Why I Cannot Vote for Trump

CS_Argument_pixabay

CS_Argument_pixabay

A recent exchange on Facebook about Donald Trump helped me clarify a few things for myself about the upcoming elections.
Names changed below:

KARIN (X): -(Trump) is the ONLY candidate who is truly an AMERICAN, he is not beholden to any lobbyists or any other group, he speaks OUR language and says what needs to be done – and I TRUST him to doit (sic). because he is DONALD TRUMP. if you want to lose to the liar hil vote for somebody else. your choice. BUT NOT MYINE (sic). DONALD TRUMP FOR PRESIDENT.

ME: Karin: …You claim that Trump is not ‘beholden’ to lobbyists or any other group. This is false. No one can be elected without being beholden to one group or another, by ideology and votes if not by money.

I do think it’s good that Trump has brought issues like immigration to the front burner of the national conversation, while the other candidates wanted to treat them like hot potatoes. However, immigration is not as important an issue as others. If indeed Trump is “free,” and you knowingly help put him in a place where he will use that freedom to inflict evil policies upon the American populace, you will be held accountable for your vote in the hereafter.

The protection of dignity of human life is the first principle in Catholic social teaching. As such, the primary issues voters should judge their candidates upon are those of human life concerns.  Immigration and the language forms Mr. Trump uses to do so are irrelevant by comparison. Will this president enact policies that will stop or expand abortion, euthanasia, and other crimes against humanity in this country? Trump only became pro-life recently, after many years of supporting abortion and those politicians who were unwavering in their support of it. As such, I remain unconvinced of his sincerity.

Plus, he has made it clear he will use your money and mine to fund these atrocities through Planned Parenthood. If your vote puts him there, you will be held to account for it.

Let us also look at the current rash of bullying by the LGBT lobby, insisting that those who believe in authentic marriage (that is, as being between one man and one woman) participate in and make possible “weddings” they do not wish any involvement in. Glaring violations of the First Amendment aside, I cannot see a Trump administration being sympathetic to those whose religious or philosophical backgrounds would necessitate their non-participation. When his policies have been held up for scrutiny, for example, Mr. Trump typically increases his aggressive stance against those who oppose him rather than give justifications for his actions. When told, for example, that the Mexican government had stated they would not, in fact, pay for a wall to keep illegal immigrants from entering the U.S.A., Mr. Trump responded that the wall “Just got ten feet taller.”

A man who responds to opposition with further aggression sounds cheerworthy at first, until it is you, I, or the Little Sisters of the Poor who are the ones challenging the status quo held by those in authority. The Obama administration has proven itself the adversary of Catholic social teaching in multiple moral arenas in the past eight years, even willing to drag elderly nuns into court to make them bend to the will of the man in the White House. I cannot see Mr. Trump being anything other than more zealous in his ire if he senses opposition to his will.

If he is elected, he will be my president, since I am an American. But if he does ascend to the Oval Office, he will do so without my vote. I have enough things I will have to go through purgatory for; I won’t add more so I can have a fantasy of punching the liberal elite in the face…
—————
After the exchange was over, I began to think a bit about the Trump supporters I knew. Only one was a practicing, pro-life Catholic from my college days at Franciscan University. Other than that, no devout Catholics I knew supported him. Human life issues motivated them, and they believed Trump did not speak for them here, his recent public statements notwithstanding. 
While this does not mean no “true” Catholic can support Trump, I do think a Trump candidacy raises issues that a member of Christ’s only Church should consider when they approach the ballot box.

The Principles at Stake

First: As Catholics, we are not going to be “let off the hook” for whatever vote we make. We are held to account for every action we freely choose to make. This includes the actions we choose to take in the voting booth.

If we know that a candidate can and will in fact affect issues of human life, we are obligated to vote for the candidate that will do the most to stop the war against the unborn, before we look at other issues like aid to the poor and the wars in far-off lands. Protecting the existence of life ought to be a far greater priority over quality of life. What good is it to support a candidate who touts ‘aid’ for children, if the same candidate is in favor of a child’s death by “choice”?

Solidarity with the poor should extend towards eliminating a barbaric practice like abortion, in which the number of children of the poor are targeted and killed in numbers which dwarf those of other socio-economic classes. 

What to do, then, when none of the candidates are pro-life? What to do when both candidates have, for the sake of argument, demonstrated a belief that a tree ought to be given more legal protection than a pre-born child?

Pope St. John Paul II addressed this best in his encyclical Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life), when he wrote:

When it is not possible to overturn or completely abrogate a pro-abortion law, an elected official, whose absolute personal opposition to procured abortion was well known, could licitly support proposals aimed at limiting the harm done by such a law and at lessening its negative consequences at the level of general opinion and morality. This does not in fact represent an illicit cooperation with an unjust law, but rather a legitimate and proper attempt to limit its evil aspects (paragraph 73). 

