I have a confession to make. I did not vote for Donald Trump. Many of you already know this. I haven’t tried to hide it. I find myself surrounded by friends, family, church family and community who, for the most part, are very pro-Trump and very vocal about it.
The problem arises when it is assumed that I feel the same way.
Let me make this perfectly clear: I did not vote for Trump because not only do I believe he lacks the skill set necessary to be an effective leader, but he possesses none of the qualities scripture directs me to look for in a leader. I base this on his past and present words and actions. Some might consider me wrong for “judging” him, but when scripture tells us that we will know people by their fruits, isn’t it then insinuating that we are expected to judge. When it comes to leadership, we are given specific criteria on which to evaluate the leaders we choose.
Frankly, I’m shocked that so many Christians were able to vote for him, and dismayed that Evangelical leaders endorsed him.
Before I go much further, let me also say, I did not want Hillary Clinton in the White House, and didn’t vote for her either. Sadly, I feel they have more in common than most people realize. A brief review of Mr. Trump’s political past shows that he has been liberal, then conservative, then liberal, then conservative… His politics and “principles” seem to change whenever and however it is most beneficial for him.
Did I want a liberal judge appointed to the bench? No. We have strayed so far from the principles this country was founded on already. But, abortion shouldn’t be the only topic Christians use to evaluate a leader. There are other commandments – nine of them, in fact. I realize no one is perfect, but I would like to see a little distance from some of the more blatant acts of willful disobedience, and perhaps some remorse as well, from a Presidential candidate.
Our morals have been eroded, and Christians – who amazingly comprise 80% of the U.S. Population according to census records – are persecuted for practicing their spiritual beliefs in public; as if we could compartmentalize God to one day of the week, and one event. To have a relationship with God means that He is a part of every facet of your life. He is wherever you are, whenever you are there. Yet our society seems to think we should only worship in private so that we don’t “offend” people who hold different beliefs.
I understand Mr. Trump has promised to end persecution of Christians, and make sure preachers can teach what they believe from the pulpit. I hope he keeps his word. But there is an overwhelming abundance of evidence that Mr. Trump lies, repeatedly and often, when it helps his cause.
If you tell me he is a great businessman, and that gives him the ability to lead the country, I will remind you that some of his wealth came from Trump University, where many unsuspecting people were robbed of their money and their future to increase the size of his bank account. He retains some of his wealth by avoiding taxes because of business losses from numerous companies he ran that went bankrupt. I can only hope that he does not bankrupt our country and steal the finances and futures of the people he has now been elected to serve.
He still has not divested himself of his multiple businesses and, in fact, in his first official press conference, his Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, “plugged” the Trump Hotel – clearly a conflict of interests.
The National Parks Service Twitter account was deactivated by the Interior Department for posting pictures and numbers associated with inauguration attendance. It has been restored now, and they apologized for the “mistaken retweets” on the account. The problem is, the mistake appeared to be that they contradicted the president, not that the tweets were inaccurate. The pictures obviously paint a different picture than Mr. Trump would like us to believe. In fact, he and his Press Secretary both stated that attendance estimates were a lie, and produced figures of transit use, and talked about television viewers and in fact all viewers, being higher than any other inauguration period.
The pictures tell a different story. The official transit records show much smaller numbers for this year than 4 years ago, and Nielson states that this year’s inauguration had the 5th largest viewing audience, not the largest. And although the 2017 inauguration had nearly 31 million viewers, the 2009 inauguration had nearly 38 million.
In Sean Spicer’s press conference/speech, he blasted the news media for reporting lies, and suggested what they should be covering instead, and even stated they would “hold the press accountable” – a reference to outcries about Mr. Trump saying what he pleases on his Twitter account, no matter how blatantly incorrect or inflammatory or self-aggrandizing it is.
At his CIA speech, Mr. Trump lied about the inaugural attendance, and blamed the news media for the fabricated bad relationship he had with the intelligence community. You may recall that during the election, Mr. Trump compared the intelligence community to Nazi Germany for investigating his ties with Russia. In the CIA speech Mr. Trump described the news media as “among the most dishonest human beings on earth” and “we caught them in a beauty” referring to the “lie” about inauguration attendance.
This morning, Kellyanne Conway defended Spicer and Mr. Trump, saying he didn’t state a falsehood, but merely used “alternative facts”.
To start off the first full day in office with lies from the President, and his press secretary, and then to have them defended as “alternative facts” by his top Counselor is not just disturbing, it’s downright scary.
So, about the inauguration… I thought Melania Trump was lovely. Yes, I immediately saw the similarity to Jacquie Kennedy’s outfit, and thought it was a great choice on her part. I liked the fact that the entire first family participated in the parade. I thought our local Russellville High School Marching Band did a terrific job in the parade. But, please don’t ask me what I thought about Mr. Trump’s inaugural address. You probably don’t want to know.
No, I didn’t vote for Donald Trump. Yes, he is my president. And yes, I’m deeply concerned for this country that I love. I pray I’m wrong, and am just reading too much into everything… but most of all, I pray for our nation, because we seem to be entering a very dark time indeed.