One of the most unique objections to Donald Trump is that his character is irreconcilable when it comes to the question of voting for him. This objection was recently renewed with John Piper and was one of the primary concerns of the “Never Trump” movement in 2016. But is this a real standard that people hold or is it a unique facet of Trump Derangement Syndrome?
Now, I am not trying to convince anyone that their assessment of Trump’s character and their subsequent decision on whether to vote for him is right or wrong. I am not here to defend Trump’s character. We all know he has a flaky relationship with the truth, a very public history of adultery and sexual immorality, a history of shady business dealings, and a boastful personality.
Equal Weights and Measures
The Bible states in Proverbs 20:23, “Differing weights are an abomination to the Lord,
And a false scale is not good.” In fact, there are several verses on unequal weights and measures along with the umbrella of the sin of partiality. I write this not to change your mind but to exhort people to not commit the sin of partiality. So, I ask those who believe Trump’s character unbefitting to be honest about the standard they hold Trump to as opposed to any other politician. I ask two simple questions?
If Trump is unworthy, who is?
This is a fair question to ask. If Trump’s character is to wretched, what politician has character that is worthy? If someone claims that all politicians are corrupt and none are, then they should cease to make any insinuation that Trump is unique in this regard. There is no need for someone pessimistic to overemphasize Trump’s unworthiness, as this would be logically inconsistent. Personally, I believe that there are politicians that have high character marks. And if you hold character in such a disqualifying regard, it would be a necessary exercise to have a comparison.
Does your own voting record demonstrate a character standard?
It is understandable to believe Trump’s character, fails to meet a certain threshold that you have determined. However, does this same standard apply to the rest of your votes? Anyone voting for Joe Biden on this basis is a fraud. He may in fact be the most corrupt Vice President in US history. Did you vote for Mitt Romney? I did not vote for Trump in 2016 because I thought he had the character of Mitt Romney, a habitual liar who has held both sides of most major issues, as well as being a pagan. Did you vote for John McCain, who was a particularly evil Senator. He was pro-abortion as well as extremely pro-al-Qaeda in a post 9-11 world. His vocal support for Syrian Rebels, which was (is) a euphemism for groups like ISIS, Al-Qaeda (a group that has rebranded several times ie Nursa Front), and Turkish backed terror groups that slaughter Kurds. Then there were the terrorists in Libya he supported. He was a warmonger and reckless with taxpayer money, and decades of corruption outweigh military service, of which his record includes crashing 3 planes due to negligence prior to any deployment in Vietnam. He also divorced his wife and married younger (sounds a lot like Trump.)
With myself, I cannot justify not voting for Donald Trump yet voting for Larry Hogan twice, a tyrant who has no reverence for God. In contrast, Trump has some reverence for God in the same way that Cyrus and the Pharaoh that knew Joseph had some reverence for God.
A Fair Assessment
Everyone has moral failing. Newt Gingrich had an affair, yet I do not think that is the only defining moment he has had as a human being. I do not know if he is saved, but I have heard him articulate a Christian worldview. John Piper is certainly guilty of not calling balls and strikes with Trump’s character, as Wayne Grudem pointed out. Trump, all things considered, has kept more campaign promises that most politicians, especially given his capacity. I wish this meant more, but he is easily superior to 75% of Republicans. During his term, there appear to be no signs of sexual impropriety. There are just a lot of mean tweets.
It is important to note that people can change over time whether do to common grace, which is what I would argue with regards to Trump, or from having received regeneration through the Holy Spirit as a result of Christ’s work on the cross. But if we are comparing unregenerate politicians, due to their lack of justification the issue of character is perhaps ultimately moot in being a deciding factor between two politicians as opposed to policy which is ultimately more impactful. But whatever our standard for voting is, it must be consistent regardless of Trump.