It's been an election cycle to remember, yet I hope it's also one I can soon forget. I'm a conservative Republican and Christian who has considered himself a stalwart Republican since I was a young volunteer for the the Reagan/Bush ticket in 1984. One of the most critical issues to me is the silent holocaust of abortion: a deadly machine that crushes innocent life all around us 24/7. In the era of Abraham Lincoln, the GOP stood up against slavery. Today, it stands against the rising tide of abortion and euthanasia. It is also the party that encourages self-reliance and independence from the honey-sweet lie of government handouts and welfare. After all, welfare, like programs of reverse discrimination, feed the lie that personal stability is impossible on our own. As someone who began married life poorer than a homeless church mouse, I can sympathize with giving a helping hand. That, however, shouldn't become the culturally accepted norm. The Republican Party for me, then, is the party in defense of sacredness of life--from birth to natural death--whereas the Democratic Party is one that embraces death and government handouts rather than life and personal accountability.
It might seem remarkably strange than for me to admit that I can't vote for Donald Trump this November. I agree that Hillary Clinton is a deceitful candidate with terrible judgment, but she doesn't frighten me as much as the specter of the Trumps in the White House does. Some of the most telling glimpses into a person's character come from what may seem the smallest of interactions. Yet, when Hillary told her daughter Chelsea about the Benghazi Consulate attack, there was no ambiguity or question about who attacked us and why. It had nothing to do with the hateful video and everything to do with a terrorist attack on the annniversary of the 9-11 tragedy. The fact that Hillary was simultaneously telling the public a politically-motivated lie concerning the events in Benghazi is as strong an arguement against her candidacy as I can imagine. Yet, Hillary is the gift that won't stop giving: new legal violations and lapses in judgement seem to come to light on a daily basis now. With regards to the e-mail server incident, we are, for example, facing either an incompetent individual or a criminal. What other options are open to us for consideration? She is as dark a choice as we have had in many years. She is someone who will attack the Second Amendment, nominate liberal judges to the Supreme Court, and wreck further havoc upon our fragile economy.
The above may all be true concerning Hillary, but what do we have in Trump? We have an egomaniac, a self-absorbed demagogue with no hint of impulse control and exhibiting compelling evidence of paranoia. As recently as a few weeks ago, I observed that voting for Trump seemed the only answer with regards to fighting for the Culture of Life. Well, it is true, however, that the Culture of Life extends to many areas beyond the issue of abortion and euthanasia--e.g. war and immigration. When Trump recently issued a veiled threat concerning his opponent, it was the straw that broke the camel's back as far as our family is concerned. This is a candidate who seems intent on actively sabotaging his own campaign with the most nonsensical and dangerous of rhetoric. If you attempt to argue sense to his supporters, you will likely receive a vitriolic and personal attack alleging that you might as well vote for Hillary.
I, for one, take offense at the attitudes so often displayed by Trump's excitable followers. In fact, more and and more often I take offense at large swaths of Republican-leaning populists for their rude and vulgar comments concerning their political opponents. When I ran for Oregon House District 20, for example, I took pride in also reaching out to Hispanic voters. Local Republicans attacked me for this--one accidentally sending a detailed (and bigoted) critique of my immigration beliefs directly to me. Some political events that I attended also highlighted the Trump crowd of today--loud talkers with little evidence of deep thought. I suggest it's time for the Republican Party to take a close and hard look at itself in the mirror. As this election season has demonstrated, there's a lot of ugliness in our party--as well as the Democratic side. There are no easy answers, but I will not be voting for either candidate at this point. I will, however, endeavor to pray for our nation, its people, and its unborn.