This morning, I woke up in an American flag hoodie with “Make American Great Again” printed across the front. I stayed in bed surfing Twitter for a while, reading the news and simultaneously reaching over to pet Howie, who was laying next to me. Donald Trump is mentioned in probably half of the tweets on my feed most of the time, but I don’t cringe at seeing his name anymore. Usually, I just keep scrolling.
Actually, I found this hoodie online while I was doing exactly this—laying in bed next to Howie, scrolling through social media. I came across a photo of Bristol Palin wearing this sweet American flag sweatshirt and immediately went on the hunt to find it. An Etsy shop out of Florida was selling them. I said to myself, “when the day comes that I make peace with having to vote for Trump, I’m buying that sweatshirt.”
And 44 days out from election day, here I am, wearing it.
It’s no secret that Donald Trump was not my first choice for president. In fact, I’ve been a real brat about it. I’ve complained, kicked and screamed, thrown an absolute tantrum over having him as our party’s nominee instead of Carly Fiorina or Marco Rubio (or anyone else for that matter). Trump has elicited more emotions from me than probably any other politician ever (except maybe Trey Radel) and when he clinched the nomination in May, I felt things that a healthy, well-adjusted person probably should not feel as a result of a political outcome. Since then, though, I’ve calmed down.
I’ve never been “never Trump.” Quite frankly, the people who’ve said they’d rather not vote than vote Trump are either 1) living outside of reality, or 2) just don’t really understand politics.
As for those “conservatives” who are voting for Hillary Clinton this cycle—good riddance to you. Your priorities clearly don’t lie with conservative values, and that’s fine. I’m glad you’re no longer pretending.
Elections are a numbers game. Behind every politician is a handful of political operatives poring over voter data, putting precinct household numbers into a calculator, and trying to devise a plan to get X number of people to show up to the polls and vote for their candidate on election day. (Where things get sticky is when these same operatives realize it’s going to cost them X number of dollars to get X number of people out to the polls—that’s when donor checkbooks come out and Americans get pissed. I digress…)
What many of us seem to be forgetting (or perhaps simply don’t realize) is that enthusiasm for the top of the ticket drives success for the rest of the ticket. This means that if voters are excited about a particular presidential candidate, they’re much more likely to show up to the polls and thereby more likely to cast a vote for other federal, state, and local candidates. These races matter just as much as the presidential race, if not more, and they’re much more likely to have a direct impact on you and on your life.
We have some absolutely incredible candidates down-ticket this election cycle. My boss is running for Congress. She’s a mom, a Christian, and is committed to improving upward mobility in this country. She’s concerned about ISIS and our national security, and has the business sense to know our economy would be better if government got out of the way. We’ve got to do our part to get candidates like her elected—and part of that requires we throw weight behind Donald Trump.
While it’s unfortunate that Trump is the face of our party this cycle, he does not define the conservative movement. Our movement is defined by the values and principles that this country was founded on—not by the ramblings of a goofy NY businessman with bad hair and a big ego. This is important, because just as Trump’s name is on the ballot on November 8, so are the values of our party. The choice at hand is much larger and bears much more weight than simply choosing one name over another.
The conservative movement has made great strides the past few cycles. With control of the House and control of the Senate, we’re set up to put our nation back on track, if only the right person is elected POTUS. Hillary Clinton is not that person. In fact, a Hillary Clinton victory will inevitably mean seceding much of the ground we’ve gained. We cannot let that happen.
Donald Trump is a far from perfect person, as is he a far from perfect candidate. But this is the hand we’ve been dealt. Politics, much like life, often requires that we bite our tongues, quit complaining, and do stuff we don’t want to do. In this instance, voting for Donald Trump falls under that category.
The Pro-Life cause knows this premise well. Time and time again, we have settled for small progress and have accepted victories that have been, on occasion, disguised as failures. In forty years since the passage of Roe v. Wade, we’ve moved the needle FAR (and won millions of hearts in the process). Success is still success, no matter the package it’s delivered in.
In an ideal world, a third party candidate would step up, rally the troops, and we’d get to watch the largest political upset in the history of our country unfold on November 8. Unfortunately, though, this is the real world, where that isn’t going to happen. It’s just not. You can “vote your conscience” ’til the cows come home, but you’ll be disappointed either way.
You don’t have to love Donald Trump to vote for him. You don’t even have to like him. But if you’re a true conservative, and you believe in the values and the principles our nation was founded on, you do have to vote for him. Other races need that momentum, and he’s our best shot at a victory—even if that victory is disguised as a failure.
Plus like, what are you holding out for, anyway? A savior? We’ve got one of those. He died on a cross.