Why I'm With Her (And Not With Him)
Anxiety - For the last few months, little has been on my mind apart from one glaring issue which has induced acute anxiety in me and resulted in many sleepless nights: the election. It’s all I can think about. It’s practically all I dream about. So I figured I’d vent some of my excess thoughts and feelings on the matter into a blog post, and in doing so provide my friends and loved ones some insight into my perspectives.
Disclaimer - This is not an unbiased appraisal of both candidates. I have an agenda, and that is to see Hillary Clinton win the presidency next month, for reasons I hope to elucidate here. Some of my points may be broadly drawn, and some of my policy perspectives may be shallow (particularly economic policy) because fundamentally, I’m not a political person. I try to follow politics as much as I can in order to be a responsible citizen, because political elections and decisions really do affect our daily lives, but it doesn't come naturally to me.
Christian Conviction - The primary lens through which I view all this stuff isn’t political; it’s spiritual. It’s theological. As a fledgling theologian and practitioner of Christian ministry I can’t help but see this election through my experience and through my expertise, from a vantage point of the Christian Gospel. Ordinarily I'm reticent to air my spiritual convictions on political matters, especially considering the fact that we live in a democracy wherein matters of policy are not dictated by particular religious teachings, and with good reason! Given how one candidate in particular has vaunted his own support among Evangelical Christians, however, I figured my own Evangelical perspective is fair game. So I will share how I view the issues at play this election, paying special attention to how my faith informs how I will vote next month. Note: this is not a religious test. I believe someone could lead our country well without explicit Christian faith. I am merely picking up an issue one of the candidates himself brought to the table.
Disagreement - All that said, I already know many of my fellow believers (and some of my non-believing friends) disagree with my convictions and my conclusions. I only ask for your patience, and for your respect. I arrive at these conclusions after much prayer and consideration. I will break my argument into a few parts, starting with:
Hillary Clinton is a women of unique talents, unique experience, and utterly unique legacy. It has been said that she is among the most qualified candidates to run for president in American history, but it has also been said (at the Republican National Convention no less) that she is literally in league with the Devil. The former claim may be true; I doubt the latter is. In any case, following a contentious primary race against the far-left progressive Bernie Sanders, Hillary has struggled to garner support among progressives and rural conservatives alike. And now, here she stands in a race against business magnate Donald Trump, vying for the highest office in the land. And in spite of generally low enthusiasm around her candidacy, I support her. Here are a few reasons:
Public Service - Hillary’s entire life’s work essentially boils down to one thing: public service. As a lawyer, as the First Lady of Arkansas, as the First Lady of the country, as a Senator, and as the Secretary of State, she committed her life to serving the public, to making people’s lives better. Those who know her best attest to her passion for helping, her sincere, unwavering commitment to making things work for the most people. One issue Hillary has championed most consistently throughout her career is the welfare of children and of families. She worked toward universal health coverage for children, for child-poverty relief initiatives. Her singular focus around this issue makes me feel like our nation’s children will be safer and more prosperous in Hillary’s America.
· Gun control - Let’s make something clear: Hillary doesn’t want to abolish the second amendment or end personal gun ownership. Granted, some of her gun control proposals, if implemented, may curtail the utterly unfettered access to guns that many enjoy now, but only in an attempt to stem the epidemic of mass shootings and gun violence in our country. Fundamentally, she wants to apply (or enforce) universal background checks and end gun-show loopholes. She wants to keep those on terrorist watchlists from purchasing firearms (so does Donald Trump by the way). Personally, my pro-life convictions lead me to a much stronger anti-gun stance than Hillary, but as the two candidates are concerned, I’m with her.
· Racial justice - Hillary, of the two major candidates, is the one willing to look at our national policies, particularly those around policing and mass incarceration, which disproportionately target and disenfranchise people of color in our country. She talks about implicit bias and discrimination in our criminal justice system and promises to do something about it. She meets with civil rights leaders in an attempt to learn how to move forward. And she has, I might add, broad support from the vast majority of people of color in our country.
· Climate Change - She’s also the only major party candidate willing to actively work against the effects of human-exacerbated climate change. The vast majority of climate scientists agree that human industry has polluted our planet such that we will experience a severe global warming which will render our home inhospitable in the too-near future, unless we make drastic changes now. We need a leader who will prioritize the future of our planet over short term corporate interests.
