As this election season has ground along, I have become increasingly amazed at the amount of support Trump still has, despite all the revelations about his character – the person that he is – that have become glaringly visible over the past year plus. Even after the infamous tape was revealed where he talked about groping and sexually assaulting women, most of his supporters stayed with him. Yes, some party leaders finally broke with him, but he still has tens of millions of people who will be voting for him.
I found this especially perplexing since a large core of Trump’s support is from people who identify as evangelical, people who identify as Christian, etc. – the same people who used to be known as “the moral majority.” They continue to support a man whose morality is diametrically opposed to what they usually demand. (To be fair, there are some among those groups who have denounced Trump since early in the campaign.)
I got some insight into this puzzle from an article I read recently, talking about those who are still supporting Trump and quoting a number of them. To paraphrase, many of the quotes said something like, “yes, he is a horrible person, but I will vote for him as President because (I believe) he will appoint Supreme Court justices who will overturn Roe v. Wade and gay marriage; because he will repeal Obamacare, and protect gun rights, and …”
In other words, for them, those principles are more important than his character.
Do I disapprove?
When I look within myself, I realize I would do exactly the same thing.
That is to say, I would — and will — vote for the candidate who I believe would appoint Supreme Court justices that will support and affirm all existing individual human rights, including a woman’s right to choose, gay marriage, LGBTQ rights, etc; one who will work to fix and improve Obamacare, not repeal it first with some vague promise of a replacement; one who will maintain and strengthen Social Security and Medicare; and one who has the intelligence and experience in dealing with foreign leaders to keep America safe and out of unnecessary and unwinnable wars. Someone who will stand strong at home for inclusiveness, not divisiveness; one who will build bridges, not walls.
I would vote for that candidate even if that person had the character of a Donald Trump.
It’s what I would do in my own self-interest and that of my family and future generations.
Fortunately, I am not faced by that choice. The candidate I support on principle is also the candidate with the character I want in a President and will be proud to have as a role model for upcoming generations.
I realize that many on the right and across the political spectrum do not see HRC as I do. I happen to think that much of that perception is based on 24 years of almost continuous lies, insinuations, and accusations from well-funded political opponents and media that make money by exploiting fear.
Nonetheless, I understand and respect that those people are acting in what they see as their own self-interest, the same as I do.