I didn’t vote for Donald Trump either time. Blame me for Joe Biden, if you must. I don’t think that’s right. I think both times we faced two bad choices. The first time, I wrote in Carl Anderson from the Knights of Columbus, who had fought ISIS genocide that year. This year, I waited in line for two hours to write in Leonard Leo, because I’m especially grateful for Amy Coney Barrett, and that was his work. I didn’t do that lightly. I’m well aware that four years of Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden is not good news for many issues I care about. And thanks to what Donald Trump did last week, the need for serious concern for fundamentals such as free speech have accelerated.
As I was approaching the voting booth this time, I even panicked for a moment, texting a good friend who is no longer with us. It was his final kindness to me, bucking me up to vote my conscience. All I could think about were unborn babies and the persecuted around the world for a moment. I wondered if I would regret my vote for Leonard Leo if Joe Biden won. I don’t. And I felt tremendous relief even when last Wednesday’s horror happened, knowing I hadn’t voted for the man.
I share all this because I understand why so many good people voted for Donald Trump. Decent Americans were at his rally Wednesday, for all kinds of reasons. They had questions about the election, they were sad about the President-elect Biden reality, they love free speech and religion and want to see them protected and have many fears about the future.
On Wednesday, a dear beloved friend took issue with me saying I understood how an “earnest American” could get worked up by Trump’s words. I know he never would and neither would countless others in attendance. I’m an earnest American, too, and would never mean that as an insult. But I worry about the people who are so desperately buying into so many conspiracy theories that they are on the edge. It’s not hard to be on the edge these days, so we don’t need Donald Trump adding kerosene to the scene of a fire he didn’t start, but has made worse.
These are difficult days for our country. As we face what had been promised as a peaceful transition of power, we need to respect one another and our difference of opinion on prudential judgments and fundamentals, or it’s only going to get worse. The Left shouldn’t be purging people who voted for Donald Trump, or believe in traditional marriage, or oppose abortion, or a whole host of not-conventionally approved views. And those of us who have some fundamentals in common ought to be ready to work together again for the common good in opposition to bad ideas.
And I’ll add: Abortion is a most intimate violence that ends in the death of a mother’s child. Joe Biden has even said he is personally opposed. Why be personally opposed to something that is “choice” and “freedom” and “health care”? Because he hasn’t had the courage to confront his party.
All this violence in our country — I’m convinced it all goes back to the nearly half-century of this legal dehumanization of the unborn child. Increasingly, nothing makes sense because we do not protect the most natural thing in the world to protect: the completely innocent. It leads to callousness on so many fronts. If we care about those other fronts, getting this first choice in life might give us a fighting chance at coherence and new life for our nation.