Tuesday, July 26, 2016

8 Never Trump Reasons That Don't Work

A photo posted by @taralynnthompson on

Not voting for or voting for Trump has entered into the righteous stance stage. And I get it. I am it. Politics can extrovert an introvert and impassion a stoic. It's potent stuff, these ideals. As it should be. So I don't apologize for my opinions (nor should you), nor am I offended by any that disagree.

And I usually disagree passionately. So don't be offended.

Thankfully, we live in a society where conflicting ideas are welcome. And legal. If, as Benjamin Franklin challenged, we can keep it.

Stay tuned.

Lately, in our passionate expression, I keep hearing a few repeated phrases from those unhappy with the Republican ticket. And, since that's my side of the aisle, I want to address them. This isn't about defending Trump. He can do that himself. Or educating anyone about him. Anyone can do that for themselves.

This is more of an observation of the current mindset. I would start this by saying I'm no expert, but what follows is actually my opinion about these phrases. So I am the only expert.

Roll tape:

1. "I must stand up for my principles."

Here, here! I'm always for standing up for your principles. So, that's awesome.
My confusion is how Christians/Conservatives are using this in relation to not voting for Trump. I get he's not your ideal candidate, nor mine. But is Hillary? So you're standing up for your principles against someone who doesn't represent your principles by electing someone who doesn't represent your principles.
Do I have that about right?

2. "It's time to send a message."

This message sounds important. What is it? Who will be receiving it? How will they receive it? And, if you've already been trying to get this person to listen, what will make them listen now?
If we're going to gamble the future stability of western civilization on this message, let's make it clear. And, let's make sure it will reap the intended results. Otherwise, it sounds about as potent as a celebrity hashtag campaign.

3. "I could never support someone who (fill in the blank with whatever you dislike about Trump)."

It's vitally important to know who and what we are supporting. Absolutely. But don't stop there. Principles don't end at the ballot box. Who else shouldn't be receiving your support? Do you know about the players in your favorite team? The actors in your favorite movie? The principles that are being promoted in your favorite binge TV series?
Entertainers aren't politicians - true. They're worse.
They've been given national and international platforms with no vetting whatsoever. We support them because they entertain us. That's all. Yet they sway the culture. Then the culture sways the legislator. And we're paying them to do so.
If you can't support a person because of (fill in the blank), then make sure you aren't. Be consistent. Be principled. If you're willing to risk the future of a nation, make sure you're also willing to risk missing that playoff game.

4. "I shouldn't have to choose between the lesser of two evils."

Ah, sure you should. You do it all the time.
- That hateful thought you didn't share? Well, you shouldn't have even thought it.
- That exaggeration your boss pitched during the client meeting? Let's call that what it is: a lie. And you let it stand.
- That bill you couldn't pay this month? That didn't mean you didn't owe it.
Life is filled with making the tough decisions. Some we get right. Some we get wrong. But we still have to make them. That's life. And it won't be changing the rules before November.

5. "My vote against Trump is not a vote for Hillary."

Then who is the vote for?
Your "fill in the blank" candidate has no chance of winning because, ps, they aren't even on the ballot. And any third party candidate who is running has exactly the same chance as your fill in. Just like all modern day Presidential elections since forever, no third party candidate has ever won the Presidency. Even Theodore Roosevelt, although he came close, didn't pull that off.
So, like all other US Presidential elections since we've held them, this is between two candidates. If you want Trump to lose so you can "make a statement," stand on your principles and be honest. Vote for Hillary. Anything else is a denial of what you're really doing.

6. "This is only one election."

This statement is often used with "we're better off losing the Presidency and focusing on our Congressional races." Because that tactic has worked beautifully for nearly eight long years now.
The fact this is one election is freaking scary. So much at stake. One election. Not good.
Somewhere a myth has been created that elections don't have consequences. That's a bold statement. Can someone, anyone, please give me an example of an election where there weren't consequences? One will do.

7. "I don't see any difference between Trump and Hillary." 

My head hurts.

8. "Voting for Trump just to vote against Hillary isn't good enough." 

You're so right. It isn't. If you're a conservative, there are several areas where you can find common ground with Trump and Pence. If, that is, you want to find it.

Verbally contentious election years don't bother me. Because, at present, our political fight at home for liberty and freedom still only involves words.


