From ‘Never Trump’ to ‘OK Trump, I guess, because Hillary is just so blah’

As I publish this post it’s November 3rd, 5 days before election day 2016, and the Cubs just played the Indians in Game 7 of the World Series… and won! America needed that World Series — Congrats to the Cubbies for finally getting it done!

But back to the issue at hand. By now most people know me as that annoying “Never Trump holier than thou” guy that won’t shut up on social media.

However, I’ve always been a little uneasy with being ‘Never Trump’ because of the natural side effect of it helping to elect Hillary Clinton. In fact, as recently as just about two and a half weeks ago I once again tried to make my case for hedging until 2020 in an effort to ease my conscience.

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My 4.5 year old insists on putting a Trump sign in our yard. Eh, why not.

But now, I’m moving toward Trump — and am pretty much there — but first let’s look at how I’ve gotten here.

At first, I was willing to leave the presidential line blank and only vote down ballot.

Then I was going to support the Libertarians to help with future ballot access. However, Gary Johnson has slowly imploded while Bill Weld has turned out to be a Clinton shill, so they’ve made it tough for me to throw my vote their way.

Then I was going to write-in Evan McMullin (or is it ‘David McMullin‘?) because of his momentum in Utah.

Then I realized a vote for Trump in ME-02 actually increases the possibility of sending the election to the House because it would take a delegate from Hillary’s quest for 270 (thereby ultimately helping McMullin’s chances — convoluted, I know).

The tide began shifting toward Trump for me when WikiLeaks began to show more and more of the dark underbelly that is the Clinton machine.

Then the FBI re-opened the investigation against Hillary Clinton because of the discovery of new emails , some possibly containing classified information, on insecure devices belonging to Anthony Weiner (the estranged perve husband of top Clinton aide Huma Aberdin). How is it conceivable that we have a presidential candidate under not one, but two FBI investigations?!

And now, it looks like an indictment is looming for issues other than just these newly found emails.

Most importantly, polls are now moving in such a way that Trump could win this — or at least make it close. In ME-02, my home district, Trump is popular and my vote could make a difference in deciding who gets our one delegate. I had always told people earlier this year that if you showed me a poll near election day where Trump was within striking distance of Clinton, then maybe I would consider voting for him. Well, we’re definitely there now.

And finally, my gut and political radar just tells me Hillary is as corrupt as they come willing to do anything for power. I can’t be complicit in her rise to the presidency.

Is there still room on the train?

Let the Democrats try again in 2020, but I’m not going to sit idly by and let my vote aid in the election of Hillary Clinton. If she wins next week, so be it, but the blood won’t be on my hands.

Mike Pence, I’m coming home

I join Paul Ryan, Jason Chaffetz, and other begrudging Trump voters in helping to “Make America Not Clinton Again” — or whatever.

And then, there’s my 4.5 year old doing this to help put me over the top.

I know I said no more political posts, but this is too funny not to share. Max found the Trump sign I had put in the basement after someone stuck it on our lawn, and well, watch for yourself…

Posted by Aaron Prill on Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Gotta love kids!

Except in Utah, voting Trump is best way NeverTrump conservatives can help Evan McMullin

I’ve been a NeverTrumper from the moment Trump entered the race. Once he had locked up the Republican nomination, I even switched my party registration from Republican to Libertarian in disgust. As I’ve investigated how to justify voting in a way that would help elect Hillary, the Libertarian Party’s battle for ballot access nationally and in Maine has been the best avenue to this point. Furthermore, if they get 5% of the popular vote nationally, the Libertarians will qualify for federal matching funds in 2020.

The two-party system is broken, the nomination of both Trump and Clinton is proof of that. And the best way to start breaking that monopoly up is to help a third party gain traction. During the Libertarian Party primary, I was excited about Austin Petersen’s candidacy, but since Johnson became the official nominee I’ve been only been a lukewarm supporter of the libertarian ticket.

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Can Evan McMullin stand in the away of Trump and Clinton?

