Don't "Waste Your Vote" on Donald Trump

I want to be upfront.  At the time of this writing, I plan on voting for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson for president.  And saying such has caused many people to tell me that I am "wasting my vote," because "he can't win." 

However, contrary to what many are saying, I believe that if you plan on voting in the 2016 election this year, I believe that Donald Trump is only the truly "wasted vote" in this election season, even if he does ultimately win and become the president of the United States. 

Here are 4 reasons why I believe this to be the case.

1. Donald Trump Doesn't Represent You:

In America, our form of government is a "representative" form of government.  That means our elected officials are supposed to be generally representative of the people that elect them to run the government on their behalf.  Ideally, the views of our elected representatives represent the general views and desires of the people that elect them.

If you plan on voting for Donald Trump, God bless you, but you are electing a man who probably doesn't represent you, or the views of most his supporters, especially those who would consider themselves conservative minded individuals (which most claim to be).  Unfortunately, there is very little about Trump that is "conservative."  Trump isn't a constitutionally minded person.  He doesn't believe in a small and limited government.  He doesn't believe in being fiscally responsible.  He doesn't believe in free market capitalism.  His views are actually the very opposite of the platform and party he claims to represent, and he's actually pretty liberal on most issues.  Such is why the vast majority of Republicans strongly opposed him in the primaries.  He only won because so many people ran for office in a very fractured party.

Now the only reason many are supporting Trump is because he's the only Republican name that will appear on the ballot in November.  And if you ask me, such is a pretty terrible reason to vote for somebody.  You should vote for the person who best represents you, and if none of the candidates do, you would be better off not voting at all.  Don't just vote for somebody because they are wearing the right jersey.  Vote for somebody you are excited to have them represent you.  And the only way you can do that is if they actually do! 

2.  Donald Trump Isn't "Owned" By Anybody:

One of the few things said to be "virtuous" about Donald Trump as a politician is that he isn't beholden to anybody's money or special interest groups. After all, he's filthy rich and doesn't need anybody else's money, therefore, he can't be bought (unless of course, the price is right, meaning it'll have to be very high).  And as good as this sounds, this is actually not a very good thing in our form of government.

While such might make Donald Trump feel free to blaze his own trail, it also makes him relatively free from accountability, and allows him to totally ignore the wishes of the people who helped get him elected into office in the first place.  In our form of government, politicians need to have their strings pulled from time to time, otherwise, they might only engage in activities that strictly benefit and enrich them, or are far too radical.  Being able to pull their strings forces politicians to listen to those they represent, and helps restrain them from engaging in extreme policies that could be disastrous. 

For example, we all know Hillary Clinton is candidate that is fully bought and paid for by special interests groups.   And while I would never vote for her, I would rather she get elected as president rather than Donald Trump, simply because all of the "big donors" she has making large contributions to her campaign will ensure that she will essentially end up governing in a rather moderate fashion.  Otherwise, if she felt beholden to nobody, she would probably govern in a extremely reckless and liberal fashion.  There would be nobody on the sidelines to force her to pump the brakes from time to time.  But because she is "owned," she is more likely to govern in a more responsible manner.

Therefore, since Donald Trump feels beholden to nobody, you are essentially wasting your vote for the next few years, because you will be unable to hold him accountable.  If elected, he will simply do whatever he wants to do, regardless of what anybody else thinks... especially you! 

I don't know about you, but I never want a politician that feels unaccountable to me.  Our elected officials should fear the people they govern.

3.  Donald Trump Lacks Vision:

We all know Donald Trump wants to "Make America Great Again."  But so what?  What person doesn't want to make America a great place to live, work, and play?  Hillary Clinton and Gary Johnson also want to make America a great place.  If you don't believe such, I believe you are smoking some wacky tobacky and are being far too cynical in your assessment of other candidates. 

If you were to ask Donald Trump how he is going to make America great again, you get a lot of vague ideas.  He's going to make America safe.  He's going to build a wall.  He's going to create a lot of jobs.  He's going to increase everybody's wages.  He's going to be Mr. Law and Order.  He's going to do things, and they are going to be huge and great!

Umm... yeah. Whatever.  This isn't vision.  These are just empty and meaningless campaign slogans.

4.  Donald Trump Doesn't Understand the Issues:

This seems to be a generally accepted self evident truth that most people agree on, even those that support him.  It became painfully clear from the multitude of debates he engaged in during the primaries, from numerous television interviews, press conferences, and speeches that Trump has made, that Donald Trump simply doesn't understand the issues our nation faces.  That is why he talks like an intellectual buffoon most of the time, and can't offer a coherent articulate thought.  That is why he flip flops on so many issues all the time.  And having felt painted into a corner on this issue a few times, Trump assures us that he's going to surround himself with really smart people who do understand the issues, and he'll be a great president because he surrounds himself with best people. 