So let's keep all of this discussion and disagreement in perspective. As civilians, our fight doesn't require us to leave our families, our homes, or start every work day wondering if we'll end it with both arms, legs, and eyes. And that's the survivors. For this nation, we still have the freedom, liberty, and blessing to fight our political wars with words.

But one day soon, if we treat elections as throwaways, the cost could get far, far greater.

Doing everything I can to stop that from happening? That's the principle I'm standing on.


katarina said...

Bravo, Tara! My thoughts, exactly! You have such a beautiful way of expressing your heart and mind on difficult issues...Thank you! πŸ’™πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ’™πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ’™

Tara Lynn Thompson said...

Thank you Katarina! And you have a beautiful name.

Rob Malt said...

1. I am standing up for my principles and I'm not voting for Trump. I'm voting for Gary Johnson.

2. Maybe I misunderstood, but it appears you're arguing against sending a message yet that is the strongest reason to vote for Trump. You're also arguing against a gamble yet Trump is definitely a bigger unknown than the other candidates.

3. I disagree with your logic here. I don't think an actor's political views affect his ability to act. Trump's acting skills can impact his ability to manipulate. Comparing a presidential candidate with actors and athletes is not an equal comparison. Does it matter greatly if Mel Gibson is racist? Maybe. Does it matter if Trump is racist? Definitely.

4. I think we must choose the best candidate. Choosing between "evils" or not depends on the quality of the choices.

5. This point is the one I take biggest issue with. This argument is a self-fulfilling prophecy. As long as the majority of people share your belief, it will always be true. It doesn't have to be true and it is literally up to the voters. This notion needs to be overcome and it will start with a few. I'm proud to be a part of those few.

6. Hillary is probably a "safer" choice than Trump. A vote for Hillary is a vote for the status quo. A vote for Trump is essentially a vote for change rather than an endorsement of his negative attributes, which he has many.

7. I agree 100%

8. Good point.

Perhaps I'm too binary in my analysis, but this race comes down to this:

A. For decades our leaders have made decisions and passed laws that benefit corporations and the very wealthy. They have neglected the rest of the population. They are no longer the elected representatives of "the people".

B. Americans have had enough of point "A". Maybe..

C. A vote for Hillary is a vote for things to continue as they have. She might win, hence my uncertainty on point "B".

D. A vote for Trump is a vote for change. Big change. He is definitely not an ideal candidate. He's the duct tape and bailing wire candidate. You know you should fix the problem properly but that duct tape is real convenient.

E. Big change is going to hurt. I think this is the biggest reason people will vote for Hillary.

Tara Lynn Thompson said...

Hi Rob,

Thanks for that well-organized response. It was excellent! Not your points, of course. Those were rubbish. But what a stellar use of the numerical and alphabetical system. ;-)

You mentioned Hillary being the status quo. That may be the biggest point of differentiation between us. I don't believe that because there will be no status quo. The foreign, economic, and domestic policies enacted by the Obama Administration are simply not sustainable. They will come crashing down, but not before she attempts to take them even further.

Socialism is a hunger that is never satisfied. Four more years of it and we'll be devoured. (Not to take that analogy too far.)

As for Gary Johnson, well...poor fella. He doesn't have a snowball's chance. At least Ron Paul had a cult following. People would even spray paint his name on cardboard to have a yard sign. Johnson is hoping to get enough scraps from the table to feed a banquet hall and you never get enough scraps. Third party candidates have never succeeded in history and this won't be the year to change that.

I've gotta run! I've got a leaky faucet just screaming for some duct tape.


Rob Malt said...

I agree with you regarding socialism and sustainability. That's the reason I put the word "safer" in quotes in point 6. Is Hillary really safer? If I knew that I'd go buy a lottery ticket.

I have to admit there is a part of me that wants to see Trump win just to see what happens. It's the same part of me that put a M150 inside a banana and lit it on the 4th.

Lindsey Claire said...