· Marriage Equality - Last year the Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling which made marriage equality the law of the land. While some of my Christian brothers and sisters may have theological convictions around the issue of non-hetero sexuality, I hope it is clear that Christians don’t have the right to enforce with the power of law their moral convictions on other citizens. The government ought not possess the authority to deny partnership rights to couples of any gender, and Hillary recognizes that. I stand with her on this issue.
· Health Care - My entire family was able to procure health insurance for the first time in my life because of the Affordable Care Act. The ACA was written for families like mine, for people like me. I know “Obamacare” isn’t perfect, but if we scrap it entirely we’ll lose its beneficial aspects (children can be on their parents’ plans until 26, you can’t be denied for pre-existing conditions). Hillary wants to take what works from the ACA and build from its foundation something more workable for everyone. I hope we give her the chance, for my family’s sake.
· Taxes - During the economic rebound following the Great Recession, gains were made across the board, but a higher percentage of these gains concentrated in the highest economic stratum. This further calcified a pattern of wealth concentration wherein the top few percent of Americans possess more wealth than the lower half. Hillary Clinton’s tax plan entails closing corporate loopholes and increasing taxes only on the highest earners in order to pay for the programs she wants to implement in her presidency. Middle class families, according to this plan, may actually see tax cuts, especially thanks to the child tax credits she is proposing.
· Education - People who grew up where I grew up don’t have the same opportunities or resources as children from middle or upper class families. It was only through education, free, public education that I was able to get to a place of success in a field I’m passionate about. Hillary is (as ever) committed to investing in our young people, and allocating funds where they are truly needed: our education system. She is even working with former-rival Senator Bernie Sanders to develop strategies either for tuition-free or debt-free public college and debt-relief for graduates with exorbitant student loan debt. As a student, I support these efforts. I don’t believe these goals are naive; I think it’s just a matter of priority. And I believe Hillary will prioritize education. To keep things fair. Because without free education, you can’t pull yourself up by your bootstraps. Capitalism doesn’t work without it.
· Immigration - Contrary to the claims of the Trump campaign, Hillary does not support purely “open borders”, but desires comprehensive immigration reform. She wants to provide a “path to citizenship” for immigrants already living in our country. She wants to fix the broken system and make it a reasonable, affordable process to immigrate into the United States, instead of punishing those immigrants who took advantage of gaps in the system for the betterment of their families. Hillary’s is not only the more humane plan; it’s the more economically-reasonable one.
· Refugees - Trump supporters tend to hold against Hillary that she desires to increase the rate of refugees coming into the United States by 550%, which, it turns out, is true. And here’s the thing: I applaud her for it. As a country we ought to have the moral courage to take in displaced women and children. After all, the process for vetting refugees is thorough; if a terrorist wanted to come into our country there are a dozen easier ways to do it. And in any case, the US is a land of opportunity, and these folks need refuge. We must not refuse this call to hospitality, “for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”
· Living wage - For years, as inflation has increased, the minimum wage has not increased proportionately. This means that a family may have one parent working full time at a minimum wage job and still be living under the poverty line. Hillary supports raising the federal minimum wage to offset this disparity. The increase may not be as stark as Bernie Sanders proposed earlier in the election cycle, but it will be a step in the direction of helping struggling families make ends meat.
Running Mate - When news broke that Hillary had chosen to run alongside Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, a few of my more progressive friends were unenthused. He seemed like a safe choice, a strategic one. And a moderate-leaning Catholic Democrat from a swing state is, to be sure, a smart choice. Investigating his past and policy positions, however, has convinced me that Kaine is a generally solid man. He’s a former-civil rights lawyer and a family man with strong moral convictions. He’s been called a “Pope Francis Catholic”. A man of faith with strong social justice convictions? Count me in.
Experience - It always confounds how some consider being a “Washington insider” a liability when it comes to running for president. Can you imagine the same line of reasoning for any other job? Who wants some rogue novice fixing her toilet in lieu of an experienced plumber? Who would rather an amateur tooth-enthusiast work on his teeth than a trained, credentialed dentist? When it comes to the two major party candidates running for president, one has a wealth (and I mean WEALTH) of experience, and the other virtually none. I don’t know about you, but I want someone at the helm of our country who has more than the vaguest idea what the job entails.
