This is written for the millions of us REALLY struggling with this decision.
I have worked painstakingly hard to create a non-partisan guide to help YOU decide who to vote for this year.
I don’t feel right about pushing a political agenda with this site, but for those just dying to know the conclusions I came to after answering the questions below you can email me and i’ll spill it.
I know I will catch some flak for NOT pushing an agenda, but, if it helps just a few people sleep better at night after voting, I’ll say it is worth it.
Oh and if you love one of the candidates, then this article really isn’t for you, but feel free to pass it along to your undecided friends.
Who should I vote for? Trump or Hillary?
Sorry, this is not an article that will tell you who to vote for either, but it is an attempt to help you if you are wrestling with this decision like I am.
I have watched the presidential debates and rather than pointing me solidly in one direction, they have just made it more difficult to figure out who to vote for.
But this was one redeeming thing to come out of them:
My Party Affiliation
I don’t really have a party affiliation.
So, like I said before, the goal of this article is NOT to tell you who to vote for.
But, while I don’t consider myself a Republican, I find myself lining up with a slightly higher percentage (definitely not all) of conservative values.
All of the candidates disappoint me, and as a result, I find myself tempted (for the 1st time in my adult life) to NOT vote at all.
But, I will definitely be voting.
Far too many of our ancestors paid with their lives to give us the rights we have in this great nation, and I want to honor that by showing up on November 8th.
Questions to ask when deciding
When I voted for the first time, I said “Dad, who should I vote for?”
And, it was easy. I didn’t even have to shed an ounce of thought. All I needed to do was remember the guys name, and not forget my voter registration card and I was good to go.
Then as I got older, I began asking more questions which ultimately led me away from just ALWAYS voting for the party that my family did.
That wasn’t nearly as easy.
In addition to actually having to think through issues and matters of conscience, I had to occasionally NOT make the same decisions as my wonderful parents.
And live with that.
And hope that I wasn’t being dumb.
As I have gotten older, I have found that the more questions you ask, and the more angles from which you approach a problem, so much more begins to be revealed.
Things are simultaneously not as simple as they appear, yet not as complex either. As odd as that sounds.
So with that, here are 7 questions that I am asking myself this year.
7 questions to help you determine who to vote for this year
1. Putting all the mudslinging aside, where do these candidates stand on the issues that matter to me?
It is easy to get drawn into all the attack ads, leaked documents, or other mudslinging and completely forget about the issues.
It is insulting to me that they (both parties) think that we are that simple minded that we won’t even consider the issues and that we will just make our decision based on the last negative ad we saw.
You can see where all the presidential candidates stand on the issues here: (listed alphabetically)
- Clinton (Democratic Party)
- Johnson (Libertarian Party)
- McMullin (Independent Party)
- Stein (Green Party)
- Trump (Republican Party)
2. Who is their running mate?
Both Hillary and Donald are getting up there in age. She is 68 and he is 70.
Statistically speaking they both have enough of a chance to not finish their term that the possibility of their running mate becoming president should at least be considered.
So, we should probably be paying attention to the running mates and asking what would it look like for them to take over.
3. Who will do more irreparable damage to our country?
This obviously is very subjective, but factors to consider are:
- Supreme court appointees
- Foreign policy
- Religious freedoms
- National security (and handling of Nukes)
- Environmental factors
- Health care
- And really hundreds of others
4. Which one will help get my 2020 candidate elected?
There tends to be a pendulum effect with politics and the presidency. It tends to swing one way for a bit, then things get a little too out of balance and then swings back to the other party.
You can check out the back and forth of the last hundred years here below:
Since this is the case, and it is unlikely that one party is going to rule for the next 50 years, maybe the opposing candidate may just help things swing a bit further the opposite direction and thus help get our 2020 candidate elected.
Painful, I know.
But something to consider nonetheless.
5. How would the balance of power be affected?
Who controls (or would control) the senate and the house? How would that affect our voting decision for the president?
