Could I Vote for Trump? Ever?

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)
Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

The great Erick Erickson has now recanted his earlier statement that if Donald Trump is the Republican nominee he would vote for him, even as he rallied all good Christian conservatives to oppose him.

Today he’s announced he has had enough:

Donald Trump believes the federal government should fund Planned Parenthood. Donald Trump believes there are good things the child killers do. What is most damning is how so many are willing to be compromised by Donald Trump.

For eight years the conservative movement compromised itself as a wing of George W. Bush’s Republican Party. The movement became ill defined and conservative became a synonym with Republican.

Already we are seeing pastors and religious leaders compromising their integrity to vote for Donald Trump. Jerry Falwell, Jr. has joined the whores of Moloch, defending Trump’s Planned Parenthood statement on Twitter. Falwell presides over an institution that expels students who have abortions, but is willing to give positive lip service to Trump saying there are good things Planned Parenthood does.

If Trump were elected President, there would be members of the pro-life movement who would compromise their convictions for access to power.

If Trump were elected, portions of the conservative movement would compromise the movement to be one degree from Donald Trump. The intellectual institutions on which we have made our case for limited government and freedom would crumble.

And on top of it all, the oligarchs would be just fine. They would coddle and humor a President Trump, a man of mountainous ego, and get their way while the very people Donald Trump promises to help would get table scraps.

It is amazing how many television personalities have compromised their convictions for a discounted stay at Mara Lago. Donald Trump requires compromises of conviction that I in good conscience cannot and will not make.

I have become convinced that Donald Trump’s pro-life conversion is a conversion of convenience. Life is the foremost cause in how I vote. Therefore I will not be voting for Donald Trump at all. Ever.

A lot of Republicans are going to start making claims that we must rally to the nominee, no matter who he is. I know for certain a large number of Trump supporters will not rally to a Cuban. I will not rally to Trump. Frankly, if Trump is able to get the nomination, the Republican Party will cease to be the party in which I served as an elected official. It will not deserve my support and will not get it if it chooses to nominate a pro-abortion liberal masquerading as a conservative, who preys on nationalistic, tribal tendencies and has an army of white supremacists online as his loudest cheerleaders.

This is strong stuff. I know many others who feel this way, and I myself do not know how to pull the lever for Donald Trump. But neither do I yet know how to explain why I never would or never could.

With Justice Scalia’s seat in the balance, the lives of all the babies that could saved by the 20-week bill alone hangs in the balance, not to mention the constitutionality of all those conscience protections like the Georgia FADA bill Erick Erickson is working so hard to pass.

Even so, I am not sure I can support Trump if he’s the nominee. It is the end of the old Reagan conservative project in key ways; let’s recognize that, but history moves on.

I don’t particularly trust Trump, but then, I did not really trust Mitt Romney or John McCain and I voted for them, hopefully.

To sit out an election, to sit on our hands, to let Hillary Clinton reshape the Supreme Court — how can I do that.

I’m not sure if I could support Trump if he’s the nominee. The idea of putting a potty-mouthed, late-night Twitter ranter in Lincoln’s bedroom is difficult to stomach in a way I am having a hard time explaining to myself.

But if I were to go there, I need a better reason than ‘he said nice things about Planned Parenthood’ or ‘I don’t trust his pro-life convictions.’ I have voted for Republicans in the past about whom both of those things were true.

Maggie Gallagher is a senior fellow at the American Principles Project.