A Call for Unity

It is addressed to Republicans, but I see a lot to like in it anyway. It's the kind of argument that, were the candidate himself able to make it, would be compelling. Perhaps even convincing, if I were sure that he was a man who truly understood the agenda they assert for him and truly believed in it. It would help if he could manage to treat people decently.

I am still divided. I have to vote before Election Day, because I have to travel that day, but I have not yet done so. I will thus have to do it tomorrow or the next day. I am certain that I cannot vote for Hillary Clinton, for the very valid reasons lain out so well in that argument. I am not convinced that Donald Trump is fit for the office, or that he will make a good President, or even a decent one. I do not like the idea of giving my assent to his ascension to an overly-powerful office ripe for abuse by a man of appetites, pride, and disdain, and he has shown himself to have all of those qualities.

But so has his opponent, in spades. Even her virtues become vices, for her habits of careful study and hard work are turned toward corruption and self-enrichment, toward maintaining a dense nest of lies, and toward the single-minded grasping for power, for control. Under no circumstances would I like to live under her authority. I have the very real sense that she considers herself the enemy of me and mine, and of everything I hold dear about the Republic and its Constitution.

I could simply write in the candidate of my choice, which was always Jim Webb. (Remember Jim Webb? Imagine if we could substitute one of these two with him, and perhaps my faith in him will become clearer.) I'm told they don't even count the write-in votes, but I wasn't expecting my vote to count anyway. Georgia is said to be close this year, but AVI fields a strong argument that, in fact, neither my vote nor any of yours actually count. They matter, he says, but they won't count for anything in terms of the outcome of the election.

So I am thinking about what matters. In the end, a protest vote in the manner of a write-in would only leave me with the illusion of clean hands. On the other hand, voting for Trump -- should he win -- would leave me with an illusion of dirty ones: after all, he wouldn't have won based on my vote, so I would be no more guilty of his victory than of his defeat.

Why worry over illusions? Because they matter, as AVI says.
We should be grateful for exactly these sorts of decisions that God sends to us. The November election is a practice version of a decision that has real consequences. Jesus is letting us have a sandbox to play in every election, where we can try out the various lessons and build our little castles for practice. Because your answer is going to have no effect on anything. This is a test. Rejoice! Most lessons in the Christian faith are expensive, considered worth it only in retrospect. This one is cheap. Use this opportunity with joy.
Alas, I am not yet wise enough to be joyful. But I suppose I know what I have to do.


E Hines said...

There is much with which to disagree in Trump's foreign policy plans, and whether he can--or would try to--implement those or his domestic plans is a question.

But at least Trump has plans that are aimed at what's good for our nation, even if motivated by what's good for Trump. Clinton's are only motivated by what's good for Clinton, and there is no happy side effect of beneficiality for our nation.

But the deciding factor for me is the Senate and the fate of the Supreme Court. And of the NLRB, the EPA, the CFPB, the.... A Clinton win will bring the Senate to the Progressives and the shadow presidency of Warren. And so to the destruction of the Supreme Court and the expansion of the NLRB, the EPA, the CFPB, the....

It's not clean or dirty hands, it's a necessary deed.

Eric Hines

james said...

I was born into a system that, when I turned old enough to vote, made me 1/100,000,000 Caesar.

It would be convenient in some ways to hand off all the prudential big-picture stuff to kings. I wouldn't have to decide if e.g. death sentences are better or worse for society as a whole.(*) I could just say "mercy is good, but we obey Caesar," and if I were pacifist enough I could refuse to personally participate in juries or war. Some early Christians did things that way. I see their point--they felt called to be holy priests, as unstained by evil as possible.

But with liberty comes responsibility, and this broken world supplies us with very ugly choices sometimes. And not to decide is to decide...

(*) I think death sentences are sometimes necessary, but when things are peaceful enough nobody notices that because of the surplus capacity in our social systems. When you don't have the resources to solitary-away all the appropriate felons anymore, you start to notice.
And I have not been called on to defend my family's lives, but I hope that if I ever am, I will do so as thoroughly as necessary.

Tom said...

I don't really buy AVI's contention that one vote doesn't count but does matter. If it doesn't count, it doesn't matter. In that case, there is no difference between voting for a carefully considered candidate, voting for the winner of a coin toss, and not voting at all.

The process of deciding can teach us the lessons he claims we learn by voting. If we go through the process of answering the question, "If my vote counted, who would I vote for?" then we've gotten all of the benefit there is to be had. There's no need to actually go and vote.

That seems to be the logical conclusion from his premise that my vote doesn't count.

raven said...

Here is the problem- the way the system is set up, it often comes down to a handful of voters in a few small districts in a couple of states , deciding the issue for the entire country. That is what makes fraud so appealing- the efforts can be concentrated to great effect. "First with the most" and all.

Calls for unity are a hard sell , after years of relentless class, race, and sex division- I think what the PTB are really worried about is the white majority finally getting tired of being the only ones left out of the protected classes.

jaed said...

Most of my positives for Trump are actually negatives for his attackers. (That is, I may not like Trump much, but I have come to positively despise the sort of people who attack his supporters for being, variously, stupid, bigoted, insufficiently sophisticated, toothless, and/or too American.)

However, I do have one good thing to say about him as a politician. I'm not sure how much I buy of his talk about great deals... but he says specifically that he will make great deals for the American people. He knows who his principal is supposed to be, when he's president. That counts for quite a bit.

Anonymous said...

I think Trump might actually turn out to be a good President.

He's clearly a strong executive who has identified some of the nation's problems, and is interested in having a national discussion (and action) about them. I doubt that I will agree with him all of the time, but I'll know where he stands and why, on the issues.

I think he will act like a responsible businessman while he is in office, and that will be refreshing and sometimes cringe-inducing. A person who understands a budget and a proper bidding process, as well as accounting, might have something worthwhile to say about how our money is being spent.

And perhaps he will interfere with some of the grosser forms of corruption that have infested our government. I would hope that he would choose better political appointees than Obama has or Hillary would. I have become alarmed about Hillary's baggage, and this time I am referring the people she would bring with her into high public office, and all of the people they owe.


douglas said...

I too have started having modest hopes that Trump could end up being a fair president. He's gotten much more controlled over the course of the election, I suspect he's learned a thing or two about what you say and how you say it, and that's a start. St. Paul was a deplorable tax collector and persecutor of Christians, but he changed. I'm not quite so hopeful for Donald, but I'll pray that should he win, the weight of the office gives him a new perspective and perhaps reshapes his worldview a bit. I'm realistic about this, and will absolutely settle for 'not Hillary', though

Ymar Sakar said...

Trum doesn't even think he needs repentance from God, he thinks everyone else is wrong but him. And it is his managers and family, who know how to best deal with the narcissist, that has him more controlled. Trum himself has little to no control over himself, not even in his pursuit of power in DC.

Bill Clinton had to learn how to manage people and perceive tells, because his drunk father would be a menace if Clinton made a mistake and set the old man off. Trum's kids, adults running his campaign, are much like that as well. Just as Valerie Jarret is to Hussein. AMerica's not so much electing Trum, as his clan, putting them and his household troops into power as the new King of America in DC. But people are best left with their illusions, else they become upset.

Clinton is also bringing her husband, clan, as well.