Let me start by saying that I believe that no matter who wins, in this presidential election, we’ve all lost. Decency, trust, and integrity are not part of this political landscape. Perhaps that’s why this election seems to be bringing out the worst in us. We feel hopeless and angry. Anger. There is definitely an abundance of anger, fed by desperate candidates and desperate constituents.
Accusations of corruption and lies are valid on both sides. Fears of losing certain rights are valid on both sides. Our disgust for each candidate’s ethics means we choose the demagogue we hope we can stomach for the next four years. It requires a realignment of values and a reconciliation of what we’re willing to give up. In the end, many of us are left supporting a candidate that we dislike, but who we’ve convinced ourselves will protect at least something that’s important to us. That may be SCOTUS, the 2nd amendment, abortion, immigration, or some other polarizing issue.
I can at least appreciate the fact that people are trying to find a foothold with a candidate that they feel they can vote for and still sleep at night. Differing points of view is the beauty of democracy.
I believe that many of us are weighing whether platform or character is more important when making the decision of whom to vote for. In my opinion, character is far more important, and while neither party has put forth a candidate that I would consider to have decent character, Trump’s disregard for human rights along gender and racial lines means I can never vote for him, even though I’m not blind to the reasons that others feel that he is their only option.
I understand that there are Christians who believe that Trump will protect the rights of unborn children. Abortion is trumpeted as a reason to vote for a man who, as he courts the evangelical vote, now claims to be pro-life. On my Facebook news feed, I see Clinton being radically demonized for being pro-choice, and as a Christian, I too believe that life begins at conception and that all life is sacred. However, I do not believe in criminalizing abortion. I think that no matter the law, women will have abortions, as they have always had. I think that in valuing ALL life, we need to create legislation that empowers women with information to fully understand their decisions and to support and protect them as well. We can’t champion the unborn, while leaving women in the dark with coat hangers. I believe that the battle for the understanding of the sanctity of life is won on our knees in prayer, not in legislation. Therefore, even if I believed that Trump was actually pro-life, that would not have been a reason for me to vote for him, but I get why some of my Christian brothers and sisters consider voting for him on those grounds.
What I fail to understand, where I draw the line at accepting differences in opinion, is the justification of Donald Trump’s sexual assault and harassment of women by my Christian brothers and sisters.
It’s always been clear that Trump sees women as objects, and objects only. He has dehumanized women time and time again. I am not surprised in the least that he openly brags about assaulting women. However, I am truly heartbroken by the comments I have seen on social media by fellow Christians that reduce Trump’s horrific acts to locker room banter. Locker. Room. Banter. This is how university athletes are simultaneously given a slap on the hand and a pat on the back for raping unconscious women. This is how victims of sexual or domestic abuse are shamed for telling the truth. This is how powerful men get away with drugging and raping countless women. This is how minor victims of sexual assault or harassment fall through the cracks of our school systems. This is rape culture at its finest. And it is being dismissed by those who know better.
We can’t be a church that teaches the values of marriage and family, but look the other way when our nation’s potential leader assaults women. Where will our congregations be, when its female members rights to safety, security, and equality are being surreptitiously eroded by the normalization of the abuse of women?
So my question for those of you who defend Trump despite his physical, emotional and verbal attacks on women, is how do you justify voting for him? Are our mothers, sisters, wives, and daughters the sacrifice necessary to ensure a Republican platform? Is the conservative vote more important than assault?
I’ve seen the argument that Clinton is corrupt and that her husband was just as awful towards women. I find this to be doubly insulting. This not only sends the message that a political scandal is graver than sexual assault, but it also victimizes a woman by judging her for her husband’s actions. No matter what crimes Hilary may or may not have committed, no matter what legislation she may or may not enact, NOTHING sanctifies the election of a man who categorically diminishes and strips away women’s dignity, liberty and safety. Voting for sexual assault is NEVER okay. The price for women is way too high.