How should American Christians vote in the midterms?
Dr. Michael Brown
If Bob Woodward’s Trump-bashing, mega-bestseller is true, how should conservatives vote in the midterms? If the White House is in chaos, led by an unqualified and out of control president, what course should we take on November 6?
Woodward speaks of “a nervous breakdown of the executive power of the most powerful country in the world.” And he describes Trump as “an emotionally overwrought, mercurial and unpredictable leader.”
The infamous, anonymous op-ed piece in the New York Times spoke of Trump’s leadership style, “impetuous, adversarial, petty and ineffective” and claimed he was “amoral.”
Yes, we are told, “Meetings with him veer off topic and off the rails, he engages in repetitive rants, and his impulsiveness results in half-baked, ill-informed and occasionally reckless decisions that have to be walked back.”
What if these charges are true? Should Trump supporters hang their heads in shame and stay home in November? Should conservatives throw in the towel and capitulate to the inevitable demise of the Trump White House?
Not a chance. Now, more than ever, conservatives should get out and vote. Here are four reasons why.
First, we are not voting for a new president. Donald Trump is the duly elected, 45th president of our nation, and the next presidential vote doesn’t come until 2020.
Consequently, regardless of his behavior, this vote is not directly about him. It’s about other issues, about a larger agenda, about campaign promises that are important to many of us. Why in the world would we not want to vote to see those promises kept?
So, while we are not voting for a president, we are voting for congressmen who can thwart or advance the president’s agenda. And if anything has been clear over the last two years it’s that Trump has tried to deliver on many of his pledges and commitments.
The question, then, is simple: Would we be better off with a president who is empowered to continue to push forward with a conservative agenda or by a president who is hamstrung? Would we be better off with radical leftists dominating the House and Senate or with conservatives holding their ground?
That’s what the mid-terms are about.
In short, our vote is not a specific endorsement of the man Donald Trump. Our vote is a call to continue to advance an ideological agenda (while, at the same time, voting against a very different, even dangerous ideological agenda). And since this is about advancing an agenda, the president’s demeanor and leadership style are not the major issue.
Again, I’m not downplaying the concerns. I’m simply putting them in their proper place. Many of those who held their noses when they voted for Trump have been pleasantly surprised by the good he has done while getting what they expected on the negative side.
The midterm elections are about helping him do more good.
Conversely, if we choose not to vote, we will not thereby bring about any change in the man, Donald Trump, himself. How, then, does our non-vote help?
Second, we must remember who wants us to stay home.
It is militant pro-abortionist who despise the pro-life movement. It is unashamed socialists who see capitalism as the enemy. It is sexual revolutionaries who abhor our biblical values. It is the deeply biased “masters of the universe” who want to suppress our voices online and in the public square. It is the leftwing media, already forecasting the inevitable blue wave.
Who will be smiling if conservatives, by the millions, decide not to vote in November?
Third, if Republicans lose the House (or, even more significantly, the Senate), this would only plunge our nation into greater turmoil and conflict. How in the world will this make things better?
Talk about chaos. The next two years would likely be chaos personified.
Put another way, if you’re genuinely concerned that President Trump is about to explode (or implode), by not voting (or by voting Democrat), you are doing nothing to stop this explosion (or implosion).
Conversely, if you can surround the president with good men and women, people of principle and character and conviction who share his values, you can help forestall a feared collapse. (Again, I’m not predicting any such collapse is coming. I’m simply addressing this mindset.)
Fourth, you can maintain your integrity (and your Christian testimony!) while voting for a pro-Trump agenda, since politics is not the gospel.
You are not pledging your soul to a party. You are not hitching your personal salvation to a leader (as emphasized in the title of my forthcoming book). You are not looking to a political party to bring about moral transformation or spiritual awakening.
You are voting to strengthen our national security. To keep our economy growing. To appoint Constitutionally-based justices to the courts. To stand against radical LGBT activism. To preserve religious freedoms.
And if you put aside the daily scandals and controversies and accusations (from the Mueller investigation to the payment of porn-stars to the latest tell-all book) – in short, if you put away the drama – it’s clear that President Trump has accomplished a lot that is good.
The midterm elections are about saying, “Let that good continue!”
Why in the world would you want to stay home?
Dr. Michael Brown (www.askdrbrown.org) is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. His latest book is Playing with Holy Fire: A Wake-up Call to the Pentecostal-Charismatic Church. Connect with him on Facebook or Twitter, or YouTube.
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