One thing that my Logic course in college and my Philosophical Theology course in seminary taught me was this: Never is a strong word.
Never is an absolute term that should be sparingly used, not because there are no absolutes, but because the human mind is almost certainly unable to account for all of the possible variables in most circumstances where such a judgement is possible. Using ‘never’ in a rigorous argument sets that argument up to be knocked down by a single counterexample.
There are numerous instances where I could imagine a world where I would vote for Donald J. Trump, the least likely of which is clear evidence of a Pauline style conversion while on board Air Trump One. Even in the case of Hilary Rodham Clinton, I would decide to vote for her should the divine light of Christ appear and change her life.
Before any of my secular readers might suppose that all that matters to me is a religious profession of faith, I need to remind them, and perhaps even some of my Christian friends, what such a conversion, based on Scripture, entails.
To be converted, truly converted, into the family of God means that one is born again (cf. John 3). Upon such a radical conversion, a person receives new eyes to see the world as Christ saw the world; we are given the opportunity to see current events from a perspective that allow us to judge by more than mere human standards (cf. John 8:12-20; 1 Cor. 2).
The claim to have extraordinary insight is an extremely strong one, especially in the eyes of those who are secular. Yet, I do not propose that, at the minute of conversion, any individual suddenly has total control over the treasury of divine wisdom. The Christian still requires discipleship: through the mentoring of the genuine Body of Christ (cf. 1 Cor. 12:12-31), through the fellowship with the Spirit via prayer and immersion in His Word (1 Jn. 2:26-27), as well as through the crafting of his or her character in the furnace of God’s wisdom, Law, and love (cf. Heb. 12:1-13).
As a follower of Christ, I do believe that I have been given a new set of eyes, but one thing that I can say for sure: I will never have a perfect view of things this side of Heaven. I have learned as much, oftentimes, via the hard way of needing to endure the Spirit’s discipline for decisions that I’ve made as well as for views that I once held.
With these elements established, I feel confident enough to say that I could never support or endorse Donald Trump for President of the United States based on his own stance toward his moral failings, namely that he sees no need to repent of clearly sinful behavior. Such a failing of character in his own life and the fact that so many have voted for him underscores a wider lack of integrity and character within the soul of American society. What we have been witnessing this election cycle is that the American nation, generally speaking, has become a republic that repudiates virtue.
That being said, I still can envision a scenario where I could vote for Donald Trump in spite of the fact that I would never endorse him (as he stands now). I am aware; this is a paradoxical decision. The times we’re currently experiencing make it feel as though we’re living out the plot of a dystopian novel.
The American people are currently nursing a mortal wound whose healing requires something far beyond the capabilities of any politician. I do believe that the Democrats’ vision of fixing America’s issues would be like a surgeon using rusty instruments that, while they may stop the bleeding and close the wound, will produce an infection that will cripple and destroy the nation. In Donald Trump, we would find a physician who would merely slap a bandage over the wound and do absolutely nothing to heal the real issues plaguing the United States.
For me, the choice is between one party whose policies and beliefs will certainly lead to false solutions resulting in gangrenous infections that would be the demise of the country I love. On the other side is a candidate whose solutions are no solutions at all, but at least in voting for him, there is a chance to pray that we could survive four years of his presidency and hope for some sort of intervention that could heal our wounds before they destroy us.
This is not to say that I am even prepared to vote for Trump. I have no plans to do so. I am praying earnestly that by God’s grace and through the heart and dedication of “We the People,” a movement could arise where, in the next few months, a worthy third candidate steps onto the scene to provide us with a virtuous alternative.
This election cycle has awakened us to whole new possibilities that were heretofore unthinkable. I’m hoping that the unthinkable happens again and a third candidate accomplishes what no third party candidate in our recent history has done this late in the political and electoral game.