While I do not reach the same conclusion as David French, the arguments he makes (and the principles behind them) are things that Christians need to consider. At some point, Christians are going to have to face and deal with Donald Trump’s moral flaws in a serious way.
I did not vote for Donald Trump in 2016. I do not regret or apologize for that. But I was nonetheless pleasantly surprised that this lifelong New York City liberal has delivered consistently conservative policy. We got tax cuts, pro-life policy, defense of religious freedom, and scaling back government regulations. Trump even moved the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. But Trump is still a thrice-married adulterer with a penchant for dishonesty. He is petulant and stubborn, digging in and preferring to triple down when he should be backing away from an obviously bad decision. He is extremely proud and arrogant, and the Bible is very clear that God hates pride.
Christians need to recognize these flaws, especially the sexual immorality that they were quick to condemn when the President’s name was Bill Clinton. Christians who excuse Trump but condemn Clinton are hypocrites, motivated by partisanship (or worse, a cult of personality) instead of a sincere commitment to Christian doctrine. Either Jesus Christ is our Lord or He is not. You cannot have anything be equal to Him and His Word. Christians must rebuke Trump’s immorality, his pride and his dishonesty.
Where I differ with French is his conclusion. I look at the last three years of policy, and then I look at the Democrats. If we elect a Democrat, we will have poisonous identity politics, tax increases, full-blown support for abortion on demand through the moment of birth and a radical assault on religious liberty. If Bernie Sanders is the nominee, we will have a literal Communist who has praised brutal regimes in Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela. Sanders even praised the genocidal Soviet Union, which implemented a socialist “utopia” on top of the bodies of tens of millions of innocents. The Soviets were truly an Evil Empire.
I do think the fact that Trump is an incumbent changes the calculation from what we had in 2016. The question then was whether Trump was qualified to be President. Now the question is whether Trump’s record as President merits another four years in the White House. Of course, we cannot ignore the consequences of electing a Democrat, and the policies that Democrat will implement if elected. Even if legislation is blocked in the Senate, a President can do a lot of damage with executive orders as we saw with Barack Obama.
For me, the issue with Trump’s character is not Trump himself. The issue is with the Christians who have excused his behavior (such as granting him a “mulligan”) or said it is not important. It is one thing to argue that Trump is a man with serious character flaws but sometimes we have to choose a flawed man in order to gain good policy or stop destructive policy. It is another thing entirely to betray the Gospel of Jesus Christ for short-term political expediency. That is apostasy and idolatry, and every Christian is obligated to reject that wicked compromise.