For a visual look at the historical balance of power in the U.S. Government check this out:
6. Which candidate has a similar worldview to me?
As a Christian, all things being equal, I would prefer to vote for a Christian.
Just like I also prefer someone who understands business because I am a small business owner, or anything else that we have in common. I think you naturally feel more comfortable with a leader who has a similar world view as yourself.
Ideally we can find those areas where our world views align with a candidate.
After all, they will be shaping the direction of the country for the foreseeable future. You can’t always find common ground, but it is something to think about.
7. Can I defend my decision to those whose opinions I value most? God, my wife, children?
Even though our ballot cast is ensured to be kept private, I want to be comfortable defending my voting decision to those who I love most. I imagine explaining to my (now 2 year old) son who I voted for and why.
Unfortunately, with today’s state of politics many of us are faced with a “lesser of two evils” approach, rather than a “just can’t decide because they are both so great” approach.
I never thought I would quote John Mayer, but he said it well:
“You can tell that something isn’t right
When all your heroes are in black and white”
If you are like me, it can be disheartening and definitely NOT ideal circumstances, but…
One thing to remember:
The President of the United States is still referred to as the Leader of the Free World, but remember…
“The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it whichever way He wishes.”
God bless America.
What other questions are you asking yourself as you decide who to vote for this year?
And comments are open, but don’t make me regret it. Any disrespectful comments will not be approved. Let’s keep it civil – deal?
genie lalonde says
good article – I agree
Daniel Weston says
Thank you for putting forth these seven questions Bob. Most of them make sense to consider prior to making a decision. But quite frankly, most folks have convictions that align with one party or the other, The actual candidate at the top shouldn’t make or break the vote. It seems insane to me for an undecided voter to listen to current news stories in an effort to help make up their mind – that should have been done ages ago in their heart.
Like you, I think both candidates are awful in varying degrees. How it has come to this is beyond belief but then again, I shouldn’t be surprised knowing the nature of man, and what happens when men forget God, ” everyone one does what is right in their own eyes”. Thankfully we can trust on God’s sovereignty! Nothing is out of sync with HIS purposes.
I enjoy how you provided a historical aspect too. Helps to get the bigger picture and not feel like chicken little, ” The shy is falling!”..LOL..Thanks for providing Questions and a non-bias stance. Helpful.
I don’t watch TV but You Tube periodically so I get the “yuk” in small doses. That doesn’t mean I have my head in the sand, I try and listen to Christian men I respect and their take on the events ( Eric Metaxas, World magazine, etc). and also read The Week for getting both sides. I did watch Dinesh Souza’s movie on Clinton ( Hillary’s America: The Secret History of Democratic Party thru Redbox) which was a well made film wise. I was impressed. I don’t know if I buy in to “all” of it. I’d have to research what he said but he made some good points. I understand “progressive thought” now.
I am registered Republican because of their conservative values however, the Republican party in my perspective seem out of touch with the common man and take hard stances that seem to make no sense. The last time I did not vote for the presidential nominee was Obama/McCain. I liked Obama, Great orator but morally I could not cast my vote for him. Neither party seem like public servants to me but seem to be in it for their own wealth and power, hurting the middle class and supporting corporate greed!
Brilliant article indeed. As an American living abroad, I will be voting for the candidate whose values most aligns with mine and a president who will do us proud globally
I am with you, Esther. It is painful watching how our country’s leaders are portrayed in international and foreign news sources. Will we ever see the kind of respect that was befitting President Reagan again?
When trying to decide who to vote for (to vote or not to vote should never be a reasonable consideration) I recommend looking at who (groups,politicians,public figures,entertainers, etc ) are the candidates attracting to themselves. What groups are drawn to the candidate. If pro abortion groups or gay rights groups are drawn to a candidate and I oppose those agendas, The opposite would also apply here. I cast my vote for the other candidate that draws support from the groups I find the most in common with. Look for the spirit of the party affiliation when the character of the candidate is in question. We aren’t voting for a Pastor, we’re voting for a leader. Very different things. Go Vote!!