I'm going for the well-organized numerical response as well! :)

1. No... it’s clear that neither Trump nor Clinton upholds Christian conservative principles, and increasing their power will likely amplify their horrible character. To say that he is “not ideal” for leadership trivializes the problem and is a dismissive understatement.
2. I’ve never personally used this “send a message” line, nor do I expect that many people in our apathetic, morally declining society would pay attention or listen or be changed by what I have to say. That’s still not a reason to go along with the crowd when they’re following a corrupt leader. Also, on a side note, I believe that God will hold His people accountable – far more than placing the blame on Obama or Clinton or Trump - that the “future stability of western civilization” is in jeopardy because of the many, many unrepentant compromises already made by the vast majority of American Christians, and we’re reaping the results of that in this election. (2 Chron. 7:14)
3. It’s honorable and good advice to be principled across the board, but there are matters that hold greater weight and significance. Cheering for a basketball player with liberal views is being excited about basketball and supporting that person’s athletic ability. Watching most TV shows or movies is about enjoying good entertainment. Casting a vote for an American Presidential candidate is about supporting that person’s policies, political views, proven character, and leadership ability. “Yuge” difference there.
4. Life is full of tough decisions, yes, and people often make sinful and self-serving choices. Making the choice to keep harsh thoughts to yourself or being unable to pay your bills does not qualify as evil, (nor should those decisions be justified as a reason to keep making poor choices because “you do it all the time”). We do all have to make the tough decision on what to do in this election, but at no point are we ever under any obligation to violate our conscience by endorsing a leader that we both seem to agree falls under the category of “evil.”
5. Now my head hurts. I do not personally support either of the top two candidates. I think it’s a weak, manipulative argument to imply that conservative Christians are obviously “voting for Hillary” because they are not willing to back Donald Trump. And I would agree with Rob that the third party candidates should be considered and have a better shot than ever before this year.
6. Every election matters and has consequences, and it should never be treated as a throwaway. Absolutely - I’m with you there! :)
7. There are several differences, but enough similarities in them to cause concern. To quote my own blog, “Both are power hungry, boastful, insincere, vindictive, godless, unrepentant for past wrongs, and convinced they are above the law. They lack true kindness and courage and moral virtue and Godly wisdom. At no point does my poor opinion of Trump mean I think Hillary is awesome.” I understand why you are backing the Republican party, but the idea that Melania is a thoughtful writer who is a victim of unjust criticism or that Donald is a sheep in wolf’s clothing whose character shines behind the scenes does not add up to me.
8. That is the only reason I would ever consider voting for him, and I agree that it is not enough. I believe both parties will be voting against the other side more than for their own candidate this year, and that’s a sad position for our country to be in. There are areas of common ground with Pence, yes, but I don’t believe Trump possesses the wisdom or humility to actually listen to him.

*Bonus point: I still love and respect you, and every other member of my family would agree with everything you have said! :)

Tara Lynn Thompson said...

Next Fourth of July at Rob's house! I need to see this. Please live feed it next time.

And Linds. I'm so sorry about your convictions differing with your family. That's rough. And can make a climb uphill quite lonely. I'm with you friend! Your journey is yours. Politics makes many feel lonely. Me, included. But I'm still glad you're getting involved. It isn't the most enjoyable topic...really, ever...but it's a necessary one.

For both of you, thank you for these well-thought, descriptive responses. Truly! As for Gary Johnson as a possible candidate, I still don't believe he has a chance of winning, but I wanted to understand his stance better. I found a comprehensive summary of his views on the On The Issues site at To summarize what I read, it looks like he's socially liberal and fiscally conservative, with strong views on government limitations. I can definitely agree with that last one.

Hope the link helps!

Rob Malt said...

Tara, just wanted to add that I respect your views and hope you never thought otherwise. I'm not very charismatic in my writing (maybe a bit more in person?) and tend to write in an analytical way.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You're welcome to come to our house to watch me blow fruit up any time.

Tara Lynn Thompson said...

Thanks Rob! So appreciate that. I didn't think it! We've known each other since we were amoebas so always feel free to speak openly around me. However, if, at any time, you feel compelled to also drop by and reaffirm my brilliance, beauty, or charm, I want you to know I'm here to listen, brother. That's what friendship means.

By the way, I love watching fruit blow up. And I love eating it. But not the same fruit and not at the same time.


First Principles said...

You've written some inspiring stuff that generated ZERO comments from the faithful--now you dunnit!

Must be election season eh?

Tara Lynn Thompson said...

Must and IS! And a crazy one at that. But I repeat myself. ;-)