Early in the 2016 presidential primary season, I declared that I would never vote for Donald Trump. Even though I wouldn’t ever consider Hillary (I’m Catholic, after all), I could not bring myself to vote for the GOP nominee, either. So, I voted third-party, and for three reasons.
First, I considered Mr. Trump a wild card. He had the upbringing of a hedonistic, New York limousine liberal and the platform of a conservative Republican. How would he govern? It was anyone’s guess. Based on how many “conservative” Republicans had been disappointing in the past, my bet was that he’d be more liberal than either of the Bushes, and perhaps even more liberal than Barack Obama. Advertisement – Continue Reading Below
Second, I believed he was fundamentally unstable. I didn’t want him in charge of the most powerful government in the world. Based on his public statements (particularly his tweets), I thought it a reasonable worry that he could cause a major war. Short of that, it still seemed likely a Trump presidency would further instability in places like the Middle East.
Third, I was deeply concerned with the impact of Catholics embracing Mr. Trump. I fully recognize that we are not voting for a “saint-in-chief,” as many of my condescending conservative friends told me time and again. Yet, at the same time, I saw far too often otherwise-faithful Catholics either look the other way or even defend Mr. Trump’s most indefensible acts. It’s one thing to say that a president doesn’t have to be a saint, and I personally believe they are almost all raging egomaniacs. But it’s another to support sin in an effort to get “your guy” elected.
For these reasons, among others, I didn’t vote for Mr. Trump in 2016. I don’t regret that decision; I believe it was the best one based on the information I had at that moment. Yet this year I’m going to do something I said I’d never do: vote for Donald Trump.