The Grand Finale - Election 2016

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

It was August 2015 when I met my first Presidential candidate of the election, Bobby Jindal.  In the more than a year and two months since then, I've attended rallies for and met just about every candidate, listened to every debate, considered the opinions of family, friends, and complete strangers, read countless news articles, read a book by Clinton, and interviewed two minor party candidates.  Exploring every viewpoint has not expedited decision-making.
Faced with the prospect of voting today, yesterday I was still deliberating between Trump, Hoefling (America's Party), and Castle (Constitution Party).  Clinton, Stein, are Johnson are too liberal to be compatible with my beliefs.  I could go into details, but I won't waste your time, especially since I have discussed Clinton in previous posts.

But I would like to mention, if you are an Iowa conservative, please remember to vote against retention of activist state Supreme Court justices Cady, Hecht, and Appel.

Now to my personal decision on the presidential candidates...
Donald Trump
A main reason for considering Trump was his current pro-life stance, and the chance he'd appoint conservative Supreme Court justices.  Fellow blogger Cheryl has explained her reasoning along these lines in this post.  

Would I vote for Trump if I knew it would save one life?  I thought of the words of Marquis Beccaria (as quoted by John Adams): "If I can but be the instrument of preserving one life, his blessing and tears of transport, shall be a sufficient consolation to me, for the contempt of all mankind."

Then I read an opinion article on whether Christians should vote for Trump.  Scrolling through the comments, I found a quote--attributed to the late Francis George--from a previous election, "You would be a fool to vote for a con man just because he claimed he was against abortion."  (Do not assume any implications.  Trump may turn out ok, or not ok.)

“There are certain things that I don't think can ever be negotiated. Let me put it this way: I am pro life, and pro-life people will find out that I will be very loyal to them, just as I am loyal to other people.” 
 --Donald Trump, 2011 interview with The Times

Beccaria's words are timeless.  And there are other good reasons to vote for Trump, like his Contract with the American People.  I decided it was time for some introspection, and turned to my post on the 2012 election where I list my reasons for voting against both Obama and Romney, and the mistakes made by George Bush.  I found many of those reasons relevant to this election as well.
Trump Pros and Cons
                                    Pros                                                                             Cons                                          
jQuery UI Sortable - Connect lists
  • Education: Against Common Core.
  • Energy: Supports Keystone Pipeline. Wants U.S. energy independence
  • Foreign Policy: Against Iran deal.
  • Foreign Policy: Let the Russians bomb the ISIS! If we confront Russia over Syria we'll start World War III.
  • Health Care: Wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act
  • Health Care: Wants to let insurance providers compete across state lines.
  • Health Care: Against mandatory vaccinations for children. Suspects vaccinations may cause health problems.
  • Immigration: We're going to have a big, beautiful wall, with a big beautiful door. It's going to be huge, and Mexico's going to pay for it. Illegal aliens will be deported, but given an expedited legal way back in.
  • Personal Life: Has never drank, smoked, or done drugs.
  • Religious Freedom: Has expressed support for First Amendment Defence Act to protect business owners who don't want involvement in homosexual weddings.
  • Second Amendment: Supports Second Amendment. Has a permit to carry.
  • Social Issues: Supports traditional marriage, and wants to appoint Supreme Court justices who will overturn gay marriage decision.
  • Social Issues: Pro-life. Wants to end federal funding of Planned Parenthood
  • Syria: We have no idea who we're fighting for in Syria. Are the rebel groups we're fighting for ISIS? We don't know. Stay out of that quagmire.
  • Syria: Against admitting Syrian refugees.
  • Taxes: Wants to simplify IRS code and cut income tax.
  • Taxes: Wants to cut corporate tax rates to 15%.
  • Taxes: Wants to eliminate the death tax
  • Corporate Welfare: Supported TARP (the bank bailout).
  • Energy: Supports subsidies for renewable energy including the wind industry and ethanol.
  • Foreign Policy: Wants more ground troops in Iraq to fight ISIS.
  • Personal Life: Is on his third wife, and cheated on the first wife with the second. Claims to have committed adultery with various married women.
  • Personal Life: Has spoken very crudely about women.
  • Privacy: Supports the Patriot Act.
  • Social Issues: Has said his views on LGBT rights are "evolving," and has supported amending the 1964 Civil Rights Act to include a ban of discrimination based on sexual orientation (the Equality Act). Waved a rainbow flag at a rally, and has said he'll be better for the LGBT community than Clinton.
  • Social Issues: Says Kim Davis should have obeyed. “You have to go with it. The decision's been made, and that is the law of the land.”
  • Social Security/Medicare: Wants to perpetuate these programs
  • Torture: Wants to bring back waterboarding and other enhanced interrogation methods for suspected terrorists.

