My name is Amber. I’m a conservative Republican. In many ways, I’m a conservative Conservative. In other ways, I’m a moderate Conservative. In every way, I’m #NeverTrump.
From the time Donald Trump first announced his run for the presidency in June of 2015, I have consistently declared that I would never vote for him. And from the beginning, I have had to defend my stance against those who argue in his favor. In the short time since the Republican Convention, those arguments have come from a broader group of people and have become more frequent and more passionate. People who can’t stand Trump are telling me I need to vote for him because a vote for anyone else is a vote for Hillary. In Facebook threads, private messages, texts, emails, phone calls, and personal conversations, friends, family members, and strangers are reaching out to tell me I’m wrong. They are desperate–terrified, even angry at the thought that the “Never Trumpers” are going to hand this election to what must be the most publicly corrupt and untrustworthy candidate ever to have run for the highest office in the land.
Nevertheless, I will continue to stand with a clear conscience in my position that I will never vote for Donald Trump. There are many reasons. Here I will state some of those reasons, as well as address a few of the arguments of my Republican associates.
I Will Not Vote for Trump
**I am a Christian. I seek for leaders with Christlike qualities: humility, honesty, compassion, wisdom, respect, meekness, love, virtue, morality, kindness, and so forth. This doesn’t need much elaboration. #NeverTrump
**I seek for leaders who rely on God for guidance, direction, and power, men and women who acknowledge our dependence on God for all that we have, both collectively and individually. I believe that this “one nation under God” will only remain so insomuch as we, the people, recognize His influence on this nation, from its birth to the present.
**I will boldly stand for freedom of religion. When Mr. Trump, last December, called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” for any period of time, he was blatantly disregarding the American treasure of freedom of religion. As a defender of the Constitution, and as a very religious person myself (I’m a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), I find this absolutely repulsive.
**Trump appears to not know the Constitution, at least not well enough to comfortably talk about it without a teleprompter. In a July meeting with Senate Republicans, he referred to Article XII of the Constitution. There are only seven. I find that alarming. (In all honesty, I don’t have the Constitution memorized, and it’s been a long time since I could name each article and amendment. But I’m not running for President.)
**Trump has made attacks related to gender, race, ethnicity, religion, and more. This is intolerable coming from anyone. It is unthinkable coming from the potential leader of the free world.
**Despite his rudeness toward others, Trump seems incapable of handling criticism. He has threatened protesters with physical violence and revoked the press credentials of media representatives that irritate him.
**Trump is embarrassing. I could say a lot about this, but suffice it to say that the thought of Donald Trump representing me and my country among world leaders (political, religious, or otherwise) is horrifying.
Defenders of Trump–People Who Actually Like Him–Say….
**The first praise I remember hearing about Trump was for his unabashed talk about anything and everything. “He says what needs to be said. He says what everyone is thinking.” Well, I don’t think everyone is thinking what Trump is thinking. I know I’m certainly not, so he’s not speaking for me. Has the political correctness gotten out of hand in America? Absolutely. But manners and respect and taming one’s tongue should never be out of style, and should be especially valued in statesmen.
**Another praise of Trump was, “He’s so rich he can’t be bought.” I don’t believe that for a second. Trump owns casinos. He makes a living off of profiting on the losses of others. In my mind that qualifies as greed. Benjamin Franklin well understood the dangers of loving wealth: “He that is of the opinion money will do everything may well be suspected of doing everything for money” (emphasis added). Men with money can be bought. Men with integrity can’t. Trump has money (Or does he? People seem unsure.). He doesn’t show much integrity. Again, from Ben Franklin: “Money never made a man happy yet, nor will it. There is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more a man has, the more he wants. Instead of its filling a vacuum, it makes one.”
**”Trump is a successful businessman, and America needs that to help us get out of debt.” Well, I’m no economist, so I struggle as much as the next person with how best to get this country out of debt. But I don’t believe that because a man runs a real estate empire or a reality TV show that he can solve all of our money problems. And then there’s that issue about him not releasing his tax returns. Is he a successful businessman?
**”Trump isn’t part of the establishment. We need an outsider.” Trump may not be a career politician, but having D.C. experience doesn’t itself make for a bad leader. The stereotypical qualities of a “bad politician” include corruption, greed, selfishness, immorality, and inability to work with others–and I’m not so sure he’s an outsider to those.
**Of course there’s the immigration issue: “Trump is going to build a wall. We need a wall to stop the illegal immigration.” Yes, and Mexico’s going to pay for it. Moving on.
People Who Hate Hillary So Much They Defend Trump (While Gagging) Say….
**”If you don’t vote for Trump, you’re voting for Hillary, and she will ruin this country.” I agree that Hillary is a dreadful option. But I’m tired of being told that I must vote against her by voting for Trump. I happen to deeply value my precious right to vote for whomever best represents my political and social viewpoints, regardless of popular opinion. My own family members–people who have had a profound and lasting impression on my political and social views–have tried to persuade me to vote for Trump. It would be slightly amusing in a less serious arena: people who taught me to “Stand for truth, even if you stand alone,” are now preaching, “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.” No, thanks. I’m still standing. And I happen to know I’m not standing alone.
**”A vote for a third-party option is a vote for Hillary.” I’ve been hearing this since I first started researching third-party candidates, when it became clear that Trump would get the Republican nomination. This accusation also gets old, because I was never going to vote for Trump. Remember? #NeverTrump! A third-party candidate is not taking a vote for Trump that was never Trump’s to claim.
(As a matter of transparency, I am very pleased to be supporting Evan McMullin in this election–and he’s not even on my state’s ballot, at least not yet! But that’s truly not the point of this post.)
**”Ann Coulter and Sean Hannity are supporting Trump, and they’re true Conservatives!” First of all, Ann Coulter just wrote a book called In Trump We Trust. In Trump. We trust. Please refer to my above statement about seeking God-fearing leaders–she’s apparently not too concerned about that. (And now she’s profiting from her support of Trump!) Second, while I certainly do seek the opinions, advice, and observations of more experienced and informed citizens when choosing where to place my votes, I do not put more weight on the opinions of others than on my own thoughts, feelings, and impressions.
**”You have to vote for the Party!” I’m sorry. I’m confused. I don’t remember ever pledging allegiance to the Republican Party. But as an elementary teacher, I still pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America almost every day. My loyalties lie with defending the Constitution and strengthening the people of the greatest nation on earth. In most instances, that means (based on personal interpretation) that my votes and my stances have aligned with the Republican Party. But when I feel that the Republican Party fails to represent my values and ideals, it is not only my right but also my duty to stand with right and truth, as I perceive it.
I recently saw a meme that read, “I’d rather stand with God and be judged of the world than stand with the world and be judged by God.” I’m not saying God is endorsing Evan McMullin (or any other candidate) for President. But the scriptures are full of examples of leaders, both good and evil. I know the qualities God wants in the leaders of His people, and the qualities of which we should beware. God does not put popularity before morality.
If you truly feel that Donald Trump is the right candidate and will “Make America Great Again,” by all means, vote for him. And tell your friends to vote for him. Put a sign in your yard. Wear a big, white baseball cap. That’s your right, and I respect it.
But if you’re voting for Trump just to vote against Hillary, consider the fact that there might be a better option out there. The public seems to generally agree that having Trump and Clinton as the leading candidates makes this the most ridiculous presidential election in history. Their approval ratings are horribly low.
Republicans are claiming that we must all vote for Trump, or we’re voting for Clinton. Democrats are being told that they must vote for Clinton, or they’re voting for Trump. Some people are so threatened by the “other” party that they are foolishly, pridefully clinging to their own party’s candidate, even with all his/her perilous flaws. Let it go! Don’t believe the lies! Open your eyes! You are free to vote for whomever you want! Let go of your party pride, if necessary, to vote for someone you can be proud to put your name beside. This is a free country–a GREAT country, and we need to elect a leader worthy of the title President of the United States of America.