From this, some commentators, like EWTN’s Fr. Stephen F. Torraco, PhD, have extrapolated that just as a politician may support an imperfect law that only limits rather than removes abortion outright, a voter may choose a politician whom they are confident will at least limit abortion rather than do their best to eliminate it as well.   While a devil’s advocate might suggest that Trump would thus be an acceptable candidate for his pro-life statements, other statements supporting Planned Parenthood and putting a Supreme Court justice on the bench who supported partial birth abortion strongly suggest otherwise; recall that virtually every pro-abortion choice politician uses similar rhetoric when they call for abortion to be “safe, legal and rare,” while keeping both legal, deadly, and the most common form of “surgery” in America.

The good news is this: Even if neither candidate appears to be acceptable from any of the major parties, America is a nation in which new political parties can and do spring up all the time. Students of history know that the Republican party sprang up on the single issue of the abolition of slavery, in opposition to the pro-slavery Democratic party. Numerous other candidates, parties and options exist for the American voter who does not find himself or herself adequately represented in the current political landscape. Far from “throwing your vote away,” voting for a different political party or writing in another candidate sends a message that your vote cannot be taken for granted by any party or group, and can be a good means to ensure that your conscience can remain clear.

For those interested in learning more regarding the Catholic position of voting for pro-abortion choice politicians vs. other issues (e.g. conscience, capital punishment, the poor, etc.), an excellent voter’s guide exists online that may be referred to (please click on the link below):

https://www.ewtn.com/vote/brief_catechism.htm

This guide does not list specific persons for whom one ought to vote. Rather, it applies existing principles of Catholic thought to provide a framework, one that may be used to deduce what candidates ought to be supported by a Catholic wishing to be consistent with Catholic belief and teaching.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on google
Google+
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on pinterest
Pinterest

13 thoughts on “Why I Cannot Vote for Trump”

  1. Ladasha Smithson

    As a God-fearing Catholic who is prolife, I cannot NOT vote for Trump. Anyone else, cruz included will put antilfe SCJs and we lose the prolife battle for the next 20-40 years!

  2. These are reasons not to vote for Trump, sure, but there’s another one rarely mentioned: he is the candidate most likely to start World War III, and not in the “piecemeal” sense Pope Francis has talked about, but in the sense we had all hoped was behind us forever once the Soviet Union collapsed.

    1. Ladasha Smithson

      Trump is the only non-interventionist candidate running. Unlike cruz who wants to carpet bomb the middle.

    2. I’m not a fan of Cruz either. Cruz would get us into a regional war, like W, but probably no worse. The same is true of Clinton; she will want to show she as as tough as any of the boys. The problem with Trump is that he is all about bluster and shooting from the hip. He would be an American Kim Jong-un. The only thing saving North Korea from a preemptive nuclear strike right now is the fact that the major players know not to take the bluster too seriously. With Trump, no one could be sure. Reagan ratcheted up tensions with the Soviet Union to a dangerous level by accident with a stupid joke he never meant to become public, and Reagan was not one tenth the blowhard “the Donald” is.

  3. While I think your points hold true for the primaries, the elections are more complex. If Trump gets the nomination, we’ll have to contrast what he might do (since there is a question mark as to what his actual positions are) with what Hillary or Bernie will do in terms of these life issues.

    Also, because a voter voting third party who normally votes for one party will be taking votes away from that one party. So even the third party voter has to consider the consequences of his or her vote benefiting the party the voter ordinarily votes against.

    So, third party voters aren’t off the hook either. That’s what makes this election so difficult for voting according to Catholic beliefs.

  4. I, too, oppose Trump’s stand on Planned Parenthood, but…if Hillary or Sanders is elected, they will support Planned Parenthood 100%. And you say you are unconvinced of Trump’s sincerity about being pro-life. Well, we know for certain that Hillary and Sander’s positions are about as extremely anti-life as one can imagine. Hillary even supported partial birth abortions! I am no fan of Trump’s and I hope he does not get the nomination for the GOP, but as a Catholic, I will have to vote for the candidate who best represents my values, even if that candidate is less than perfect and does not meet all my moral standards. I fail to see how voting for any Democrat is morally possible and writing in a third party name is simply throwing my vote away and helping to elect the Democratic nominee.
    As an aside, I also think that our nation has so abandoned God’s laws that He has withdrawn His protection and is letting us go the way we have chosen. This might help to explain why we have two terrible candidates running for the presidency – Trump and Clinton. I am praying for Our Lady to turn things around for us since she is the patroness of our country, and even though we don’t deserve it, it is the Year of Mercy. So perhaps we can all agree to pray the rosary for our nation and ask Our heavenly Mother to take charge of this crazy presidential election. If God wills, she can obtain the president who will do the most good for our nation.

    1. “P.S. – I have yet to see a Catholic writer post an article entitled, “Why I Can’t Vote for Hillary Clinton.””

      Hmmm. I’ve yet to see a Catholic writer post an article entitled, “Why I Can’t Follow the Teachings of Joseph Smith,” too. Does that mean all Catholics are secretly Mormons?

