Two years ago, before Donald J. Trump became the Republican nominee for President, I was absolutely convinced he was not the nominee we needed. His personal character didn’t match the values conservatives stand for, his record was smudgy, and he had made conflicting statements on the issue of abortion. With the Supreme Court in play, that wasn’t an issue we could afford to compromise on.
I was a delegate to the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, and I saw everything play out firsthand. I will admit that seeing then-candidate Trump emerge as a victor was, at the time, a demoralizing moment.
But. (How many times does such a little word signal a great change?) Despite the initial distrust of conservatives like myself, President Trump has proved himself more true to Christian ideals than a good number of Republican presidents before him.
Does he always speak like a compassionate Republican? No. Yet we – the church, the people on the ground, the Republican citizens – we can fill the void there. We can personally welcome the refugee when they walk through the doors of our churches. We can match compassion with boldness.
But what we cannot do is appoint federal judges. We cannot strong-arm China (a giant human rights violator) through trade policy. We cannot take away funding from Planned Parenthood’s international arm or from other organizations that push abortion on women in developing nations. We cannot rewrite HHS policy to include preborn children as human beings.
President Trump can do these things. He has done these things. We were perhaps so focused on his speech that we forgot the boldness of the man. Conservatives need to be fearless in a world that constantly tells us we are wrong.
And we can use our personal influence and on-the-ground community efforts to match compassion with the boldness our President has brought. Together, Republicans in our rural communities, suburban areas, and inner cities can advance a true conservative agenda. We can show the people of America that the president’s policies actually advance the rights of individuals.
It is up to us to find the human stories behind the policies; to show our fellow citizens how a constitutionally-focused Court, lower taxes, and pro-life actions benefit the families they love and the future they care about.
With President Trump at the helm, our nation’s future is bright. As Christians, we ought not to let go of our Biblical values, but neither should we let evil win because the good we see could be better still.
President Trump is doing good things. And instead of constantly nitpicking his phrases, we should help explain the vision behind his policies to the nation. That is the job before us.