August 10th 2020
In an exceptionally close election, especially one that's likely to be rife with fraud, every vote truly counts. That's why it's disheartening, as a Trump-supporter, to see conservatives refuse to support Trump because they find his persona off-putting. This sentiment is especially strong among evangelical Christians because Trump's personal life for so long fell short of traditional Christian moral principles.
Wayne Grudem, the distinguished research professor of theology and biblical studies at Phoenix Seminary in Arizona, apparently got an earful from a friend who believes that one cannot be a faithful Christian and support Trump. Grudem wrote his friend a letter explaining how it's entirely possible to support Trump without abandoning one's faith. And then, thankfully, he published the letter (minus personal details) at Townhall.
"Letter to an Anti-Trump Christian Friend" is a detailed, but still easy to read, defense of Trump as the most conservative president in a generation. Grudem opens his letter by explaining that people cannot attack Trump's personality and morals while insisting that his politics and policies are irrelevant to their hostility to him.
In fact, says Grudem, Trump's policies are the most important thing. His private life may have been unsavory, but nothing he did crossed the line that would make it impossible for him to serve the nation. It's Trump's policies that matter, and Grudem, a Republican beginning in 1964 when he read Phyllis Schlafly's A Choice, Not an Echo, says Trump's policies are good for America.
At a religious level, Grudem argues that Christians have a duty to the country in which they live, and that duty is to influence the world for good. While Christians cannot intentionally sin to achieve their goals, they can support political candidates whose policies benefit all Americans and who help create a nation consistent with Grudem's values - and they can do so even if the candidate, as is the case with Trump, is an imperfect human being.
To my mind, the most crucial point Grudem makes is that there is no perfect candidate on the ballot. Instead, the candidates present package deals:
The question now facing the nation is not, "Does Donald Trump have an exemplary moral character?" or, "Does Donald Trump have flaws?" or even, "Do I like Donald Trump?" The question is, "Which of two package deals is better for the nation?"
(a) Donald Trump and Republican policies or
(b) Joe Biden and Democratic policies?
There are no other choices. The nation will either have the option (a) or option (b) as a whole package for at least the next four years, and probably longer. If I withhold support from Trump, that makes it easier for Biden to win, and thereby for Democratic policies to bring (in my opinion) great destructiveness to the nation (more specifics below.)
In making a choice between package (a) and package (b), questions about a candidate's character of course are relevant. But, to my mind, the question is not, "Does Donald Trump have flaws?" but rather, "Is Donald Trump so clearly unsuited to be president that our only valid choice is to accept package (b) and the great damage to the nation that (in my opinion) will flow from Joe Biden and Democratic policies?" When I ask the question in that way, the answer is clearly No, and it isn't even close. Package (a) is far preferable.
Nor is a third-party vote an option because it doesn't erase the reality of Package A and Package B. If you don't want Biden and the Democrats, you must vote for Trump and the Republicans.
Grudem also addresses the fact that people think that, in his second term, Trump will suddenly go wild and crazy as president. He points out, first, that Trump's popular support would collapse. Without that support, he cannot govern. Next, Grudem notes that every paranoid fantasy in the lead-up to Trump's first term has failed to be realized. (The same can be said for the leftist paranoid fantasies about concentration camps and the like. The leftists responded not by seeing reason, but by creating new paranoid fantasies daily.)
Grudem reminds his audience that those evangelical voters who like Trump do so because of his policies - and then provides a laundry list of policies that should lighten every conservative's spirits.
As I said, it's a long article, but it's easy to read, and it makes vital points that should help reluctant voters separate Trump the man (whom I've grown to appreciate and admire) from the Trump the president (whom every conservative should support).
Shy Trump-supporters, the ones who won't talk to pollsters, may mean Trump will have a huge win in November. That's pretty iffy, though. What's more important is convincing every conservative who dislikes Trump that it's time to put that dislike aside because the alternative is Biden. If they didn't like Obama's presidency, they're really going to hate Biden's, given that he has become a senile figurehead for a hard-left agenda.
[Some colour fonts and bolding added.].