    2. Maccabeus, Not precisely the title you want, but the same point:

      LOOK MA, THE EMPEROR HAS NOT CLOTHES, HIS …
      abyssum.org/…/look-ma-the-emperor-has-not-clothes-his-seamless-garm…
      Feb 19, 2016 – Hell – Vote Yourself In. by Guy McClung. 19 February 16. Finally-vindication! Yes, say the Democrats, indeed there is a Hell; and, even further, …

      Prostitution Politics | Virtuous Citizenship
      sinvotedemocrat.com/prostitution-politics/
      Prostitution Politics I live in a brothel, But I am not a whore. Personally opposed to impurity, I’m chaste to the core. I help with the auctions, But no slaves are mine …

      Voting Democrat called mortal sin – Brownsville Herald …
      http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/…/article_f9872bf0-5...
      The Brownsville Herald
      Oct 9, 2014 – Voting Democrat called mortal sin … The Democrats and their president have advocated for, enacted and enforced racial … Guy McClung.

      How to Vote Nazi With a Clear Conscience – The American …
      the-american-catholic.com/…/how-to-vote-nazi-with-a-clear-conscience/
      Feb 3, 2016 – Commenter Guy McClung takes the Shea voting advice in regard to pro-abort Bernie … but you cannot vote for him for the wrong reasons, which would be a mortal sin. …. I like the association of the Democrat Party with Nazi’s.

  5. The only question you have to ask is “Is Trump a demagogue?” look up the definition of the word “demagogue” and compare his words and actions with the best known demagogues in history. A demagogue will NOT save a democracy. It’s not a question of leftist or rightist ideology. It’s a question of perceiving objective reality.

  6. Sorry John but I think your arguments are too theoretical and void of a foundation in reality. While I agree that debating Trump’s pro-life qualifications during the primary is definitely warranted (and I was hopeful the Republicans would select another candidate) when it comes to the general election lets look at what we do know with certainty. Either Democratic candidate is 100% Pro-Abortion and Pro-LGBT Agenda and will support policies and nominate Supreme Court Justices with the same mindset. On this there can be no doubt. Additionally, even if the Republicans manage to retain control of the Senate it would be extremely difficult for them to filibuster judicial nominations for 4 years which means these anti-life nominees will get confirmed. On the flip side, Trump has declared that he is pro-life. We can call into question the sincerity of that declaration but in the general election if the choice is between someone clearly anti-life vs. someone whose pro-life credentials are in question, you have to vote for the latter. Additionally, again assuming the Republicans retain control of the Senate, it would be far easier for Senate Republicans to “advise and consent” someone of their own party to nominate justices who would support life then it would be if deadline with a Democratic president.

    Lastly, you argument for an alternative party option again is theoretical and not rooted in reality. The reality is a 3rd party vote by the Pro-Life crowd will have the net effect of electing the Pro-Abortion Democrat. There simply isn’t the groundswell of support or a 3rd party candidate organized well enough to be a serious contender in this election.

  7. Sorry John, but you are wrong. Voting for a third party candidate is at best a wasted vote; at worst it is a vote for Hilary (or whoever the DNC nominee is). I am very much a devote, traditional Catholic but I will vote for whoever the GOP nominee is because not doing so is a vote to allow the Democrats to continue taking this country down the road to a secular socialistic democracy. If Hilary is the DNC nominee, a vote for a third party candidate is the same as voting for someone who does support abortion, same sex-marriage, euthanasia, putting activist judges on the Supreme Court, and welfare policies that are
    opposed to Catholic teaching on solidarity and subsidiarity. Trump has stated he is now pro-life. That ‘trumps’ (pun intended) Hilary’s pro-abortion position. I will take him at his word. The USCCB’s “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship” is what Catholics should be reading to help them determine how to vote. http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/faithful-citizenship/forming-consciences-for-faithful-citizenship-title.cfm

  8. Sorry-Saying you cannot vote for Trump-to many who do not study the issues and church teaching-is implicitly saying you can in good conscience vote for demon Hillary and for any other member or candidate of the Party Of Death. Many will read only your article title and then vote Democrat. The Democatholics have used such tactics for decades. If the catholic vote was catholic, there would be no abortion, no same sex “marriage,” and no RETA, racist eugenic targeted abortion in America. Now more than ever, it is a MORTAL sin for anyone with a well formed conscience, i.e. formed according to what Holy Mother Church says is a well formed conscience, to vote for any Democrat, any member of the Party Of Intrinsic Evil, and of the Party Of Death. More proof: Hillary’s minion Albright has said one can and will go to Hell for how one votes-of course she said you will go to hell if you don’t vote for Hilary, but she establishes that 1. there is a Hell and 2, you can go to Hell for how you vote. You cannot vote for Hilter over Stalin or for Hillary over Trump. Guy McClung, San Antonio, Texas

    1. That is what those who DO study Church (capital “C”) teachings (possibly a capital “T”, too) would call a lie. The only way to vote for Clinton is to vote for Clinton. Period. You might as well say that a failure to worship the demon Mammon is “implicitly” to worship Moloch, utterly failing to see that it is possible to choose to worship neither.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *