Thoughtful writers across the political spectrum have decried the fact that Donald Trump received 80+% of the white American evangelical vote.
They want to write off evangelicalism as provincial, out-dated, hateful, even dangerous. The truth is that I’m getting a little tired of it.
I’m a white, heterosexual, suburban, evangelical male who didn’t vote for Donald Trump.
I lived in Pennsylvania and was registered as a Republican, and didn’t vote for Donald Trump.
I voted for Hillary Clinton.
I voted for her not because I like her, not because they weren’t other candidates on the ballot. I voted for her because (1) I couldn’t vote for Donald Trump, and (2) I couldn’t throw my vote away on a third party candidate.
Just for the record, I voted for Barack Obama in 2008. I actually like John McCain, but I felt it was irresponsible pandering to have someone like Sarah Palin on the ticket, even as a Vice President. I could not vote for a candidate I respect with the possibility of an outrageously unqualified candidate sitting in the number two seat. If that’s true for the Vice Presidency, how much more is it true for the Presidency itself.
I cast a ballot in 2012, but I didn’t cast a vote. Do not and did not support the Obama administration’s aggressive actions on LGBT-issues and on abortion. By 2012, I could not in conscience vote him. It also seemed irresponsible to vote for Mitt Romney, a man married to the very business interests that had almost collapsed the global economy in 2007. So I declined to vote, casting votes on down-ticket candidates but not selecting a presidential candidate.
I don’t claim that my approach to this issue is without fault. I don’t claim that there aren’t other political calculations to be considered. All I claim is that this approach made the most sense to me.
There reaches a point when one begins to whether the shouting down of evangelicalism because of its endorsement of Donald Trump is really about its endorsement of Donald Trump.
We’re at that point right now.
It’s plausible that what is masquerading as stinging criticism of evangelical complicity in the election of a candidate that James K A Smith has called a “man child” is actually about a lot more than one candidate.
The question is, what’s beneath it?