The US Presidential Election – a personal perspective (2)

I must admit, I hadn’t reckoned on returning to a subject, I have already blogged about several times already, so soon. I hope folk will forgive me for my NOT going over old ground by stating why I like neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton, and wish they both stood down for those who are more suitable, having stated as much in my personal perspective blog a couple of days ago. I am also mindful there are great gaps in my knowledge, there are many perspectives I haven’t sufficiently explored and when it comes to pointing to either character flaw, one is, at least according to US and UK law, innocent until proved guilty. But the big question remains how should Americans respond? Clearly there is great vexation and polarization among Americans on the matter and even the Christian “good guys” who endorse neither candidate, have in their wisdom declared Americans ought to vote. While it is easy to say “not my problem”, in this case when America coughs, Britain really will catch a cold.

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When I was at Junior school, I often got in trouble for being naughty. My friend, however, who was, in the view of some of them who knew him, even naughtier, and never in trouble with the teachers. The difference was that my naughty actions were carried out in front of my teachers, and I was punished as a result and, as for my friend, he was always careful  for that not to be the case and made sure he was seen in a good light, and as a result he became teacher’s pet. I sometimes wonder if that is what is happening in the case of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Going back some months now, I recall commenting on Trump’s foibles and as time has progressed, this has become even more evident. While the latest one that came to light today, of him groping a women in a sexually inappropriate way, comes under allegation rather than hard evidence, a lot of what he has done wrong has gone on in front of a watching world and, given the hatred some have toward him, this has been widely reported. Regarding Clinton, the latest three stories: the four ladies talking about Hillary’s husband, Bill’s, sexual improprieties, and Hillary “doing them down”, the secret service agent’s book giving many instances revealing why Hillary is a bad leader, and the latest round of Wiki leak revelations about her staff attacking Catholics and Evangelicals on top of the earlier one making the connection between the State Department’s actions and the nuclear arming of Soviet military powers, all might be seen as mere allegation. Yet on top of that there is what I have referred to earlier, e.g. the “lie” she came under gun fire in Bosnia when she didn’t, and it all amounts to a large portfolio, which according to her detractors she has cleverly managed to hide, yet can’t be ignored, no more than the multiple indiscretions and worse of Donald Trump.

When it comes to choosing between candidates based on their personalities, it as one commentator said: like choosing between a hurricane and a tornado, neither do we want. But should we cast personalities to one side and focus rather on policies and what will be best for America? This is one question where a “Yes and No” answer is in order. I was told when I was young, soon after becoming eligible to vote, that when it comes to voting you should vote for the party (or that which has overall the best policies) before person (i.e. whether or not that person had good or bad character, values, ability, knowledge, wisdom, experience, commitment etc.) . For a while that was my guiding principle. I would consider what each party had to say, and their record, and decide which best aligned with my views and voted for the person representing that party, irrespective of his/her personal qualities. I suspect that is still true for most people, but later as I came to realize things were not that simple, I considered more the person. Until he stepped down from being an MP in 2005, I usually voted for Teddy Taylor, despite my not being a Conservative, based on personality. While I suspect there are many who do not like Trump or Clinton, they will still vote for that person because of the policies he/she would pursue. There are some though, who so dislike either Trump or Clinton that they will vote for his/her rival. Yet, if there were an election where personality is a key factor, it is that for President. While there are checks and balances written into the US Consitution to reign in excess and wrong use of power, for good reason the US President has been referred to as the most powerful person on Earth.

If I were to weigh Trump and Clinton policies, I would overall favour Trump. While there are social and environment justice policies where Clinton will score higher (and interestingly doing one of those online quizzes that are currently popular, Clinton scores higher overall policy wise), when it comes the economy, national security, foreign policy, on top of the importance I give to pro life, pro traditional marriage and religious freedom, a distain for a secretive, globalist, in part morally bankrupt establishment, which Clinton has long been part off, and the type of person she will likely nominate to sit on the Supreme Court, Trump will score higher than Clinton, even though, unlike Trump, she is more of a known quantity. (Yet to make it crystal clear: I agree with a friend who commenting on the above said: “Policies do matter a lot but I was always taught integrity and character matter too in life whether you want to be president or just in the way we treat one another. I think we can all have policies but its our actions that speak louder than words. I think it is perfectly acceptable for USA voters to weigh up the actions of the candidates as that gives a big clue to whether they will deliver on any of their policy promises.” – ed).

Because of this and the moral and other conundrums American people face in deciding who would be the best President, I cannot endorse either candidate, and whether I do before election day remains to be seen. If I did, it really will be on a lesser of two evils basis, although I will respect other views. What seems clear, there is a lot of water still to pass under the bridge in the next few weeks and more revelations will no doubt come to light. America is in dire straits and it needs much prayer. It needs to do what is right, for “righteousness exalts a nation“. There is a spiritual dimension of course, although many even among the pious will disagree on the details, and on this I would like to reflect in my next post.

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