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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Forget Tawdry Trump or Lyin’ Hillary; Vote for the Party Platform

It would bring me no sorrow to awaken tomorrow and find that Donald Trump has withdrawn as the GOP’s candidate in the race for President of the United States and has been replaced by Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio or Scott Walker or Bobby Jindal—even Mitt Romney—or nearly any other lukewarm body who has, in the last two decades, been at least as conservative as Keith Olbermann. (It seems Hillary’s team feared such a list.)

Of course, I’ve felt this way for well over a year now. As I wrote back in February warning GOP voters against nominating Trump:

Donald Trump is a biblically-illiterate, adulterous, strip-club owning, casino magnate. He has been on every side of almost any political or moral issue you can imagine. Yeah, he's said some things that people like to hear, but what is there in his life that reveals that he will actually do what he says? He is “wise in his own eyes” and we should not be swayed by his cunning, craftiness, and deceitful scheming. Even the shallowest of political observers knows well that Washington, D.C. is one of the most difficult places in the world to remain a principled person. The temptations for corruption are rampant. What is there in Trump’s life that tells us that once he gets to D.C. he will act according to conservative principles? Nearly nothing. America should NOT gamble with Donald Trump.

In other words, I was not the least bit surprised to hear a decade-old recording of a biblically-illiterate, adulterous, strip-club owning, presidential candidate do his best imitation of someone corrupted by liberalism. (One of the first things I said to my wife after hearing Trump’s vulgar comments: “He sounds like a liberal!”) However, unlike many conservatives—especially Christian conservatives—I never declared myself a “NeverTrumper.” And (like the highly regarded Dr. Michael Brown) I’m still not. However, I’ve also not committed to voting for Trump.

Nevertheless, I’m as certain as any human being can be that the next President of the United States is going to be Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. If that is still the case when it comes time to cast my ballot, I almost certainly will vote for Mr. Trump. As Franklin Graham said after the Trump video was released:

The only hope for the United States is God. Our nation's many sins have permeated our society, leading us to where we are today. But as Christians we can't back down from our responsibility to remain engaged in the politics of our nation. On November 8th we will all have a choice to make. The two candidates have very different visions for the future of America. The most important issue of this election is the Supreme Court. That impacts everything. There's no question, Trump and Clinton scandals might be news for the moment, but who they appoint to the Supreme Court will remake the fabric of our society for our children and our grandchildren, for generations to come.

One of the few things Mr. Trump has impressed me with are the two lists of potential Supreme Court nominees he’s released. How much Mr. Trump can be trusted actually to nominate a candidate from these lists is a matter worth weighing.

Another matter worth weighing: the platform of the Republican Party vs. that of the Democrat Party. Again, I’m not sure how much Donald Trump can be trusted to govern according to the soundly conservative platform of his (current) party—as another recently concluded, it’s likely Trump is merely renting out the Republican Party in pursuit of his ambitions—however, I know that I can trust Hillary to govern according the radically liberal platform of her party.

When it comes to which candidate to choose come election time, a considerable amount of attention should be paid to the platform of the political party the candidate represents. I long ago (in my twenties) abandoned the silly notion of “voting for the person” and not for the party.

The party matters because the platform of the party matters. Many a modern “Blue-Dog Democrat” has capitulated (remember Bart Stupak and Obamacare?) to the extreme liberalism of their party leaders (who determine the party platform). (Tellingly, Stupak voted with his party 96 percent of the time.) Older history provides a great lesson here.

As The Miracle and Magnificence of America reveals, in the middle of the nineteenth century, the anti-slavery platform of the newly formed Republican Party played no small role in the formation of the Confederate States of America. Every party platform since the creation of the Republican Party had forcefully denounced slavery. After the infamous Dred Scott ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1857, the subsequent Republican platform strongly condemned the ruling and reaffirmed the right of Congress to ban slavery in the territories. Tellingly, the corresponding Democrat platform praised the Dred Scott ruling and condemned all efforts to end slavery in the U.S.

Throughout its secession document, South Carolina, the first state to secede from the U.S., repeatedly declared that they were leaving the U.S. in order to preserve the institution of slavery.

[A]n increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding [i.e., northern] states to the institution of slavery has led to a disregard of their obligations. . . . [T]hey have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery. . . . They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes [through the Underground Railroad]. . . . A geographical line has been drawn across the Union, and all the states north of that line have united in the election of a man to the high office of President of the United States [Abraham Lincoln] whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery.

“They” in the secession document refers to the Republican Party. The first GOP platform did not use the word “sin,” but instead declared polygamy and slavery “those twin relics of barbarism.” (Imagine that! An implied reference to marriage as the union of one man and one woman in the very first Republican platform!) Like every other state to secede, my home state of Georgia (the fifth state to leave the U.S.) also cited the election of Lincoln and the Republican Party:

A brief history of the rise, progress, and policy of anti-slavery and the political organization into whose hands the administration of the federal government has been committed [the republicans] will fully justify the pronounced verdict of the people of Georgia [who voted to secede]. The party of Lincoln, called the Republican Party under its present name and organization, is of recent origin. It is admitted to be an anti-slavery party…

In 1816, George Bourne, a renowned minister and abolitionist, published The Book and Slavery Irreconcilable, which “dealt at length with individual texts of Scripture, even as it leaned even harder on what Bourne obviously considered the humanitarian agreement of biblical and republican principles.” Bourne (rightly) considered slavery a sin and questioned whether those who owned slaves should be considered Christians.

Bourne wrote,

“Every man who holds Slaves and who pretends to be a Christian or a Republican, is either an incurable Idiot who cannot distinguish good from evil, or an obdurate sinner who resolutely defies every social, moral, and divine requisition…. Every ramification of the doctrine, that one rational creature can become the property of another, is totally repugnant to the rule of equity, the rights of nature, and the existence of civil society.”

The same argument that Bourne made regarding slavery can easily be made regarding abortion, homosexuality, and a perverse redefinition of marriage. For example, substitute “holds Slaves” with “supports abortion,” and then substitute “that one rational creature can become the property of another” with “that a child in the womb is a mere ‘choice.’” And like slavery, abortion, homosexuality, promiscuity, and a perverse redefinition of marriage are “totally repugnant to the rule of equity, the rights of nature, and the existence of civil society.”

The 2016 Republican Party Platform has been hailed as “the most pro-life, pro-family ever.” On the contrary, as was the case with slavery, for decades now the platform of the modern Democrat Party has been dedicated to preserving the “right” to kill children in the womb. Add to that the commitment modern democrats have to undermining what God has revealed on sex, marriage, and the family, and it should be clear to any truth-loving American that the modern Democrat Party must be opposed at every turn. This will certainly be true come November 8.

(See a version of this column American Thinker.)

Copyright 2016, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor is the author of brand new book The Miracle and Magnificence of America

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