Therefore, the meteoric rise of Evan McMullin’s candidacy for President in recent Utah polls has me intrigued. If he were to win Utah and neither Clinton or Trump were able to secure 270 delegates, then McMullin, Clinton, and Trump would all be up for consideration by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives to decide the next President of the United States. And since Speaker Ryan would be presiding over that historical event, there’s no guarantee Trump would automatically get the nod considering the recent tough love between those two.

Running the Numbers

So you probably see where I’m going with this, but if not I’ll spell it out. The only way to keep Hillary from getting to 270 is for Donald Trump to win in enough battleground states to stop her. So unless you live in Utah, a vote for Trump is in order for NeverTrump supporters who want to help Evan McMullin.

The only way to keep Hillary from getting to 270 is for Donald Trump to win in enough battleground states to stop her.

I live in Maine’s 2nd District (out of 2), and it is actually considered a battleground because it’s much more conservative than Maine’s 1st District, and our state awards one delegate for the popular vote winner in each district (then 2 more delegates to the overall statewide winner). Here’s an electoral scenario that deadlocks under 270 delegates — notice Maine’s 2nd District awarding one to Trump.

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As you can see in the above map, to finish at 268-264 I’ve allocated Utah (6) to McMullin, and awarded the battleground states of FL (29), OH (18), NC (15), AZ (11), IA (6), NV (6), NH (4), and ME-02 (1) to Trump. While he trails in most of those states, if NeverTrumpers and a large portion of Gary Johnson voters in each of those states broke to Trump then they are all back in play.

Check out the state-by-state polling averages for yourself (use dropdown box at the top-left to change state, and keep an eye on Johnson’s numbers in each).

Bottom Line

TL;DR — If you are a NeverTrump conservative, Evan McMullin is your best bet because he’s on track to secure some delegates by winning Utah. However, if you live in a battleground state (or battleground district as is the case with my ME-02 district) that’s not Utah, then the best way to propel McMullin’s chances is to vote Donald Trump to keep Hillary from 270. So given the current electoral map, the best NeverTrump option is to vote for Donald Trump (assuming you also don’t want Hillary).

Trust me, I didn’t believe it at first either. I was in denial for a few minutes. But the more I thought it through, the more I realized it was true. A vote for Donald Trump is likely the very best way to increase Evan McMullin’s chances of victory.

Trust me, I didn’t believe it at first either… A vote for Donald Trump is likely the very best way to increase Evan McMullin’s chances of victory.

It’s been a crazy election year already so you never know. As always, vote your conscience.

Fellow Christian, Trump may need us but we do not need him

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If I had a dollar for every time a fellow Christian told me we “need Trump”, I could single-handedly fund my church’s next building campaign.

The line of reasoning typically goes something like this —

  • Donald Trump wasn’t my first choice but he is the only good choice remaining.
  • If Hillary wins she will appoint very liberal justices to the Supreme Court and we will “lose many of our freedoms.”
  • Hillary does not believe the Second Amendment gives individuals the right to own guns. She will appoint justices who will “take away our guns”.
  • Hillary Clinton wants more Syrian refugees imported into our nation and she wants a country with open borders.
  • Hillary Clinton wants abortion on demand, and at any time during the pregnancy.
  • We “need Donald Trump” to keep President Hillary Clinton and her liberal agenda from becoming a reality.

And to which I respond the following —

  • It only takes 41 U.S. Senators to block an extreme liberal Supreme Court nominee. In this political climate, I hold out that even moderate Republicans will stand against the nomination of an extremely liberal activist judge.
  • Hillary will be gone by 2020, and 3 of the oldest judges are already liberal or liberal leaning (Ginsburg, Breyer, Kennedy). So even if she got 3 picks in 4 years, the balance of power wouldn’t even change.
  • If you don’t think Hillary will be extremely vulnerable in 2020 then you’re not paying attention. The only reason she’s even winning now is because Trump is such a TERRIBLE candidate.
  • If Hillary actually promoted “abortion on demand to the final trimester”, Americans — who have been trending more pro-life in recent years —  would revolt. Same idea in regards to trying to “take away our guns.” If she tried it, the Dems would lose huge in the 2018 midterms, and she would be a lame duck until 2020 (even better).
  • Donald Trump is only pandering to the anti-abortion vote. He doesn’t even mention the Pro-Life issue anywhere on the policies page of his website (trust me, I looked).
  • Open borders produce free markets, but if we just enforced existing immigration law we’d be fine.
  • As Christians we are called to extend a helping hand to the “least of these.” The fear-mongering when it comes to Syrian refugees is maddening.
  • A strong Republican Congress can hold her feet to the fire as the opposition party in DC. If Trump is elected, they have to carry his water — very bad for a generation of Conservatism.
  • Jesus is King, quit with the “we will lose many of our freedoms” scare tactics. You’re being fed a load of crap.
  • Hillary’s policies may result in persecution of the church from the outside, but Trump will poison it from the inside (as he is already doing). I contend the latter would be much worse.