Ray W says
Good article and comments. One thing that I completely find useless is the “debates” little more than televised theater, the nation waiting expectantly for that witty zinger or fatal gaffe. We arent electing captain of the debating team!! We are choosing the person to fill the most important job in the world, and people’s shallowness in the preference is too often just sad and dismaying.
Cheryl Vinson says
I would hope that most people have already done many of the things you said before they go into the voting booth. People often say they are voting their values or beliefs, when in reality they are actually voting their experiences. Because often this how those beliefs and values are formed. People usually vote for the candidate that they believe best represents their interest. Who can really judge that decision? The important thing is to vote. “And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marveled at him.” Mark 12:17. We are instructed to be in this world but not of this world. We are blessed to be in a Country where we can freely vote our conscience without fear of retribution or death.
There is a Constitution Party
This is the party that most closely aligns with what the founders of America had in mind! This is where my vote will go this year.
Renee Metzler says
Thank you to Mary for telling me about the Constitutional Party.
Danielle Faust says
Hi Bob, Thank you for sharing. You make some good points.
I think we as Christians and as citizens of the United States, have a duty to do our due diligence in research before casting a ballot. The fact of the matter is that there are more than just two parties that we can vote for. There’s Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, Darrell Castle, and those are just the most popular….we HAVE more choices than just Hillary and Donald, and it is our duty as voters to know that the person that we are voting for BEST represents our morals, our beliefs and our values, in addition to the topics that are of most importance to us. I have heard so many people say that they don’t support either candidate and are voting for the lesser of two evils, but I get a little frustrated that we all feel they are our only choices.
We are voting third party this year for the first time because we cannot back either candidate. We’ve been told we are crazy because a vote for a third party is like a vote for so-and-so, but I will not be made to feel guilty for voting for a candidate that I can fully support. I hope that we can all pray to make the best decisions, to stop mocking others for voting differently, and maybe break a cycle of some really bad behavior among our politicians and actually see some change. I wish everyone well in their decision-making process. I know it’s not easy!
C Knudsen says
Thank you so much for this article!
Renee Metzler says
I appreciate your factual, rather than opinionated, informative article (with links to core issues). This is a difficult decision for myself as well, I might add that as a Christian, we need to be informed, but also, we need to seek out God’s wisdom through prayer.
I find that many people are not thinking about the future effects of their vote, or the very cost of the freedom we have to vote. That freedom is a true reflection of God’s gift of free will to mankind. He never forces Himself on anyone but continually draws us to Himself through the power of His Holy Spirit. There is not a perfect candidate but I too trust that the Lord holds the hearts of the kings in His hand.
I squandered many years living in selfish gratification. When I surrendered completely to the saving power of the Cross, I was forever changed. I know there are no perfect governments but the U.S. has a pretty powerful constitution that reflects many scriptural principles. I find the Republican platform to be a platform that is in alignment with my moral and civic persuasions. It is this foundation -though not perfect – that will persuade my vote. We are not electing a pastor. Instead we are electing a man or woman who is dust, just like each one of us.
I have been praying for both candidates that this campaign process might be what draws them to the foot of the Cross where true humility and servant leadership are discovered in Christ. So far I don’t see much result in this department but God knows the heart of man and He never misses a beat when it comes to the right timing of drawing individuals to Himself or using them to bring about His plan.
I will vote and trust our future to the LORD.
Jeff Jones says
I still come down to one question:
When presented with choosing between arsenic and strychnine, shall I chose one because I must choose, or shall I choose none of the above, and trust God for the consequences?
As Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
Very good article, thank you. One comment I recently read struck home with me. It is as follows, sorry I cannot give credit to the source but I honestly don’t remember : If you don’t feel you can vote for either candidate, vote based on the platform you most closely identify with. That, I feel is good advice. But the one thing that really settled the issue for me was realizing I am not responsible for anyone’s actions but my own. BUT I am responsible to To God for the action I take in the voting booth . I absolutely do not want to stand before God and admit I cast my vote, my influence for any candidate whose views go against God’s Holy Word. Period. My decision,though still somewhat uncomfortable is now crystal clear.
