Monday, August 1, 2016

Presidential Politics in 2016: Can You Make a Favorable Argument?

I generally try not to get too political on this blog, unless it's related to the policy environment for education. (And even then, the emphasis on political rhetoric is pretty thin.) But I'm making an exception here, because I use this space for working out my own thinking. So here goes...

Over the past couple of days, I've seen this piece by Wayne Grudem pushed on social media. It is entitled, "Why Voting for Donald Trump Is a Morally Good Choice." I read it. I am not impressed.

I find myself--like many, I think--unimpressed with either of the major-party candidates for President this year. I feel like I've had the same conversation over and over again with people in the past couple weeks:

"Who are you going to vote for?"
"Ugh...I don't know. Both choices stink..."
"Yeah, but you have to vote for someone. ______ is the lesser of the two evils, right?"

And there is the problem: the lesser of the two evils.

Is that really how we're voting this year?

I've seen the arguments: "You can't vote for a third-party candidate; that's throwing your vote away!" and "Voting for Clinton is morally irresponsible, because she supports abortion!" and "Voting for Trump is morally irresponsible, because... <fill in the blank with whatever morally-reprehensible thing Trump has said or done lately>."


These are the candidates we have, I get it.

So here's my wondering and request for you all: Can you make a favorable argument for a particular candidate?

This is the biggest problem I have with the Grudem piece linked above; he isn't really arguing that you should vote for Donald Trump. His central argument is that you should vote against Hillary Clinton. (And the way you do that is by voting for Trump.) I'm sure there are pieces written the same way from the opposing viewpoint--that you must vote against Trump, by voting for Clinton.

But what I'd really like to hear is a positive, affirming, favorable argument for either Trump or Clinton. Why are you going to vote FOR your candidate of choice?

How about this...can you argue for your candidate of choice without mentioning the other candidate? This is a real, sincere plea on my part; I would truly appreciate hearing your reasoning. Thanks in advance.

I snapped this picture while on a bike ride through town the other day.
There are precious few Clinton signs in this town...but not many Trump
signs either, actually. So this is sort of fascinating to me...


  1. So here is an interesting point.
    I am not saying the third party choice is better, but if neither Trump or Clinton get a majority of the electoral college, the states get one vote each to choose from the top 3 electoral college tally

  2. I have drug my feet to jump on the Trump band wagon because he does not always or infrequently thinks before he speaks. At least he has not been groomed for politics and puts on the persona of what his/her party is suppose to be. I also have to consider who are they looking to for their advisers. We are all imperfect people but I will put a lot more stock in someone that is looking to the right people for help and advice in their decision making. I also came across this article that helped give me clarity. It was written by a pastor in Indiana. After reading it I thought "Would a subdued, quiet CHRISTian canidate be able to handle what the next leader has to face in their presidency?" I will post the article below if it fits in the comment section.

  3. From a pastor......In Indiana

    Is Trump good for America? I mentioned Sunday that I would speak on this next week. Unfortunately, I felt I was shoehorning this topic into my planned message. To properly present what I want to speak on Sunday, I may have to leave the Donald out of it! Let me take a minute for those that wonder and give some thoughts. When I first heard that DT was entering the race last year, I told my wife that I felt that it was a good thing for the party and America. I knew that he was not a "saint," but I knew that he would be like a bull in a china shop. He is a disrupter and I believe America could use a fresh thinker especially in the political arena. I didn't think he would get the nomination, but felt it would shake up politics as usual. I was correct on the shaking up part.

    Lance Wallnau likens him to a biblical Cyrus. Someone who is dynamically used of God even though not perceived by many as a God follower. God has used many people in history that I would probably not like or agree with. I’m not sure I would have liked the disciples, or David, or Moses. Somehow, God did not seem compelled to consult with me!

    I have always liked Winston Churchill. He is seen as one of the greatest national leaders in the 20th century. Last year, I had the privilege of going through the War Museum in London. Winston is a key feature. His life is controversial. He was not always celebrated as a great leader. He was a bombastic, cigar smoking, at times crude, even misogynistic leader. It is alleged that he told off color stories to his children before bedtime! A woman once told him he was disgustingly drunk. His response was "My dear, you are disgustingly ugly, but tomorrow I shall be sober and you will still be ugly!" There are many websites that discuss the outlandish comments and activities of this great world leader. He had exactly what was needed to stop Hitler at the Channel, to rouse a nation to never give up and to partner with America to find final victory in Europe. You wouldn't want him as your pastor, maybe not even your father, but he was the right leader for that moment in England's history. Such a brazen man that would go up to the roof of his quarters in central London and smoke cigars as Hitler’s airforce bombed all around him. I’m not sure I would have voted for him....but he was the right man.

    I think it would be awesome to have a righteous leader, that understood the intricacies of the economy, health care, defense, immigration, with great sensitivity to religious institutions, a heart for the poor, a vision for the future. If that leader was a praying person, formidable in the word of God and loved the local church, I would rejoice! I do not think that is the choice we will have in November. Instead....we will look for someone who is imperfect, yet will fit the times we are living in.

    Particularly, that ‘whoever’ we vote for, it will be someone who might possibly have the opportunity to appoint up to three supreme court justices. That could shape our culture in America for the next 30 years...radically. The America of our grandchildren could be very different....and that may not be good. We cannot stay still. A non-vote is a passive vote for a direction we may regret. DT good for America? I honestly believe that he has been already. He has shaken the political system.

    Do his comments offend me? At times. Do I agree with all he says? Not at all. Is he a “Cyrus” that is being raised up by God to preserve America? Time will tell. This I know. I will vote for the best chance for America. I will pray for our leaders as I have already. In the end....God will continue to be my source and my hope. I do believe that God has had a hand in America's history. He also will have a hand in its future.

    I continue to pray for this election as never before but feel very reassured after considering all this.