Only yesterday, I wrote on my Facebook page: “genuinely flummoxed – been trying to find reasons to endorse voting Trump and this in the light of major Clinton qualms, yet I am hard pressed in the light of yet another sex scandal, but latest “FBI in Revolt — Top FBI Official Exposes Massive Corruption Which Let Clinton’s Crimes Slide” story is also bothersome – is this part of a huge anti Clinton conspiracy or is there really a lot of bad stuff concerning this lady – at least last time we could focus on the issues but now the person seems to have become the issue …”. This latest reflection is coming after just learning of these two latest revelations, having a little prior reflected on Franklin Graham’s “Decision America” tour (see here), and this being the third in my “personal perspective” series (see here and here for the previous two).
One of the points Graham made quite strongly was that those who could vote, should vote, and he gave several examples of the bad that happens when good people (and here he had in mind the significant in terms of size Christian community) didn’t vote, as has been amply demonstrated in the past. While I liked much of what Graham said and felt he hit the nail on the head by calling Americans to turn to God, starting with the Christians, I am not his apologist any more than I am of any high profile public figure, and the only thing I can commit to “apologizing” for is what is written in the Bible. While there is little I strongly disagree with Graham on, there are a number of points he made I would take issue with and one is whether or not one must vote in the US Presidential Election (which is a hypothetical question as I am disqualified from doing so).
Not that I agree with a lot of what “The Huffington Post” says, I have to reluctantly concur that the latest Trump sexual impropriatory revelations and his lack of contrition, makes it virtually impossible for me to endorse Trump. It is an irksome reality that if probably and other Republican candidate had been the party’s nominee, I could well find myself voting for that person on the basis of having done what Graham says I should do, which is to check out the alternatives in the light of what I value most. I also do so on the basis I cannot support, by any stretch of my imagination, Hillary Clinton, for reasons I have given in my many earlier blogs on these matters, and this despite recognising there are a number who I am close to me who do not have such qualms. And here I point to Graham’s point that Supreme Court appointees is perhaps the main specific issue in the election, and my fear that with Clinton at the helm the country will continue along a wrong path. But never say never; there are many other offices up for grabs, more revelations no doubt to come, and whatever we feel, a choice has to be made.
When Trump announced his intention to become the Republican nominee to stand as President, like most I didn’t take it seriously enough and reckoned on any number of other candidates to get the nod ahead of him. It was not to be and his supporters prevailed when it came to nominating (half of which according to Clinton at the time she deemed “deplorable”). I have thought long and hard why the wrong candidate should have been chosen and can only conclude it was done in desperation and not just because what Trump said more closely aligned to their hopes and aspirations for the country, but that he was the one who they had confidence in for making it so. While there is plenteous evidence that Trump would make an unsuitable president, what cannot be denied is what has been well articulated here: that there are many who feel ignored by the political establishment and see in Trump one who understands their concerns and is the more likely than the other candidates to champion them. Putting aside personalities and the mix and matching that voters like me often engage in, Trump and Clinton represent two quite different visions for America, and it would not have been so dissimilar if Bernie Sanders (Democrat) or one from the much longer list of Republican hopefuls had won their party’s nomination. The advantage with that scenario is we may breath a sigh of relief when it comes to having to evaluate personalities.
I am not sure it is quite as simple as Graham’s suggestion that the biggest threat to America is the country continues its slide toward secular humanism and does not return to its traditional Christian roots. There are many secular humanists I would prefer over many who purport to be Christian, and there are many Christians with views of what is more “Christian” in terms of what should happen in America, arguing there are many other threats facing America besides the drift toward a paradigm where secular humanism becomes the norm, and these arguably have little to do with secularism or religion. But in observing what is going on, it is all part of the worries I have concerning America. And to reiterate, the dilemma I face and I know others share, is that even if I were to weigh the issues and it becomes clear that one candidate represents my concerns more than the other, how could I then go and vote for that person, knowing he/she lacks the character needed to lead.Yet it is also true that all presidents have been flawed in character and becoming president did not change that. Some achieved greatness and did a lot of good and some did not. The American people have the unenviable job deciding based on unpromising evidence which candidate would veer more to greatness / goodness. I suspect many have already made up their mind based on personal prejudice.
At some point in the future, I hope to preach a sermon on King Cyrus, who is first introduced in Isaiah 44 and 45. According to one write up: “God chooses Cyrus, the Persian ruler, to be God’s instrument to deliver Israel from Babylonian captivity”. Cyrus was far from an obvious choice for delivering Israel at a time (200 years hence) they were in dire straits, and he would not have subscribed to its religious beliefs, at least to start with, but he was nevertheless God’s instrument. I am NOT likening Trump to Cyrus, and if history is anything to go by, and politics aside, US Presidents have been limited in terms of what they were able to achieve for the national good, but yet America is crying out for appropriate leadership, and those who love America need to cry out to God. The matter will continue to roll and I will continue to watch and pray.