Listening - Much has been made of Hillary’s aloofness toward the public. She comes across as disingenuous and calculated. She seems to say what she needs to say in order to get what she wants. But those who have worked closely with Hillary tell a different story. She isn’t a charismatic public personality, they say, but a listener. She is detail-and-policy-oriented, which impels her to approach conversations with political allies and opponents alike with a listening posture. She is driven by the stories of people she meets on the trail. Even rivals attest to her willingness to come to the table and listen. And at a time when our country is more divided than ever, this quality may prove invaluable.
History - I must confess the idea of a woman finally assuming the highest office in the land is moving to me. It is, frankly, embarrassing that it has taken us so long. America ought to be at the fore of this kind of progress, but instead we are slogging behind many other world powers. And why does it matter? Because representation matters. Little girls finally being able to see someone who looks like them in our highest office is a cause worth fighting for and celebrating. Hillary also has a strong record advocating for women’s issues and women’s rights, here and abroad. And in a country where women are often underpaid for their work, it may do us some good to have a woman in office who will work to close the gap. Granted, if Hillary were, apart from her gender, utterly unqualified, her womanhood alone would not be sufficient reason to elect her. Fortunately, however, she has plenty of experience and ample qualification to boot. Additionally, I believe it merits mentioning that, while there are legitimate reasons to oppose Hillary and her policy positions (I’ll mention a few below), the particular degree and kind of hatred which have met Hillary’s bid for presidency are, in my opinion, at least partially gendered. She represents, for some, the epitome of the “bossy” woman, supposedly usurping male authority in her attempts at political power. Again, obviously not all Hillary detractors are sexist, but the way many Trump supporters talk about her, with gendered slurs (b***h, c**t, whore) and sexist jokes, demonstrates how far we still must come in our pursuit of true gender equality.
Abortion - In spite of my left-leanings, I actually consider myself morally pro-life. I mourn for the loss of life which takes place in the act of abortion, and I wish Hillary had a more nuanced approach to the issue, or at the very least greater sympathy for those who feel so strongly on the other side. I recognize in this issue, however, a system of complex variables at work, including the social and economic factors which keep women from carrying their pregnancies to term. Poverty, for instance, is a driving motivator behind many abortions. If we can deal with these other factors in constructive ways, by making contraception more readily available, by increasing sex education in schools and prioritizing poverty relief efforts, abortion rates will go down precipitously. In fact, abortions are on the decline in the US as education and contraception have become more readily available.
Death Penalty - I am also wary of distilling my pro-life ethic down to a single political issue. I also consider the death penalty, for instance, a pro-life issue. I do not see a Christian case for it (John 8:1-11), and I do not believe the government should possess the power or authority to take human life. Hillary, unfortunately, does not share my conviction here. Also, as I mentioned, I consider gun control a pro-life issue (here Hillary and I agree).
War - Another issue over which I disagree with Hillary is war. I, motivated by the teachings of Jesus, am a pacifist, and as such I consider being anti-war a pro-life issue. Further, as my libertarian, non-interventionist friends have elucidated for me, Hillary has an unfortunately “hawkish” posture toward war and foreign conflict. Granted, she is not alone in this, and is certainly not more prone to intervention than her primary opponent, but as a pacifist I do take moral issue with Hillary’s propensity toward handling foreign conflicts with martial force. And from a policy position, I believe our money and resources ought to be allocated for more pressing domestic matters. For this reason, the only Republican candidates I have considered voting for in recent elections were libertarian-leaning ones, like Ron and Rand Paul, who believe we ought to take care of our business at home before we go on policing the rest of the world.
Scandals - And finally, I am not blind to Hillary’s unfortunate scandals which have permeated her run for president. She has, on occasion, made false or misleading public statements. She has used unfortunate rhetoric on the campaign trail (I find her “deplorables” remark especially counterproductive). She has garnered scorn over her handling of the 2012 attack on two US facilities in Benghazi, Libya which resulted in the death of four American officials, and for keeping a private email server and deleting certain emails before turning over her records for investigation. Her Clinton Foundation has also drawn some criticism over its handling of foreign contributions while Clinton was Secretary of State. Some of these scandals appear relatively innocuous when explained with greater context, and others have been rehashed over and over again in hearing after hearing after hearing. When Republicans subjected Hillary to unprecedented scrutiny over both the tragedy in Benghazi and her emails, in the former case no blame was assigned specifically to her, and in the latter case, she was reprimanded for carelessness but no formal charges were brought against her.
