To put things in context, this post was originally written as a comment in response to a blog Profile of a Trump Supporter, in which the writer explained her reasons for voting for Donald Trump. Her post prompted comments and discussion. I admire this person and enjoy her writing. I share many of her values. However, I did not support Donald Trump. In the spirit of healthy dialogue and intelligent reflection that her post created, I was moved to respond and explain the process I went through during the election cycle and the basis upon which I decided to vote for Hillary Clinton.
For most of my life I have been a conservative. For most of my life, I have voted for Republicans. I only voted for a Democratic candidate for president once in 1972 during that turbulent period of the Vietnam War.
Subsequently I voted for Ronald Reagan, George H. Bush, and George W. Bush in the 2000 election. In 2004, I voted Libertarian because I could no longer support George W. Bush. I felt that he had abandoned fundamental conservative principles of limited government.
In 2008 and 2012 I voted Republican again. Not because I didn’t like Barak Obama. I felt that it was a blessing that an African American became president, but I favored the free market ideas of McCain and Romney over the progressive big government ideas of the Democrats.
In this election, I had four major criteria;
- Who had a vision of ensuring world peace?
- Who was promoting racial and religious harmony, both domestically and internationally?
- Who was most concerned with creating a healthy environment for young people?
- Who was addressing the problem of the increasing income disparity between rich and poor in America and throughout the world?
From the beginning I felt that Donald Trump failed each of the above criterion. It appeared to me that he was conducting a sophisticated public relations campaign that appealed to many of the worst instincts of the American people, playing on people’s prejudices and negative emotions.
I felt that he was espousing the values of greed (money), winners versus losers, pride, and arrogance. In ways both subtle and overt he catered to latent feelings of white supremacy.
I didn’t form my view based upon the attacks of others but on what I saw and heard of his own words and actions in the primary debates, his rallies, the GOP convention, and the three debates with Hillary Clinton.
Research into his past as a businessman and media personality further disturbed me. I was also disturbed by the fact that his campaign was fueled by one-sided revelations of hacked private emails criminally orchestrated by a foreign government and the bizarre one-week revival of the Email investigation by FBI director James Coomey so close to the election. A bogus investigation that proved to be of no substance yet had a huge effect.
The campaign was bizarre and Donald Trump brilliantly employed the public relations propaganda techniques developed by Edward Bernays, the founder of public relations.
At the beginning of the primaries, I thought that I would not vote for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. The candidate I liked was John Kasich. When Donald Trump got the nomination I thought that I would probably vote for Gary Johnson.
In the 1990’s I campaigned against the Clinton’s and I have been consistently critical of the Clinton’s since that time. My mind has been exposed to negative information about the Clintons for decades, though I had to credit Bill Clinton with the ability to communicate a positive vision and also commend him for the beneficial results of his cooperation with Republicans in his second term.
However, in this election cycle, I gradually came to feel that the Democrats under Clinton’s leadership were the ones who were espousing love and unity, racial and religious harmony, economic justice, and a positive vision for the future of the world.
Up until two nights before the election I was determined not to vote for Clinton or Trump. However, that night, in prayer and meditation, my mind changed and I felt that the Holy Spirit was prompting me to vote for Hillary Clinton because she was the one articulating the values of love and unity.
And so I did… much to the shock of my family and others who had known me for a long time. I think that it is important for Donald Trump and those who voted for him to remember that the majority of the people in the United States voted against him.
He won the Electoral College vote but he only won a minority of the popular vote. He did not even win a plurality. Hillary Clinton received more votes that he did. Both he and the Republican leaders need to pay heed.
I do not believe in political messiahs. Only God can save us. Only God can deliver us from the power of the evil one if we humble ourselves and put our faith in him.
America needs to forgive, love and unite if we are to solve our problems and play a constructive role in the world. I hope we can do this. I am pleased that both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have expressed their desire that he can be a good president. I too hope that he may be humble and forgiving and that God will give him the strength and vision to lead this nation. The same for all our other leaders of both parties. With God’s help none of our problems are unsolvable.