Why I am no longer a Republican.
On August 2, 2016, I changed my political party affiliation from Republican to unaffiliated. Why? Simple. One word: Trump.
Trump’s arrogance, narcissism, immaturity, cruelty, immorality, lack of self-discipline and self-control, sharp-tongue—you get the idea—are antithetical to what the Bible says a leader should be. If even a plurality of the Republican party believes Trump is what a Republican should be, I have to be, and am, out.
Now, do not misunderstand, I am still very conservative politically. In fact, the process by which Trump won the Republican nomination and how he governed for four years has opened my eyes to what is, and is not, conservative politics.
I am first and foremost a follower of Jesus Christ. My relationship with Christ and belief in the authority of God's Word is what informs my worldview. I truly believe that conservative politics much better fits a biblical worldview than liberal/progressive politics. But, with Donald Trump as the standard bearer for the Republican party, being a Republican no longer fits my worldview. I can no longer in good conscience identify myself as a Republican.
Also, do not misunderstand, I did not vote for Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden. No way. Never. Not in a million years. I am diametrically opposed to virtually every political position the Democratic party takes.
I am not going to reveal who I voted for in 2016 or 2020 because, honestly, it is none of your business. I considered voting for a third-party candidate or a write-in candidate. I considered skipping the vote for president entirely. And, I considered voting for Donald Trump.
Wait, what?! How could I vote for Trump after what I said above? Because of the two candidates with a legitimate chance to win the presidential election, the people Trump did and would have surrounded himself with and appointed to positions of importance did and would have made far better political decisions than the people Hillary Clinton would have selected and those whom Joe Biden selected. Here in the USA, we do not elect a king. While presidential power has steadily increased over the years, the executive departments and the courts still have a lot of influence. If I voted for Trump, it was not so much a vote for Trump as much as it would have been a vote for his vice president, his secretary of state, his supreme court nominations, etc. Plus, with Trump, at least some of the laws he signed and would have signed, and policies he passed and would have passed, were and would have been things I can agree with and support.
My worldview will no longer allow me to identify myself as a Republican, but my worldview does allow me to vote for a terribly flawed candidate if that candidate is the best of the options. For an excellent explanation of this concept, please read the argument from Dr. Wayne Gruden.
So, what is the purpose of this post? To encourage those who claim to follow Jesus Christ to examine their political viewpoints in light of a biblically informed worldview. Why are you a member of a political party? Can you in good conscience endorse your political party's leadership and its policies? Why are you going to vote for whom you plan to vote for? Have you truly thought through the issues, the candidates, the positions, and their implications/consequences?
We are in this world but are not to be of this world (1 John 2:15). We can be involved in politics, but we should not be obsessed with politics. Ultimately, we are to be heavenly minded, more concerned with the things of God than the things of this world (Colossians 3:1-2). As believers in Jesus Christ, we are all members of the same political party — monarchists who are waiting for their King to return (Revelation 19:11-16).
May every election, with the seeming choice being between two horribly flawed candidates, cause us to truly look to Jesus alone as our hope.
S. Michael Houdmann
Why I am no longer a Republican.