Trump - And on the other hand, we have Donald Trump. Whether or not I believed Hillary was a qualified, viable candidate for president (I do), I would prefer virtually anyone over her opponent. In fact, my primary impetus behind supporting Hillary as strongly as I do is keeping this uniquely dangerous, ill-tempered, unqualified, bigoted man out of office. It has become something of a refrain for me lately that, when I have children someday, when they learn about this election in their history books and ask me where I stood, I want to be able to look them in the eye and assure them I stood up against a bully who targeted women, people of color, people with disabilities, and others. I want to be able to tell them that I did not compromise my morals for a man with hollow promises. And my critiques of this man are not merely personal; they are rooted in policy. I believe his policies would further disenfranchise many Americans who already experience ill-treatment under our current social, economic and legal systems. Here are my primary reasons for standing against Trump and his agendas for our country:
Temperament - In the first place, one only need scan Donald Trump’s twitter feed to discover what an unprecedentedly inappropriate, disrespectful and utterly obscene candidate he is. He targets his political opponents with dismissive epithets (“Little Marco”, “Lyin’ Ted”, “Crooked Hillary”) which his followers latch onto with fervor. He lashes out against critics and the media, he whines and plays the victim, and he generally behaves like a child. When a former Miss Universe came forward claiming he had demeaned her for her weight and race, he erroneously tweeted that she had made a sex tape and encouraged followers to search it out. He even posited that, in the event of a Hillary win, “second amendment people” might be able to prevent her from appointing liberal Supreme Court justices. That’s right, folks. He either “joked” about Hillary and her appointees being assassinated, or he meant it seriously. Fundamentally, Donald Trump behaves like a bully, with a hair trigger, wantonly dishing out insults and threats of violence all while being overly-sensitive and thin-skinned himself. To have such a man in our highest office, interacting with foreign leaders, would be a threat to our global reputation and to our public safety.
· Military - In spite of the fact that the United States already has the biggest military in the world by orders of magnitude (larger than the next eight largest national militaries combined), Donald Trump believes it must grow. We must prepare for war. We must be “strong” and intimidating to the rest of the world. On top of my moral trepidation over this stance, it is utterly economically infeasible. We’re already spending more than we can afford on defense, particularly as education goes underfunded and our infrastructure is crumbling. Granted, Clinton could also stand to be less “hawkish”, but she still pales in comparison to Donald.
· War Tactics - Donald has not only proposed re-implementing the torturous practice of waterboarding, he believes we should explore further methods of torture against enemy combatants (“I would bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding”). As a Christian, I believe torture stands in direct opposition to the heart of our Gospel, as we worship a God who was tortured and killed by an unjust state. And not only is torture immoral by the standard of most religious traditions, it has been proven to produce false testimony! Just ask John McCain, war-hero (unless you ask Donald Trump), torture-victim and anti-torture advocate. Donald also believes that we oughtn’t be fighting a “politically correct” war but should rather target families of terrorists (because terrorists don’t value their own lives). Now, this is not only utterly wicked from a moral standpoint, it is also a war crime. Civilized nations have agreed not to wage wars this way. If we stoop to the level of the terrorists, we will be no better than them. We will have no moral high ground.
· “Law and Order” - In response to concerns around police brutality and the “Black Lives Matter” movement, Donald’s position has been consistent: we need more “law and order”. He “stands with police”, which for him means empowering them to crackdown on protesters, activists and rioters. The solution to police violence against people of color is, for Donald, more police violence against people of color. I hope the absurdity is apparent, but in case it isn’t, I assure you that police violence against black and Latino Americans is a real and pressing concern, and “law and order” is an utterly irresponsible answer to it which does nothing to solve the real underlying issues behind racial tensions in our country.
· Stop and Frisk - Along with his law and order posture, Donald has proposed we revive a policing practice (“stop and frisk”) which has been ruled unconstitutional. Courts found this tactic resulted in disproportionate targeting of people of color who were profiled by police for their race. Donald either doesn’t realize the practice is unconstitutional or he doesn’t care; both prospects are troubling. And given his record with race issues, this stands out as an even bigger red flag.
· The Climate Change “Hoax” - Donald believes global warming is “a hoax” perpetrated by the Chinese “in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive”. We don’t need a president who either manufactures or uncritically accepts conspiracy theories about foreign powers manipulating our climate experts. When it comes to climate science, I trust scientists over casino moguls.
· Nuclear Proliferation - Donald has suggested in interviews that perhaps certain other world superpowers ought to have nuclear weapons, like Japan or Saudi Arabia. He has also, in meetings with defense experts, asked why we don’t use our own nuclear weapons. It appears that nuclear warfare is very much on the table for Donald, and that scares me, as it should you.