Kevin Obermeyer says
Good food for thought! I applaud your efforts to bring some clarity on such a difficult situation, one that seems to keep popping up the last several elections. The lines become more and more blurred. But this is good stuff! By the way, if you’d consider running, I’m taking write-in suggestions now. 😉
Caroline S says
I appreciate your unbiased and thoughtful approach. I have decided who I would vote for, but discovered from your links that my views align more closely with Johnson/Weld. Unfortunately, I will never vote to support a candidate in favor of legalizing marijuana, so that leaves me with no real option than my original choice.
Who backs up legalising SIN and the LGBT agenda? Clintons do! Who are anti Semites? Clintons are! That is enough to definitely vote for them. As for their open marriage ete., who wants to be represented to the world by such a reprobate, degenerate pair? Living outside of the USA for over 20 yrs, as an American I have seen my country go down the tubes in a massive way, the Americans of the land are addicted to social media and who in government will “let them have it their way”, and it’s so bad to be viewed in such a light. The Clintons will end what’s left of the country. Obama was the worse president ever, and he dares call the Clintons “his legacy” – is this man that imbalanced mentally? PRIDE is what moves those 2 clans. It will ruin the lives of the people, the country is a cesspool of everything that’s wrong, especially VIOLENCE and allowing the Quran in the Judeo-Christian courtrooms – poor Founding Fathers, they wouldn’t believe it. Our Constitution used to be such a wonderful work of art, meaningless today. God HELP the USA.
I too find that my views mostly align with Johnson. I am curious as to why the legalization of cannabis is the determining factor in your decision not to vote for a particular candidate. Personally, I do not use it, but I do not see a problem with it. It is a plant that God created, and is far safer than alcohol in terms of overdose or related deaths. Alcohol is a substance that requires man’s intervention to create. Another point is, whether it is legal or not, some are bound to use it. If cannabis were legal, the border with Mexico would be much safer and there would be far less deaths due to violence or dying of dehydration or what have you.
I don’t want to get too far off topic, but just curious why this issue deters you from the Libertarian candidate. My main dilemma is, Johnson more closely mirrors my values than Trump, but I feel as though if I don’t vote for Trump, Clinton will win, and personally, I feel that her values are much less aligned with Biblical principles than Trump’s (even though it’s clear that not all of his values are either).
But it’s just tough, I feel torn between voting my conscience, or voting to prevent the greater of two evils from getting into office. Sadly, this is how I’ve always felt as a voter, because of how the media manipulates us.
Danielle Faust says
Agreed. The guilt card is played heavily on anyone who considers another option. I cannot even tell you how many people are not satisified by the main candidates. If we ALL voted our conscience, whatever it may be, then the cards will fall where they may. If we don’t start to vote our conscience, then things will only continue to get worse because collectively we refuse to improve our options.
Please Google Clint Curtis (a Computer Programmer who testified before Congress that he was asked to write a program that flipped the vote to rig any election)… THE VOTING IS RIGGED, so why would anyone (knowing that) still vote?
You have stay spiritually- minded (not worldly) in order to know what’s going on… USA is the Mystery Babylon of Revelation 18 (the whore), and Babylon has fallen and has become the home of every foul bird.
Folks… we are never going to turn this country Back to God/Jesus on a National- Level because Bible Prophecy says so…. the way out is spiritual (making the Biblical RAPTURE) … that’s our only hope and that’s gonna take Faith. (Google “Revelation 12 sign in the stars on SEP. 23, 2017″… it’s right after the Jewish holiday Feast- of-Trumpets which is called the holiday where no man knows the day nor hour).
I wrote in the Constitution Party candidates, even though they weren’t listed in my state. The GOP and Democrats are both destroying our country through debt and a total lack of moral leadership. I will never vote for any candidate belonging to either of these parties. Both ignore the Constitution when it is convenient for them.
Not to mention that until we return to paper ballots that are filled out by hand and publicly counted, no one can prove our votes count anyway.