This election cycle almost seems like a “dare” game from when we were kids. It is as if we are continuously being dared to do more and more outrageous things, and when we first refuse we are double dared, and so it goes as if we were in a large scale real life version of “A Christmas Story,” until we face the “dreaded triple dog dare.” Problem is this game does not end with a tongue stuck to a flag pole, the consequences are much, much more drastic.
My #NeverTrump friend David French wrote what has to be the triple-dog-dare of #NeverTrump pieces earlier today. It’s highly provocative title is “Don’t Bend Your Knee to Trump, Evangelicals” The rhetoric of the piece is highly inflammatory, yet there is much that he says with which I am in total agreement. I became acquainted with David in the Romney campaigns where we both worked to help the Mormon penetrate the Evangelical world. While I agree with David entirely that nothing about Trump’s very public personal life even vaguely reflects Evangelical values, I struggle with denouncing him as a candidate on those grounds as we worked so hard in the last two cycles to point out to people that religious affiliation (or by implication the lack thereof) should not be a deciding factor in casting a vote. Yes, Romney, save for his theology, lives a life more like the Evangelical ideal than most Evangelicals, while Trump has lived like the prodigal not yet returned home, we both said countless times, “we are electing a president not a pastor.”
Some years ago a good friend and I watched a mutual acquaintance’s marriage disintegrate. As we discussed what was happening in our acquaintance’s marriage my friend said something quite interesting, “I knew it was over six months ago when they started drawing hard lines and some issues became non-negotiable.” There is deep wisdom there. While I agree with almost every argument #NeverTrump puts forward, to draw a hard line, like adopt the hashtag #NeverTrump, makes schism inevitable. I want to keep the door open for negotiation.
So, in a spirit of negotiation I put forward a suggestion to resolve the very real dilemma David puts forward. Continue Reading