· Border Wall - The center of Donald Trump’s immigration platform is simple: build a wall. Now, on top of being economically infeasible (he claims Mexico will pay; Mexico demurs), a wall will accomplish nothing more than the alienation of our neighbor to the south. Mexicans aren’t our enemies. In fact, contrary to Donald’s claims, immigrants statistically commit fewer crimes. We need to reform the system, not build an unseemly, expensive wall. Further, and perhaps more troublingly, Trump proposes we immediately deport all undocumented immigrants, no matter how long they’ve lived here, no matter how peaceably. This is troubling because it will tear families apart, as parents are deported and their domestically-born children stay. Oh, but Donald has a solution for this as well: we revoke birthright citizenship and deport the children too! We deport citizens who have every right to live here under the law. Not only is this morally problematic, it would be economically devastating to immediately deport fifteen million people, decimating our workforce and depriving the government the revenue of the taxes they currently pay. Plus, for a conservative, Donald seems unbothered by what a big-government nightmare (to borrow my friend Alec’s phrase) the deportation force required to implement this policy change would be.
· Taxes - Mr. Trump’s tax plan is also rather simple: cut them. Which sounds appealing, until it becomes clear who will really benefit from this cut: the wealthiest few. The exorbitant tax cuts he’s proposing will save multi-billion dollar corporations a pretty penny, while, most economists agree, leaving the burden on middle class families, whose taxes may increase. How else could the government generate enough revenue to pay for its blooming military, border wall and deportation force? How do you cut taxes, increase defense and immigration spending and balance the budget? Clue: you can’t.
· Muslim Ban - In response to the refugee crisis in Syria, Donald has, in lieu of offering solidarity or support to those displaced and devastated, stoked fears and spread lies about them. Donald claims there is no reliable process for vetting refugees. This is simply untrue. And even if it were true, should we let our fears prevent us from being hospitable? I have theological reasons for believing we oughtn’t. Further, Donald has proposed a blanket ban on all Muslims hoping to enter the US which, on top of being immoral, violates the constitution, by letter and by spirit. He has also, remarkably, entertained the notion of keeping some sort of American Muslim database. Because apparently religious liberty only applies to Christians.
Character - There was a time when conservative Christians demanded that their political candidates reflect their moral standards. It would appear this is no longer the case. Before this election cycle, I would never have imagined Evangelical Christians supporting a thrice-married candidate who has admitted, repeatedly and unrepentantly, to having participated in multiple extramarital affairs. This man, who owns and operates casinos and strip clubs all over the country. Who regularly demeans women with his speech (“pig”, “slob”, “fat”, “disgusting”), and who has, if reports are to be believed, sexually assaulted (and perhaps raped) numerous women. In response to these allegations, he insinuated that he would never assault the women in question, because they are not attractive enough for him. He has, at the very least, bragged about sexually assaulting women, kissing and groping them without their consent. And to speak for a moment to the issue of honesty: there’s been a persistent narrative throughout the election that, of the two candidates, Hillary is the “crooked” “liar”. While Hillary has been less-than-honest in moments, however, it is Donald who lies with a boldness and persistence that are staggering, as if he himself gets to decide what’s true. It’s possible he doesn’t even care about the veracity of his claims, because he knows his crowd will take him at his word. Please see their respective politifact pages to compare their public statements. And finally, for a man famous and ostensibly well-reputed for his business dealings, Donald is notoriously unreliable in this sphere as well. He regularly welches on paying the contractors and service providers he employs, subsequently bullying and browbeating them into submission lest they sue him over his failure to pay. He has intimated that he may treat foreign diplomatic and trade negotiations the same way.
Bigotry - On top of his ill-treatment of women, Donald has proven time and again that he is not a bit concerned about respecting people of color. In 1989 he took out ads in every New York newspaper advocating the death penalty for five young men of color, charged with rape but later exonerated (he still insists they are guilty despite DNA evidence to the contrary). In 1993, before a congressional committee, he questioned whether or not certain casino operators were authentically Native American based on their appearance. Just over the last year or so, he claimed that Mexican immigrants are drug dealers, criminals and rapists (“they’re not sending their best”), blustered that the judge who was trying his Trump University case ought to be disqualified because of his Mexican ancestry, asserted that black Americans are “living in hell”, and regularly encouraged violence against black protesters at his rallies. He attacked the Gold Star parents of fallen soldier Humayun Kahn following their Democratic convention speech. For years he championed the racist “birther” lie that our current president, by virtue of his skin color and parentage, was not a native-born American citizen and was therefore ineligible for office. And, perhaps most damningly, he has courted the vote of white supremacists, former KKK leaders and the hateful, racist “alt-right” community, consistently failing to denounce any of these groups for their overt racism.