So while Donald Trump knows he needs our votes to win, which is why he shamelessly panders for the pro-life vote and plays to the Christian Right’s need for political power, we do not need him. Vote for him if you want, but please don’t tell me I need to.

If persecution comes and our faith is tested, that just means Jesus was right. Our faith would be affirmed by such trials. Count me in, and onward to 2020!

More reading from others —

So am I not going to vote?

I still plan to vote on November 8th, and will support the Republican and conservative candidates down ballot for Congress, and at the state and local level. For president, I will likely vote for the Gary Johnson/Bill Weld libertarian ticket — not because I agree with everything they stand for, but because every vote they receive helps with ballot access for the Libertarian Party in future elections. The best way forward for this country is to support every effort to break the two-party stranglehold. In Maine, voting for Gary Johnson is the best means toward that end. If you live in Utah, I would encourage you to support Evan McMullin.

Read Next –> My position explained: Why I’m still #NeverTrump and hedging my bets until 2020

Why I’m not worried about the Supreme Court, and will gladly support a Third Party this fall

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All my conservative friends are worried about the Supreme Court. Many have settled on Trump with the future of the Supreme Court being their only justification. I respect this view, but here’s how I continue to sleep at night as a freedom-loving American who is leaning toward supporting a third party ticket this fall — even if that increases the likelihood of a Clinton presidency.

The Supreme Court’s sole purpose is to interpret already existing law, not make new law. They simply decide legal precedent. Consider this, a balanced Senate forces the President’s hand — regardless of party — to nominate someone who will refrain from being a judicial activist. This principle is of course one product of the balance of powers as outlined in The Constitution.

The proof of how a balanced Senate affects this process is seen in how President Obama, considered by many to be the most liberal president in recent history, nominated Merrick Garland — a highly respected, highly qualified, moderate nominee (who deserves consideration from the Senate, by the way). President Obama’s more liberal nominees were made during the years when the power of the Senate was more Democrat-controlled

Hillary Clinton would be similarly prevented by a balanced Senate from nominating a liberal activist judge. The only thing that could jeopardize Republican numbers in the Senate is Trump’s cancerous position at the top of the party as he would steadily alienate voters from the GOP in the years to come. Let’s not bite off our nose (settle for Trump) to spite our face (lose Republican seats in the Senate long-term). In a twist of fate, the only person who can save the Republican Party from Trump is it’s longtime nemesis — Hillary Clinton!

[ More Reading on why Trump’s Supreme Court picks might even be worse: If You Care about the Constitution, Donald Trump Is Not Your Ally ]

Four years is not a long time. The oldest SC Justice is Ruth Bader-Ginsburg — already a liberal. Replacing her with a Clinton appointee would be no big loss. The next two oldest justices are Stephen Breyer and Anthony Kennedy — again left-leaning moderates (depending on who you ask, even liberal). Therefore, if even the worse case scenario happens and Hillary gets 3 picks in 4 years, the balance of the Court would not move too much as long as the balance of power in the Senate remains where it is today. It’s a scare tactic to say otherwise!

Hillary would not be guaranteed two terms. In 2020, the conservative movement will have had time to regroup (as long as Trump isn’t leading the party) and a much stronger candidate would be able to exploit her weaknesses, and the American people would be more than ready for a change after 3 terms of Obama/Clinton. This is why I’m willing to wait. Trump would lose interest in politics and be back to hosting reality shows — that would be good for America! Patience is a virtue!!