But, the question then becomes, if Donald Trump doesn't understand the issues, how would he know which people to appoint as his advisors?  How does he know who the true subject matter experts are?  How will he know who is really qualified to advise him on any number of issues?  If Trump is as incompetent as he sounds regarding the issues, what in God's name makes anybody think he can appoint sound advisors? 

Nobody is asking the president of the United States to have an expert knowledge on all the issues that our country faces (no president does, nor could they).  However, they should have at least a basic working knowledge of the major challenges our nation faces, and they should know the things that they don't know, so that they can defer judgment to those who do, and take sound counsel as they tackle problem after problem  Unfortunately, Donald Trump isn't even close to competent on most of the basic issues our nation faces, and I firmly believe he will face a real challenge appointing people who are competent to be trusted advisors and cabinet level officials. 


Whoever you vote for this year, be sure to vote for the politician that best represents you.  Don't just vote for the guy who has the best chance of winning.  Don't just vote for the guy who is of a certain party.  Vote for the guy who really represents YOU.  Otherwise, you will have truly "wasted" your vote, even if the person you vote for doesn't have a chance of winning.

And at the end of the day, I think Donald Trump is a wasted vote.  I don't believe Donald Trump represents anybody but Donald Trump.  And even if he wins, you will have lost and will have wasted your vote.


Jesus Felt the Rage of Racism

Have you ever felt mad?

Have you ever felt mad at somebody else?

Have you ever felt mad at somebody else because they are Black, Asian, Hispanic, or White?

Whether or not we would admit it, I think we all have.  And in light of the recent shooting of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and the police officers in Dallas, I think it is evident to anybody who has logged into Facebook and Twitter recently that a lot of racist feelings have been stirred up in a lot of people.

I know I've struggled with such feelings over the years.  Heck, I get those feelings even now.  The 24-hour news cycle practically beats them out of me.

There are few things that pull on our heart strings more than racial strife.  Whether we like it or not, so much of our personal identity is bound up in our racial identity, and it doesn't take much to rattle our cages when it comes to issues surrounding race.

And if we can't admit such honestly to ourselves, either we are one of the most saintly people to ever walk the face of the Earth, or we are lying.  Personally, I don't believe there is a person alive who hasn't felt something of this anger, hate, and rage towards another person because of their race.

Including Jesus.  

Yes, you heard me right, even the Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten sinless Son of God, Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, has felt something of this poison that festers in our hearts.

The Bible says:
"Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.  For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.  Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."  ~ (Hebrews 4:14-16, NASB)
There isn't anything you and I have ever felt that Jesus Himself hasn't personally felt and been tempted with.  He is been tempted in "ALL THINGS."  And that includes the anger and feelings of racism that bubble up and overflow in you and I.  Of course, He felt these things and did not sin.  But He felt them just the same.  And Jesus didn't just feel them in some abstract ghostly or theological sense.  He felt them in His own flesh and blood, in the real world.

Racism was a major problem in the times of Christ.   The Jewish people, whom He was a part of, had lived for several hundred years in the land God promised to them, under the military occupation of the Roman Empire.

The Jews of Jesus day deeply resented the Romans, and for many legitimate reasons.  For example, the ancient Jewish historian Josephus tells us that about the times of Christ, in order to make an example to the Jews of the might and power of Rome, and to beat their spirits into submission, over 3,000 Jews were crucified and hung out along a major highway.   Such made them  no friends with any Jews to say the least.  And there is the distinct possibility Jesus might have witnessed this event firsthand.  But if He didn't witness it with His own eyes, it is definitely an event He heard told and retold a thousand times during His life, and would one day experience personally, as Jesus Himself suffered at the hands of police brutality.

And I don't know about you, but if I were a Jew in that day and saw 3,000 of my own people killed in such a way, such an event might make me more than a tad bit racist against Romans... especially officers in the Roman military.

Jesus Christ lived, moved, and breathed in such a culture.  A culture in which there were not only 10,000 stories that circulated about "police brutality" that were absolutely true, but there would have been 10,000 times as many stories that were rumored to be true.  Every individual Jew would have taken all these stories to heart.  And Jesus would've felt what they felt too.

But He remained without sin.

Exactly how He did it, I do not know.  But I do know that the Bible says that He was tempted in all things that we are tempted, and yet He remained without sin.  So that gives me some hope not only for me, but for you too.  And the Scriptures promise us that if we boldly approach His throne of grace, we will find the help we need in the midst of our struggles and strife in everyday life.

I believe in the midst of the racial difficulties we are seeing presently in our nation, right now, more than ever, we need to make sure that we put this passage into actual practice.  We need to draw near to God.  We need to get help from the very One who knows how to help us deal with the problems we are facing, and the feelings that are stirring in our hearts.  I don't know how to deal with those problems, but I know He does.

I know I am in need of much help.  I hope you see yourself in need of the same help too.