Alan Keyes
Trump-Clinton: To vote for one is to vote for the other
Both candidates 'abandon respect for God's authority'
By Alan Keyes
November 1, 2016

Today, I saw the most elegant argument yet against the silly notion that people who reject both presidential candidates foisted on us this year by the so-called "major parties" are in fact casting their vote for Hillary Clinton. It ran thusly: If, as the Trumpsters say, any vote other than for Trump is a vote for Clinton; and, as the Clintonistas say, any vote other than for Clinton is a vote for Trump, then someone who votes for neither has in fact voted for both; but since this logically resolves itself into no vote at all, then the argument made by either side is self-evidently false.

There is a similarly self-nullifying logic to Donald Trump's blanket assertion that the electoral process is simply fraudulent. If it is true, what does that say about Donald Trump's victories in the GOP primaries – which seemed, before the fact, to be quite improbable. Must we believe that fraud is limited to the general election? I know from my own experience that this is untrue.

We could cite the large attendance at Trump's rallies to gauge his support, but Barack Obama's pre-election rallies in 2008 also drew large audiences. We all know that the Democratic Party's tradition of vote fraud, particularly in urban areas like Chicago and Baltimore, has been with us since well before that, so Obama's large rallies may or may not have been good indicators of his real support.

In all fairness, we must entertain the same possibility in respect to Mr. Trump's rallies. After all, his widely reported deep pockets could fund a lot of behind-the-scenes inducements for individuals and organizations susceptible to such blandishments. Since Mr. Trump is content to let unproven accusations work against his opponent, why shouldn't his critics be accorded the same latitude? I am quite willing to let suspicion run rampant on both sides, since I have maintained for years that both parties are wings of a sham political process, thoroughly manipulated by the powers that be of the elitist faction.

One might say, like Shakespeare's Mercutio, "A plague on both your houses!" ("Romeo and Juliet," Act 3, Scene 1), if both were not now spreading that plague of political degradation and corruption to speed America's God-endowed right of liberty toward its demise. But it would be unfair to pretend that the specter of that plague has not haunted America's political life since the beginning. America's founders committed the nation to its great experiment of liberty despite their cleared-eyed sense of the general and proven corruption characteristic of human governments, whether ruled by the many or the few.

They devised a Constitution they hoped would harness at least some of the energy generated by that corruption to the task of containing and counteracting it. But they knew that all such contrivances would be doomed to fail, if not for the activity and influence of those Americans whose moral and religious character mitigated against the prevalence of altogether unbridled and licentious ambition. To be sure, most of the founders had grave misgivings about whether their influence would long prevail against the political entropy that tends to sap the energy of every form of government, leading eventually to its collapse and dissolution.

But until lately, the endurance of the founders' handiwork corresponded more to their good hopes than their worst fears. As many of them foresaw, that endurance owed much to the moral and spiritual resilience of Americans nourished by the salt and leaven of Christian discipleship. This resilience was not just self-discipline, but the patience to brave known and unknown hardship without losing faith in the undying spark of decency within themselves. It was also the capacity to rise above their misdeeds and faults – and even their crimes – not by denying or even forgetting their own wrongdoing, but by accepting the forgiveness that God and Christ allow those humble enough to condemn what they were and become, by the gift of God's good graces, what He knew they still could be.

This required, above all, that a significant number of people who profess the Christian faith stand firm in their insistence on the standard of right, justice, and true human worth raised up with Christ and upheld, from the beginning, as the cause of American liberty. For better and worse, the story of the American people has always focused on the competition between that commitment to the standard of Christ and God, and the allure of wealth, self-satisfaction, and material power that impels material ambition to "break [God's] bonds asunder and cast away [His] cords from us" (Psalm 2:3).

Now we are faced with a choice between a woman who touts the rite of murdering our innocent offspring as a "right"; and a man who pridefully boasts that he will make America great again. But as he does so, he gives no inkling that he is changed from the same man who said, "If I do something wrong, I think, I just try and make it right. I don't bring God into that picture. I don't." But given God's role in the endowment of right, except we "bring God into that picture," we cannot know what is right. And if we do not know what is right, how can we know what it takes to make things right?

Hillary Clinton casts away God's cords. Donald Trump breaks His bonds (the delimited boundaries that, for example, distinguish right from wrong) asunder. In respect of God, vote for one and you will have voted for the other, for they are both alike in that they abandon respect for God's authority. But since that respect has, from the first, been the hallmark of our character as a people, a vote for either one is a vote to abandon that character. What, then, will withhold our nation (already dangerously dissolute) from fatal dissolution?

To see more articles by Dr. Keyes, visit his blog at and his commentary at and

© Alan Keyes


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Alan Keyes

Dr. Keyes holds the distinction of being the only person ever to run against Barack Obama in a truly contested election – featuring authentic moral conservatism vs. progressive liberalism – when they challenged each other for the open U.S. Senate seat from Illinois in 2004... (more)


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