So that’s how I sleep at night and look forward to supporting a Third Party alternative this fall. The only viable option is likely be the Libertarian ticket of Gary Johnson and Bill Weld. While not perfect, they are a much better alternative for America’s future than Trump (or Hillary), and a vote for them would keep my conscience clear.

Please keep any comments civil, or they will be deleted.

Donald Trump: Anti-to Christian Witness

Embracing Trump evanglical Christians damage witness

Donald Trump is far from being The Anti-Christ, but he’s definitely anti-to much of what Jesus Christ championed.

Said another way, there is very little Christlike character represented in the public persona Donald Trump has displayed while running for President. So there is no reason to believe his “true self” is any different, or that he would govern compassionately when faced with morally difficult decisions.

When the Pope suggested Trump was not a Christian, I think he was just making a judgment call on his evidence of conversion. As an aside, I wonder if Trump has ever confessed with his mouth Jesus Christ as Lord, and believed in his heart that God raised him from the dead? This is, after all, what Romans 10:9 says we must do to have a saving knowledge of Christ.

But I digress.

Embracing Trump evanglical Christians damage witness

Yes, Donald Trump is created in God’s image like the rest of us. There are redeemable qualities. But what is different about Trump is he doesn’t seem to believe anything about his character needs redeeming.

Yes, we’re all imperfect. Trump just doesn’t seem willing to admit it.

A common refrain given to my critiques are:

“We’re not electing a pastor-in-chief, but a commander in chief.”

Well, this article solidly rebuts that straw man argument, so give it a read if you are tempted to blast me with it. Here’s my favorite excerpt:

It is a reproach that any who name the name of Christ would support Donald Trump for president. It’s even more appalling that some who pose as spiritual leaders have proven themselves blind leaders of the blind in giving their blessing to Trump and even implying that he is a Christian man. — Steven Woodworth

You can say you’re “mad as hell” and Trump says what needs to be said. He can be funny and entertaining. But his entertaining frank-talk isn’t funny anymore. It’s even proving to be downright dangerous.

One might wonder why more pastors — both nationally known and in our local communities — are not speaking out against Trump’s candidacy. I agree political endorsements are best left out of the pulpit, but when professing Christians begin championing views and rhetoric that are so anti-to Christ’s mission and gospel, it’s the responsibility of the pastor to guide his flock.

However, maybe pastors are downright fearful to speak up.

When Pastor Max Lucado recently made the case for decency, the fallout he received led to this follow up by Christianity Today. And when Anglican Priest Thomas McKenzie opined how Trump is not funny anymore, his inbox was flooded to such a degree that he was forced to pen an automated response.

I still hold out hope for the Republican party and conservative movement in America. But a Trump presidency is not the way to advance either — as detailed by Senator Ben Sasse of Oklahoma in his open letter to Trump supporters. Like Senator Sasse, if presented with the choice of Trump or Hillary, my vote would be “neither” and I would be able to have a clear moral conscience about that decision.

But wouldn’t Hillary do more damage to the pro-life movement than Trump? Isn’t his recent pro-life conversion worthy of consideration when weighing his level of “Anti-to Christ-ness” you ask?

Yes, possibly. But let me pose this question back to you. If Trump wipes out the conservative movement all together, is supporting him for 4 to 8 years really worth the risk of losing champions for our cause in all levels of government for a generation or more?

No candidate is perfect, and all fall short of the glory of God (Rm 3:23) and standards set forth by the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Bible. But considering Trump has no apparent shame to be as outwardly unChristian as possible, even while pandering to and exploiting those who profess that faith, should he even be worth our consideration?

In his opinion piece, “What Wouldn’t Jesus Do“, Peter Wehner nails it —

In embracing [Trump], evangelical Christians are doing incalculable damage to their witness.

Whether you think he’s funny or to the point, and is a mouthpiece for “righteous anger”, embracing him simply damages our Christian witness. The Bible makes quite clear we will have to answer to Jesus for any idle thing we do that damages his Name.

As I hit publish on this article, it’s 3/1/2016 and the Super Tuesday states are voting. I expect Trump to dominate in today’s results. The way forward may not be pretty after tonight… stay tuned.