die daily!” (1 Cor. 15:31). Jesus said, “take up your cross daily!” (Luke 9:23).
There is no evidence that Trump has learned that lesson.
No one knows what Trump will do next. You don’t. I don’t. The people that love him don’t. The people in his administration are constantly fretting, confused, and complaining. They don’t know what he’s thinking or where he’s headed. His actions are not predictable.
But, I’m not saying he is unpredictable. Unpredictable is actually a good thing but in Trump’s case, he doesn’t even know what he will do next.
And he is driven by personal vendettas. He doesn’t forget offenses. Even his fans admit he is vindictive.
This has nothing to do with him being smart or well informed. I don’t doubt his intelligence but intelligent or not, his impulses lead the way. Not his deliberations. Not the consideration of expert advice and qualified counsel.
Trump’s erratic nature makes him a danger to the nation and the world. It’s a good reason not to vote for him.
I hope Trump is a Christian. I hope he learns to follow Christ but we might all pay for it if we expect him to learn those lessons while in the Oval.
I won’t vote for Trump, not because he isn’t Christian or I think he’s bad, although the arguments could be made. I won’t vote for him because he can’t be trusted to make a carefully considered decision in the moment of trial. That is what presidents are born for. I don’t think he understands that.