Hillary, Donald and the greater good
‘Values voters’ have the power to determine the winner on Nov. 8
The 2016 presidential election season has not been kind to values voters. It’s hard to imagine how America can recapture its place as “a shining city on hill” when most campaign coverage is about sex, lies and videotape. Values voters may be tempted to tune out in disgust and stay home on Election Day, but they have an obligation to weigh necessity against their wishes. Catholics and Protestant evangelicals alone comprise half of the U.S. population and together very nearly hold the votes to choose the nation’s president. They can hold their noses in the voting booth and count on their hearts to make the right choice.
Among the emails made public last week by WikiLeaks was an exchange between John Podesta, a Catholic and the Clinton campaign chairman, and a left-wing Catholic activist who wants to start a “revolution” within the Roman Catholic Church. “There needs to be a Catholic Spring,” wrote Sandy Newman, president of Voices for Progress, “in which Catholics themselves demand the end of a middle-ages dictatorship and the beginning of a little democracy and respect for gender equality in the Catholic Church.”
Mr. Podesta agreed with an affirmation that plans for the revolution are in the works: “We created Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good to organize for a moment like this. But I think it lacks the leadership to do so now. Likewise, Catholics United. Like most Spring movements, I think this one will have to be bottom up.” The “spring” reference refers to the “Arab Spring,” a proliferation of dissent that spread across the Islamic Middle East and set off armed conflict in Libya, Iraq, Yemen and most recently and destructively, in Syria.
Catholics should beware that Mrs. Clinton’s election would embolden her scheming allies to foment change within the Catholic Church to match their secular views on “gender equality” and other core beliefs, including the right to life. Hillary says support for Roe v. Wade would be a litmus test for any nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court. Heretofore, no president has admitted to applying a litmus test, even when he does in fact apply one.
Many evangelicals scourge values voters for sticking with Donald Trump following the “Access Hollywood” video that recorded his boasts of vulgar behavior toward women. In a National Review essay titled “Evangelicals without standards,” Rich Lowry accuses such evangelicals of using the “King David defense,” the king’s less-than-sincere repentance for adultery. David’s one night of lust with Bathsheba, told in the Biblical books of Samuel and Kings, was a calamity for his Israelite kingdom, and Mr. Lowry suggests the evangelicals who stick with the Donald “find themselves defending the indefensible . . . and they are doing it for a campaign that is sinking, more than anything else, from the character flaws of the candidate.”
Mr. Lowry is right, of course. Mr. Trump’s locker room talk is repugnant and he’s clearly an apprentice at repentance. But his supporters are not chipping away at the nation’s religious foundation. Hillary’s are, with hammer, chisel and maul. There’s more in the Bible story: Despite his sinful behavior, David still became the progenitor of Judaism and from his flawed earthly lineage came the Messiah.
Fortunately, the Creator of heaven and earth does not wait for perfection to appear but proceeds with the blemished human materials at hand to accomplish a greater good. The nation’s 70 million Catholics and 94 million evangelicals have the electoral muscle to determine who wins on Nov. 8. The heart will show the way.