Although I believe I've been becoming more practical and less idealistic than I was last election,  I still can't bring myself to vote for a man I don't more or less trust.

Better is the poor that walketh in his uprightness, than he that is perverse in his ways, though he be rich. -Proverbs 28:6

Hoefling and Castle
So, that left me with Hoefling of America's Party and Castle of the Constitution Party.  The beauty of this choice is both parties have nearly identical platforms!

You can read America's Party Platform here and the Constitution Party's platform here.  From talking with Hoefling and reading both platforms I have very minor disagreements with each.  But they are very close to what I believe.
 America's Party was formed by Hoefling when he and Keyes broke from the Republican Party in 2008.  They tried to join the Constitution Party, but Keyes lost the nomination there to Castle; so they formed their own party.  When I interviewed Hoefling, he expected to be on the ballot in 5-7 states. Hoefling is an Iowan, and I enjoyed interviewing him.

The Constitution Party was formed in 1992 from the U.S. Taxpayer's Party and is on the ballot in 24 states.  They have a nicer website (though I've found some broken links I'm going to have to ask them to fix), and appear better organized and equipped for national campaigns.  Castle served in the Marines, works as a lawyer, and he and his wife have a mission for homeless children in Romania.
So, unless I have a sudden change of heart in the voting booth, I'm going to vote for Castle.  

My mother belonged to the Constitution party when I was a small child, and I always thought it was a terribly boring option, as their candidates never won.  I'll continue to register as a Republican.  But I wrote-in last election rather than vote for Romney, and if McCain were running this year, I would write-in rather than vote for him.  So, I am starting to wonder if I will ever vote for a Republican presidential candidate in a general election. The Constitution Party is the most viable of many unviable alternative conservative options.

I shared this thought last election, and I'll share it again.
Friends and neighbors, regardless of my third-party vote, I hope you vote for Trump.  He'd be a much more exciting iceberg to hit than Clinton.  Please stop by The Journeys of Faith to read my sister's thoughts on the election if you need warmer, more practical encouragement than I can give.  

If you need a light-hearted evaluation, check out this older Studio C sketch.
I know how difficult it was for me to choose whom to vote for this election, so regardless of how you vote (or even if you choose not to vote for theological reasons), I appreciate and respect your opinions.  

May God bless us all with the wisdom and strength to vote with clear consciences this election.
"Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them."  --Psalm 119:165


  1. I have said it before here and I will repeat it. You are probably the most educated voter I know with all the interviewing and studying you have done. God bless us all as this night plays out. We need some change!! xo Diana

    1. I imagine you are in the half of Americans happy today. Blessings to you, Diana!

  2. Thanks for sharing your views and all of the amazing research and info you have done. Very impressive young Lady.

    I know I'm a bit more liberal than you on many issues- but the bottom line is that it's important to use our voice and our right to vote as American citizens. It's a gift many are not given around the world. And no matter the outcome we need to come together as a nation and support one another. In my opinion that is the true bottom line. Not investing completely in a candidate, but investing in US, we the people, as a whole and the people of this wonderful country! That is what my brother has risked his life for in the military - and many like him.
    God bless America. Lol ;) And God bless you Bethany. xoxo

    1. It has been sad to watch half of the country devastated while the other half rejoices. In many ways, our country is so divided!

      Thanks to your brother for his service. Blessings to you, Carrie!

  3. I truly appreciate your well educated views on politics. You are an incredibly informed voter.

    1. Thank you, Michelle. I wish I knew more about it all; I suspect there's a lot behind the scenes that escapes the public eye.

  4. This is great, Bethany! I have loved following along with your political series! You are very smart and very informed!

  5. You are a very informed voter and that is a great thing to be. Wishing all of you, my American blogging friends, good luck today.

  6. I voted for Trump. I'm certainly not a big fan, but for me it came down to the two of them and I certainly couldn't vote for her, so I voted for his platform. Plus, I like the people he has put around himself.

