In 3 days the world will know the result of the US election. This is an election like no other in a year like no other. Many are praying that there will be a very clear outcome, one way or the other, to reduce the risk of social upheaval.
I have some people asking me about it so here is my tuppence halfpenny’s worth. I hope it helps.
Evangelical voters in the US are facing a particularly difficult choice and need our prayers. I, for one, am glad I don’t have to vote in this election.
There are 2 main components of the election facing all voters:
- The choice between the 2 parties involved: Republicans and Democrats and the values they stand for.
- The choice between the 2 men involved: Joe Biden and Donald Trump and their respective characters.
In the first choice the main issue seems to be around conserving or changing the US culture, perception of history and political systems. The US Declaration of Independence (“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal”, etc.) and the ideology, culture and history that springs from it and the US Constitution are things that many Evangelicals, reasonable people, and other people of faith in the US, believe strongly in and want to preserve. Many perceive that voting for the Republicans is a vote for that culture, history and philosophy and voting for the Democrats is a vote to destroy all that. This particularly applies to issues such as abortion and race relations but also applies to revising history, concepts of family and gender and other dearly held Evangelical positions.
I have found Ben Shapiro’s writings and podcasts useful when it comes to understanding the Republican view point. The Atlantic and the Economist are good sources if you want to understand the Democrat view point.
On the other point many reasonable people, Evangelicals included, perceive that to vote Republican is to vote in Trump for another 4 years. A lot of reasonable people including Evangelicals would see in Trump’s character and behaviour everything that they would consider the antithesis of the nature of Jesus Christ as described in the Gospels. Many consider Trump to be selfish and a narcissist in a similar way to other dictatorial leaders desperate to hold onto power at any cost (e.g. Putin, Kim Jung-un, Alexander Lukashenko). Joe Biden on the other hand comes across as a reasonable man who does not embody the extremes of the feared Democrat position.
So many Evangelical voters are caught between a rock and a hard place. They only have 2 choices:
- Vote for Trump and the Republican party and usher in another 4 years of tweets, polarization, ego and damage to the Evangelical testimony in many people’s eyes or
- Vote for Biden and the Democrat party and all it stands for including the loss of the gains in anti abortion rights, etc. that have been made under the Trump administration.
It is no wonder that John Piper recently blogged that he was not going to vote for either one (though he doesn’t recommend that to anyone).
The most likely outcome from this election will be disillusionment with the whole US electoral system.