***UPDATE, 10/14/2016: This article was written prior to the recent tapes of Mr. Trump speaking crude and objectifying words against women. As a result of these revelations, I have decided I will not be as vocal in my defense of Donald Trump as I was previously. Such words can never be condoned, no matter how liberal and one-sided the media reporting has become. Nonetheless, I feel it also necessary to clarify that I will still be voting for Mr. Trump come November. A Trump presidency is clearly preferable to a Clinton presidency, whose platform stands is direct conflict with the Catholic Church. Not only is Mrs. Clinton and her cabinet anti-Catholic on principle, they are anti-Catholic in their hearts (confirmed by the recent email leaks), which proposes an even greater threat to the Church in America.***
I must admit, sometimes the Catholic clergy in this country confound me. In this article, Archbishop Chaput discusses the importance of the election this year, which I agree is an important election year. However, in the article, he places Trump and Clinton on the same level, saying “neither is clearly better than the other.” Perhaps it is understandable how one might reach this conclusion, if one’s source of news is MSNBC or CNN or the New York Times. And for this reason, I place blame more on the shoulders of the media. Nonetheless, it is also incumbent upon Catholics to be smarter, to use reason, and not allow themselves to be manipulated by the media. As I have written elsewhere, and as the head of the Knights of Columbus Carol Anderson reminded, abortion should be first and highest deciding factor for the Catholic vote, since it is proportionally in a category by itself, far outweighing any other social injustice in America to date. So it is necessary to analyze and compare Trump’s pro-life policies to Clinton’s.
*UPDATE: For a more in-depth comparison, see: “Why a Catholic CAN in good conscience vote for Trump.”.*
With Trump, you at least get the promise of a pro-life presidency. With Hillary Clinton, you get the very opposite, a more radical pro-abortion ideology. I do not see how the two can be equated as Archbishop Chaput suggests. But what is more, Trump has not just talked, but he has acted, providing a list of top supreme court picks with the same mind as Scalia, as well as seeking counsel with pro-life groups such as Susan B. Anthony (who also now support him), and meeting with Christian leaders throughout the country (a first for a candidate). He has also promised to overturn the tax-exempt gag law (also a first from any candidate), and he has picked a conservative Christian running mate, Mike Pence, who has a strong record for protecting Christians, religious liberty, and pro-family, pro-marriage values, etc.
What has Hillary’s platform done in comparison? They have become even more extreme, removing the word “rare” from their platforms goal to make abortion “safe and legal.” They no longer hide their radical pro-abortion ideology. It is perplexing how this policy can be equated to Trump’s. Look at their two platforms side-by-side and there is no comparison. Trump may have waffled in his stance against Planned Parenthood. But his lack of clarity on PP cannot be compared to the certainty of an all-in funding for PP that Mrs. Clinton is pushing–now wanting tax payers to fund abortion?
My suspicion, is that people seem to be getting hung up on Trump’s abrasive personality, which the media exaggerates to make him appear like a corrupt and racist “bafoon”–to use the Archbishops words. But there is nothing in Trump’s history that comes close to the kind of corruption we have seen from Mrs. Clinton, who once defended a 41 year-old rapist of a 12 year-old girl, and got his sentence reduced to 2 months on a technicality–even blaming the victim and laughing about it years later in an audio recording (Look up this story. It is as bad as it sounds).
Trump may be rough around the edges, but there is nothing in his history to indicate this level of evil. His history suggests, rather, that he follows through on his promises and gets things done. He is a successful businessman. So there is good evidence to suggest he will do what he says. Pro-lifers should be encouraged by this. He would not be where he is today if his word meant nothing, or if he were unstable or unhinged. And he would not have such well-rounded children, nor would he surround himself with outstanding examples of human beings such as Ben carson–also a strong Trump supporter. No. Archbishop Chaput’s statement that “neither [candidate] is clearly better than the other” does not seem to be grounded in reality. And I am left wondering how a smart person such as himself could have been led to believe such.