Actually, I voted twice. Once this week and once during the primary elections. Both times I voted for Donald Trump. If you can keep reading this and not burn my house down, I'll tell you why I did and why I did not vote the way I did.
3 Reasons I Voted For Trump . . .
1. He's not bought and paid for. It's always seemed illogical to me that a candidate would take campaign donations from wealthy and powerful individuals and then pretend he did not owe those individuals or their interests down the line. How can a person lead effectively from this position? Trump's personal wealth allowed him to run his primary campaign and much of the general election campaign from his own money. If nobody paid for him to get there, nobody has anything to say about how he will operate once he gets there. *If my facts are wrong about his campaign funding, I will concede that. I'm just writing about my best understanding at the time I cast my votes*
2. It's the economy, stupid. I heard Bill Clinton say this in the 90's and it made me think he was a very shallow and dishonorable man. Turns out, I was probably right, but not for the statement he made about the economy. Decades later, I find myself looking at the incredible taxation rates, government proliferation, and growing national debt, and I'm left saying, "It's the economy, stupid." I'm not a financial wizard, but I know that no family, organization or government can continue on the financial trajectory we've been on for some time and survive. I believe Trump will influence our nation to make better economic choices. I'm not a person driven by money, but I know enough to know that without it, we cease to be a nation.
3. He's a leader. This is the biggest reason I voted for Trump. I don't recall a president in office during my lifetime who was truly a leader. I'm not talking about a diplomat. Trump is definitely no diplomat. A diplomat calls people together and helps them work together cordially. A leader calls the right people and puts them in the right positions to get the most important things done. I don't think we need a diplomat leading us. I think we need a leader.
4 Reasons I Did Not Vote For Trump . . .
1. I'm a Christian. I am, but it's irrelevant to the election. A friend of mine recently commented online about how the "evangelical community voted", assuming that their faith somehow mindlessly informed their vote. I thought that was very presumptuous of him to lump all evangelicals together and assume they're all mindless. I'm not a fan of the term, but I am one of those evangelicals. I most certainly did not vote for Trump because of my Christian convictions. I voted for him for reasons stated above.
2. I'm a registered Republican. I am, but only because being a registered independent excludes me from primary elections. I would imagine a partisan system had some value at some point. However, in my lifetime, I've seen nothing but division driven by ridiculous generality-fueled accusations leveled at one another. It all seems a little sick to me. I couldn't care less which party a given candidate belongs to.
3. I'm a racist, bigoted, hate-monger. I am not. And I resent the claims of many who say I am because I voted for a certain candidate. I would submit that those making those types of accusations are guilty of what they say they abhor.
4. He's the lesser of two evils. I reject this claim. It is funny how much more relaxed I was casting my vote for Trump this week than I was during the primary election. By November most of my "evangelical" contemporaries seemed to have conceded Trump was the lesser of two evils, thus I could speak of my support for him without backlash. Not so during the primary season. I passed on Cruz, Kasich and Rubio because I had no confidence in their ability to lead our nation. I voted my conscience that day (for the exact reasons I listed above) and I was terrified to tell anyone, but my wife. I hoped all day that nobody would ask me, point blank, who I voted for. Someone finally did. Sheepishly, I said I voted for Trump and they screamed, "What?!" I guess it was assumed Christians were voting for Cruz. But I don't like Cruz all that much.
So, I voted my conscience. Twice. Draw what conclusions you will about me. Will Trump make America great again? I don't know that he will any more than you know that he will not. I hope he will and that's why I voted for him. Not because I think he's a great guy, but because I think we have a great country that's on a wrong path. I would love to know why you voted the way you did. I truly mean that.