  7. We also find that the Constitution party aligns the most closely with our beliefs, but we ended up voting for Trump. The man may be a moral sewer, but his platform is what did it for us.
    Thanks so much for all the posts you've done on the various candidates! They were very informative and well written.

  8. I agree with Diana, you are the most educated young lady/voter I know and I greatly appreciate your honesty and helpful information.

    Many blessings to you, Bethany! Hugs

    1. Blessings to you as well, Stephanie. Thanks!

  9. I'm with you. As much as I don't care for the man, Trump's policies and agenda match my vision for our country--and those supreme court appointments... Whew! I can't even get on Facebook right now for all the hate going around, but I'm glad the election has turned out the way it did. Our country needs this economic boost. I only hope he can get it done.

    1. Ha! Facebook has been interesting of late...

      Although I chose to vote third party, I'm glad Trump won, and I'm hoping he comes through on his promises.

  10. Everyone is talking about American election, Russian tv channels are crazy about this theme. God bless you, America and the whole world! Liuba x

    1. Ah! At times like these, I wish I could understand Russian to watch the news. I've seen many articles about how happy many Russians are that Trump was elected. I hope Putin and Trump will find some way to work together for good.

      God bless you too, Liuba.

  11. Bethany, thanks once more for sharing your research and your reasoning. I have great respect for you. I did not want to vote, and waffled back and forth about what to do, but I am grateful for the privilege and responsibility I have to vote, and I did reluctantly vote for Trump in hope that he will appoint justices who will uphold the Constitution and the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness...and I continue to ask the Lord to have mercy on us.

    1. Trump could end up great or absolutely terrible. It's hard to tell. I guess we just have to hope for the best. Glad you voted.

  12. I voted for Mr. Trump...I could never vote for HC.
    I thought of you last night while watching the results..I knew you were, too. I stayed awake until it was a sure thing for Mr. Trump...then, I slept like a baby. I feel he will do his very best but he sure has a mess to clean up...I personally think Obama will go down in history as the worst president in the history of EVER.

    1. Oh my...was I ever wishing they would count votes faster! Waiting for those last 5 or 6 electoral votes was painful--and I actually didn't make it. Had to go to sleep at about 12:25 Central Time, but I set my alarm to check on everything again at 1:00. Still it wasn't sealed, but looked almost impossible for him to lose, so I figured he could do his victory speech without me...I ended up watching it in the morning. Glad you had a good night's sleep.

  13. glad you got what you struggled for dear

    1. I'm glad I figured out how to cast my vote without waiting till the minute before the polls closed on election day. ;)

  14. I'm also saddened that we didn't have better VIABLE choices. Just glad the election is over and done with. :)

  15. I so appreciate the time and energy and effort you put into, not only your research, but the sharing of it with us here. You are a true blessing to us all. For my family and me, it was all about the unborn babies that will hopefully be spared because Trump is pro-life, and the Supreme Court justice appointments. I was sad to read on here that Trumps views on homosexuality are "evolving" because God's Word will never "evolve" or change. I can only hope that the Godly men he is surrounding himself with will influence him in a Biblical way. I did read where he is totally against it being called "marriage" which was a great comfort to me. So, we all have to do what we feel pleases God, individually, in our voting, as well as all other parts of life. I am very, very pleased and thankful with the outcome, because we were dangerously close to a fall off a precipice from which we would never recover, I do believe. God bless you, sweet friend. :)

    1. Let's hope we don't go from one precipice to another. I hope Trump does well and keeps his promises. Very true on each just having to vote our own conscience. Blessings to you as well, Cheryl. Thanks!

  16. I voted for Trump because I could not vote for Clinton due to her views on abortion and other things. They were both imperfect candidates, but Scotus weighed heavily on my mind as well as other issues. I am happy he won but he, as well as our other elected officials, will badly need our prayers as we're facing tough issues.
    Thanks for your political posts! Went through your state on the way back from the South-I liked the Midwest��

    1. Oh! You should definitely let me know next time you come through Iowa. I'd love to meet you. Blessings to you as well, Aimee.

  17. I find it interesting that gay marriage beliefs should weigh in your decision making at all. The bible says "Judge not, lest ye be judged." Whether you believe homosexuality is a sin or not, allowing others to make choices that do not affect you seems the more Christian act. You can preach, spread the word, and pray for these people whose souls you might worry over, but to impose beliefs upon someone that does not share your beliefs goes against the desires of the founders of this great nation. I'm curious to hear your thoughts on this.

