Wayne Grudem is a conservative evangelical theologian who has written an article entitled Why Voting for Donald Trump Is a Morally Good Choice. I excerpt it after the jump, along with some attempts to answer the article.
Read both sides. What do you think about the arguments? Can you provide further “answers” to either position?
From Wayne Grudem, Why Voting for Donald Trump Is a Morally Good Choice, Townhall:
Some of my Christian friends tell me they can’t in good conscience vote for Donald Trump because, when faced with a choice between “the lesser of two evils,” the morally right thing is to choose neither one. They recommend voting for a third-party or write-in candidate.
As a professor who has taught Christian ethics for 39 years, I think their analysis is incorrect. Now that Trump has won the GOP nomination, I think voting for Trump is a morally good choice.
American citizens need patience with each other in this difficult political season. Close friends are inevitably going to make different decisions about the election. We still need to respect each other and thank God that we live in a democracy with freedom to differ about politics. And we need to keep talking with each other – because democracies function best when thoughtful citizens can calmly and patiently dialog about the reasons for their differences. This is my contribution to that discussion.
A good candidate with flaws
I do not think that voting for Donald Trump is a morally evil choice because there is nothing morally wrong with voting for a flawedcandidate if you think he will do more good for the nation than his opponent. In fact, it is the morally right thing to do.
The Trump that Grudem describes is a Trump that I could support. He’ll succeed where every single Republican president has failed and appoint the judges who will overturn Roe. He’ll cut taxes, ease racial tensions, rebuild the military, secure our borders, stand up to Russia, and repeal ObamaCare – all while replacing it with a superior free-market alternative. Grudem’s Trump makes Ronald Reagan look like a loser. And what of Trump’s honesty problem? Grudem waves it away by declaring that “The most likely result of voting for Trump is that he will govern the way he promises to do, bringing much good to the nation.”But wait one moment. What exactly has he promised to do? If I go by Trump’s words and actions, he’ll raise taxes, implement touchback amnesty, support government-run health care, appoint pro-abortion judges, fund Planned Parenthood, order troops to commit war crimes, try to defeat ISIS with Exxon, destroy American credit, radically increase the deficit, cede NATO countries to Russia, abuse eminent domain, restrict First Amendment rights, start trade wars, retweet white nationalists, support gender-neutral bathrooms, inflame racial tensions, and traffic in absurd conspiracy theories. Trump himself has made the case that he’d be a disastrous president.
Rather than truly grapple with Trump’s wild, leftist, and inconsistent policy statements, Grudem simply pretends most of them don’t exist. But the problem with Trump isn’t just that he lies habitually (though that is a big problem), it’s also that he’s been all over the place on policy. In other words, he’s not just a known liar who sometimes tells me what I want to hear, he’s a known liar who also tells me reprehensible things. Who can know where he really stands? Indeed, if one just examines the Republican Convention, it’s clear that his main policy proposal is simply to apply a magical dose of “Trump” to every domestic and international problem.
See also Warren Throckmorton, whose Answer to Wayne Grudem about Donald Trump and What Is Best for the Nation gives specific policy points from Trump that are different from what Dr. Grudem seems to think they are.
UPDATE: My former student and now Patheos editor Bart Gingerich gives an excellent analysis of why so many evangelicals are, in fact, supporting Trump. Not “should they” but “why they are.” What he says takes us deep into some cultural issues that are usually neglected by just about everyone. As a seminarian, Bart also says these factors are important for pastors and future pastors to realize about their flocks. Read 7 Reasons Why White Evangelicals Are Supporting Trump.