Life - One issue crops up time and again when I talk to my faithful brothers and sisters about Donald Trump: abortion. Donald has, on the basis of this one issue alone, commandeered the votes of many white Evangelical Americans. And this is utterly troubling to me, because it is clear that we’re being exploited by a man who has only ever held up his own needs above all others. He is a serial liar, philanderer, misogynist, bigot and bully, who has only recently and out of political expediency adopted this ostensibly “pro-life” platform. Now, I am sympathetic to the desire for a candidate who holds life as sacred, but Donald is no such candidate. He may claim to be pro-life, but how pro-life can a candidate be who threatens to kill whole families? He may claim to be for religious liberty, but how pro-religious liberty can a candidate be who would deny entrance into our country an entire religious group? He may claim to be pro-family values but how pro-family values can he be when he makes sexual passes at women, while married, and without their consent? He is presenting us with facsimile versions of values we purport to hold dear, but I beg of you, brothers and sisters, please do not be won over by his promises and threats. In spite of his pledges to “protect Christianity”, he will use us up and spit us out. He will do what it takes to gain more power and prestige. And we’re rolling right over and letting him have it.
Temptation - When Jesus was tempted by Satan in the desert, he was offered safety, prosperity and power. Donald Trump offers us the same things. He offers us safety from terrorists, prosperity to our churches and greater power in the form of a conservative on the Supreme Court. But if we capitulate to the whims of this demagogue, even for a Supreme Court seat, we will have irreversibly compromised our witness to our country and to the world. We will have sided with an oppressor instead of the oppressed. We will have ignored the cries of the marginalized in our midst, the people of color, LGBTQ folks, and women, in electing a boorish man who promises to take us back to some heydey, some past time when things were better. But when were they better, and for whom? Were they better in the 50s, when schools were segregated and Jim Crow laws prevented black Americans from participating as full citizens in public life, and when suicide and alcoholism rates for suburban housewives were astronomical? Were they better during the days of our founding fathers, when people of color were owned as property? While Donald has tapped into the resentment of a contingent of Americans who feel underrepresented by demographic shifts in our country, we must at least realize that he is using us. He is saying what he believes will work. He is leveraging our fears, and making false promises. And I hate to see my people, my faith family, so wantonly exploited.
Faith - It is in fact not in spite of my faith but because of my faith that I cannot stomach supporting Donald Trump. If I did not believe in the Christian Gospel, I may well be taken in by his promises of protection, of security. I may be convinced by his fearmongering and won over by his “strength”. But as it is, I believe his anti-immigrant rhetoric violates the hospitality at the heart of Christian ethics. I believe his ill treatment of women and minorities does substantive damage against the Imago Dei, the image of God inside every human being. I believe his greed and top-down economic policies stand against God’s Scriptural identification with the poor. I believe his support of torture is anti-Christ.
Savior - Yet in spite of all these anti-Christian characteristics and ideas, Donald has postured himself as the savior of our people, the only one who can help. But need I remind you, brothers and sisters? We already have a savior, and one who, rather than killing his enemies, died at the hands of his enemies to demonstrate his love. Donald represents a violent, aggressive impulse which simply cannot hold up against the image of the crucified God.
You Must Vote! - I have heard from many a friend and neighbor that they simply cannot support either candidate this election. And in spite of everything I’ve said about Hillary, and about Donald, I respect that stance. I disagree, and wish my friends would see the gaping disparity in qualification between these two candidates, but I respect the voting process and understand the importance of voting one’s conscience. Many of my friends are supporting third party candidates, like Gary Johnson or Jill Stein, and I cannot hold it against them. I have my own policy disagreements with these two as well, but I do not believe either of them poses the same threat to our country and its citizens as does Donald Trump. Some are refusing to vote based on religious conviction, and I understand that, too. Those refusing to vote out of obstinance or laziness, however, do not have my sympathy. This is a crucial moment in American history. And I will gladly cast an ideological vote as well as a pragmatic vote for Hillary Clinton. I hope you will consider doing the same.