    On the note of Trump's "pro-life" stance. He only became "pro-life" recently when he first contemplated running for president. HRC's power would have been fairly minuscule when facing a conservative congress.

    That brings me to the reprehensible moral character of Donald Trump. From bragging about grabbing women by the pussy, to having twelve women accuse him of sexual assault, to bragging on Howard Stern about walking in on women changing for his beauty pageants (on purpose). To absolute lying (his tweets will be on screen, and he will deny having said something). To name-calling. To telling America to "check out a sex tape" at 3am because he couldn't stand himself...

    We are telling our children, our country, our neighbors, and the world that it is okay to be a bully, to insult people like a child, to demean women, to call people "rapists and murderers." I feel that it doesn't matter what his policies are or what he has "promised" when you make the leader of the free world and the most powerful man on earth - the guy in charge of the nuclear codes - the same man that had to have his twitter account taken away from him in the last week of the campaign. The man is morally bankrupt. Whereas HRC has spent her entire adult life attempting to serve others (whether you agree with her policies or not), this man has spent his entire life doing nothing but attempt to serve himself.

    I fear for our future, and I can only pray that now elected he realizes the awesome responsibility he bears, and the magnitude of any action he performs.

    1. I guess you understand why I couldn't vote for Mr. Trump myself, even though I am glad my fellow Republicans with stronger stomachs than I did.

      I just hope by saying he'd be loyal to pro-lifers "just as I am loyal to other people," Trump did not mean "just as I was loyal to my first wife." He has made a lot of good promises. Now let's see if he keeps them.

      I agree that his attitude toward women is sickening.

      Re: Marriage.
      I believe in the traditional definition of marriage. Since the government has proved its ineptness in defining marriage in my view, I believe the most practical solution at the moment would be for the government to be taken out of marriage altogether. If a couple wants to get married, they should be able to just have a consenting pastor, priest, or notary recognize their union--no government marriage certificates, no clerks being forced to marry people.

      DOMA, where conservatives felt they needed the federal government to preserve the sanctity of marriage, may well have been marriage's death knell. Somehow they didn't realize that if they acknowledged the responsibility of the federal government to maintain marriage, they'd also be acknowledging the fed's authority to impose it's own broader definition of marriage on all.

      I think the Constitution Party (which I voted for), explains my position very well in their platform on Family.

      Trump could end up terrible or he could end up great. Although I perceive you and I have some very different views on what is best for our country, I'm praying with you that somehow everything works out for the better for our sake and the sake of posterity.

    2. I agree the government should be taken out of marriage altogether!


  18. Just one day after Trump was elected I heard about a Trump supporter approaching a Muslim woman wearing a hijab, knocking it off her head. This is totally disrespectful and certainly does not demonstrate love and tolerance. While people may have their own beliefs, and those beliefs may not agree with the beliefs of others, an act like this is totally unnecessary and certainly not going to win anyone over. Trump made some very hateful comments about women and other races and religions and this is no way to conduct oneself, especially if you are a nominee for President or any other position of power, authority and leadership. He should be ashamed of himself and in my view he should publicly apologize for the things he said, because if these types of acts continue this is heading towards hate and war. My condolences to everyone.

    1. I've seen articles about French police making a woman sunbathing at a beach remove part of her burkini. It is sad when women are mistreated or disrespected just for trying to live up to their own standards of modesty.

      It's dreadful what radical Islamic terror has done, but people should be smarter than to take out their anger against extremists on innocent Muslim women who choose to wear a hijab or other items of modest apparel.


  20. Thank you for sharing your thoughts Bethany! :) I'm glad that you found a way to have a clean conscience before yourself and the Lord. It would take a lot of courage to write a blog post about such a hot topic. ;)

    1. Thank you for stopping by, Paige. I'm glad I voted the way I did.

  21. Hi Bethany, Wow, I guess I was going through the grief process when you posted this edition of Liberty or Death, but glad I found it today when I’m more into the “resolved to accept” mode. :-) I definitely admire you for stating your beliefs and studying all the issues. Ultimately, I think each voter will choose the candidate who they think can best lead us forward. Now we shall see if the electorate was correct. God bless America!

    1. I hope it all works out. This could go well or terribly. We can only hope for the best. Blessings to you!