Most of the readers of The Way of Improvement Leads Home know Thomas Kidd from his books on early American religious history. Kidd is a conservative evangelical who usually votes Republican. In his recent post at The Anxious Bench he joins the chorus of thoughtful GOP evangelicals who are worried about the possibility that Donald Trump will get the Republican nomination for president.
Here is a taste:
It is hard to say how badly a Trump nomination would damage the Reagan-era union between evangelicals and the GOP. I know that polls suggest that Trump has strong “evangelical” support, but polls also suggest that “churchgoing” evangelicals (as if there is such a thing as a non-churchgoing evangelical!) don’t support Trump as much. I hope that a Trump nomination would lead to a significant defection of Christian voters from the GOP, at least for the 2016 presidential race. Most defectors would simply not vote for one of the two major parties’ nominees, while others would vote for the Democrat. There was not nearly as much disaffection from John McCain and Mitt Romney as you would see with a Trump nomination.
For what it is worth, here’s the bottom line for me, a conservative Christian who typically votes Republican, but has never been all that enamored with the GOP. I will not support Trump under any circumstances, and I would use what little influence I have to stop him from being elected president. If that means that Hillary Clinton or another Democrat gets elected by default, I am fine with that. How many other “evangelicals” there are like me, I don’t really know. Anecdotal information from WORLD Magazine’s survey of evangelical insiders (in which I have participated) suggests that he has virtually no support among the people WORLD is asking.
I held my nose and voted for McCain and Romney – but Trump is an entirely different question. I will not vote for someone so boorish, who has no clue about most basic political issues, much less those most important to Christian conservatives (including religious liberty and abortion). I will not vote for a misogynist reality tv star whose campaign is based on starting stupid fights. I won’t do it, and I hope that millions within the supposed GOP “base” would join me.