Alan Keyes
Having no choice means bearing no responsibility
By Alan Keyes
August 22, 2016

On June 17, 2015, when Donald Trump was asked which of the four most recent presidents (Bush 41, Clinton, Bush 43, Obama) he thought was the best, he responded, "I would really say Clinton, probably, I would have to say Clinton." However, he went on to say that Clinton's problems with women "destroyed him." When Clinton's troubles with women were going on, however, Trump did his best to discredit Clinton's accusers. The Newsweek story detailing Trump's friendship with the Clintons reports that in one interview back in 1998 Trump called Paula Jones a "loser." The story goes on to say:

When Trump was asked about whether he would run for a public office, he compared himself to Clinton saying, "Can you imagine how controversial I'd be? You think about him with the women. What about me with the women?"

I rather doubt that Mr. Trump would raise that question so frankly these days. He probably remembers what happened to Gary Hart when he invited reporters to delve into his affairs. Trump probably knows what he had in mind at the time. But I marvel at the fact that so many self-professed Christians who, as Trump boasts, "love him," seem never to have asked themselves what he had in mind. These days, of course, it's unlikely that someone running as a Democrat would have to fear a backlash among Democrats simply because he or she had a rambunctious libido.

But is this now also true of the GOP base? To be sure, the "God loves you just the way you are" mantra, widely used by professedly Christian celebrities to validate their non-judgmental acceptance of contemporary sexual mores, militates against making too much of a little sexual indiscretion here and there. But from the way Trump spoke before he had a fabricated political persona to protect, his younger self thought that his escapades would make Clinton's look tame.

Of course, I read recently that Mr. Trump has a problem among younger voters. Purely cynical political strategists might think that a whiff of sexual libertinism might actually make him more attractive to some of them. But what would it do to the somewhat older voters struggling to help their children avoid the mistakes they made when they were young? It just might chill their desire to be seen putting a presidential stamp of approval on sexual adventures that are somehow even more scandalous than Bill Clinton's.

I won't even try to imagine what those might be, since there are only one or two things left that are reliably considered unforgivable when it comes to sexual behavior. (Trump buddy Jeffrey Epstein's registered penchant for beautiful women "on the younger side," as Trump reportedly put it, comes to mind.) However, out of regard for my fellow conservatives, especially those who profess to be instructed by Jesus Christ, I do have to imagine what may happen if some other Trump buddy (like Bill Clinton, for example) has provable knowledge of what Trump's younger self had in mind. It's not just a question of negative political consequences. As I said, titillating proof of Trump's exciting sexual adventures might make him more acceptable to some voters, given the temper of our times.

But surely there are Christian voters who seriously remember Christ's harsh words against those who are responsible for scandalizing the young, be it in years or in faith. No matter what they say publicly or in response to pollsters, when they are actually in the voting booth casting a vote known, like their true name, only to themselves and God, will they have the temerity to risk having a millstone tied around their spiritual necks as they are thrown into the flaming lake of fire? Will the increasingly dubious allure of Trump's boisterous promises of greatness outweigh the impression left by one of the striking instances in which Jesus spoke emphatically of perdition?

Of course, the witness of truly repentant sinners, far from being scandalous, is actually an encouragement to others to seek salvation through Jesus. This is why we should not throw old sins into the faces of people who have been renewed by the grace of God in Christ. But Donald Trump has repeatedly said that he has not sought to be transformed by the forgiveness of God through Jesus Christ.

To be sure, not a few well-known professedly Christ-revering leaders have jumped on Trump's bandwagon. God knows what they gain from supporting Trump now, or what place at Trump's table they hope for if he ends up in the White House. But private citizens who revere Christ cast their widow's mite share of the sovereignty of the American people knowing full well that what secures their invitation to the Lord's Table does so with much greater certainty than even the few plausible promises of Donald Trump (like his promise to increase government debt in order to spend $500 billion on infrastructure projects – i.e., typical "pork barrel" spending).

There was a time, not so long ago, when being part of the coterie of prominent supporters who helped someone ascend to the presidency was a little like gaining the whole world. Even now it's still like gaining a fair chunk of it. But wasn't it also Christ who said, "What does it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?" (Mark 8:36). Surely we might add "and risk the souls of our posterity, withal."

More and more people are realizing that the choice between Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton leaves them with no choice at all. Of course, some Trump supporters illogically say to conservative voters: "You have no choice but to vote for Trump. If you don't, you elect Hilary and will be responsible for the damage she does." But ours is supposed to be a form of government based on representation. Neither Clinton nor Trump represents me. If I have no choice but to vote for someone who doesn't represent me, then I have no choice. How can I make a choice I do not have? But if I cannot make the choice, how can I be responsible for the consequences of making it?

Be that as it may, I am responsible for choices that will figure in the election of God, in which I can only succeed by bearing faithful witness to His standard as I cast my political widow's mite into the collection box in November.

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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