I had to do it: Donald Trump couldn’t get my vote. And I couldn’t not vote. So, I didn’t have a choice: I voted for @MarcoRubio.
I’m not proud of that vote, but I didn’t have a choice: Florida is a closed primary state so I had to vote for a GOP candidate. And as much as I hope @realDonaldTrump destroys the Republican Party so that a true Conservative Party can emerge, I ultimately had to do what I could to salvage the hope that could be “America.”
As a Christian, I believe America is the only Country that could become the Beloved Community. It is the only Country that could become a model of the Kingdom of God on earth. I say that because America is the only Country that is founded upon an ideal. Although it has been a bastardized and misappropriated ideal, that fact remains that in theory America is the only Country where to be an American is not predicated on some ethnic claim of kinship.
In the (myth of the) American ideal, those who hold to its highest Creed are neither “Jew nor Greek (nor Muslim), there is neither slave nor free (nor alien), there is neither male nor female (yet still man and woman); for you are all one” under the bond of that ideal. To be an American is predicated on holding a certain believe about life and how best humanity can live that life in all of its fulness, while not oppressing each other (i.e. infringing upon another’s individual rights). To be an American is to believe in opportunity (i.e. freedom to choose, see Friedman) for all.
America’s is an ideal that people love because in its best light, the ideal states that all are equal under God. It states that we are a people who do not associate with those who believe otherwise. It states that we the people are a people who stand for something greater, and exist as a City on a Hill, shining forth to the world as a beacon of hope that Society could be greater.
To be an American, one cannot support Donald Trump
Whatever his particular benefits, it is obvious that there is a hateful element that exists within Donald’s base of support. Say whatever you like about who is to blame, the pictures, news reports and words of his supporters and Donald Trump himself bear witness to the hateful spirit that exists within his base.
- 20% think ending slavery was a bad idea
- 31% think Whites are the superior race
- 31% of Trump supporters and 22% of the GOP electorate think Blacks & non-White people are inferior by virtue of their race!
- 70% of Donald Trump supporters in South Carolina wish the Confederate Flag were still flying over the Capitol
- 38% of Trump voters resent that the North won the Civil War
- 25% of Rubio supporter wish the South had won
- 33% of Donald Trump (& Ted Cruz) voters believe Japanese internment camps were a good idea
But again, to be an American is supposed to mean an unwavering allegiance to Liberty & Freedom. So how can anyone who believes in Freedom & Liberty associate with so many people who support tyranny and oppression?
We have an interesting habit of playing nice with racism. We don’t agree with it. We disavow it. But we don’t denounce and condemn it, and those who adhere to it. So when David Duke stopped just short of endorsing Donald Trump, media sources wondered why he took so long to disavow the KKK. But very few took serious issue with the weakness of his disavowal.
The media hasn’t pressed the issue on why Donald Trump would want KKK support, given their ideology. There has been no condemnation of the group, or other similar groups who hold a similar agenda and heritage. It was left to be simply a matter of taste: (certain) people are free to believe whatever they want to believe in a Free Society, right?
Imagine this: who among us would associate with known Nazis or Nazi-sympathizers?
If you went to an event and noticed that a sizable group of those in attendance (let’s say 70%) wished that Germany still flew the Swastika, would you stay?
If 38% of the people in the room told you they wished Hitler had defeated the Allied forces, would you continue to associate with that group?
If 33% of those who agreed with your Cause also thought it was a good idea to lock up the Jews in concentration camps, would you make apologies for them?
If 31% believed in the concept of a Master (Aryan) Race, would you continue to support that ideology?
If 20% believed that it was a bad idea to stop gassing and burning Jews, and running other experiments on them, would you be voting for their leader?
Yet, somehow it’s ok for people who believe in Freedom to be associated with those who believe in oppression. Somehow, those who say they love America most have completely disregarded the myth of American Exceptionalism. Somehow, Americans are willing to abandon freedom because of racism and xenophobia.
The only thing perfect is Love, because God is love. And therefore, we have ordained and established our Constitution in order to form a more perfect Union: a more godly Union; a more loving Union. We cannot defend the Cause of America and support those who allow hate to gather and fester in the body.
I live in Florida…and above South Florida. And Central & North Florida are more “Southern” than South Florida. So, this is Trump Country. And, Florida will make or break the GOP nominating process. If Donald Trump wins today, he’s likely unstoppable as the Republican Nominee for President.
And with his nomination, any remnant of the myth of American Exceptionalism will be completely discredited. I feel as though I’m watching the Country crumble right before my eyes. It seems Solomon was right: pride and hatred will destroy us. If (when) Donald Trump becomes the Republican Nominee, one half of the Country would have officially abandoned any possible pure intent behind the American ideal. When Trump becomes the nominee it will become clear:
“Make American Great Again” does in fact mean “Make America White Again.”
And when that happens, or even when we tacitly agree to aspire to that, we have officially fallen from the Way. So, I had to vote for Marco. They say you shouldn’t talk about religion or politics, yet I – a priest – am going to speak of both, together.
How we vote becomes a testimony of what we believe. Do you believe that America can indeed model the Kingdom of God on earth? The City on a Hill? The Beacon of Freedom? Or is that nothing more than the story we wish to tell ourselves?
And to what else beyond the Kingdom of God could the American ideal point? Is this not our aspiration: to give thanks for the grace that God has shed on America and proclaim His glory by sharing that grace with the tired, poor, huddled masses?
The people of God must not play nice with racism. We must not placate hate. We should not be associated with those who play nice with the Devil, unless our goal is to rescue them from the fire that awaits.