Posted Oct 13, 2018 by Michael L. Brown

I’m reading about more and more former people like Erick Erickson. They were once Never Trumpers, , but they would vote for him in 2020 if he runs again. What’s changing their minds?

I too once opposed Donald Trump. I didn’t like his past. I didn’t trust his intentions. His character, to me, was highly suspect.

I had no idea what he really believed or stood for. And I certainly questioned if his outreach to evangelical Christian leaders was sincere. Wasn’t he just using them, as others had in the past?

To be totally honest, I had actually forgotten just how deeply I disliked him when he was a Republican primary candidate. But when editing my new book on Trump, which includes 90 Trump-related articles from August 2015 to August 2018, I realized just how much of a problem I used to have with this highly controversial figure.

You see, most of us remember the past through the filter of the present. It’s like the man who says to his wife after 30 years of marriage, “I want a divorce. The truth is, I never really loved you.”

His present attitude has clearly distorted the facts of the past.

It was the same with me and Donald Trump. It was only while re-reading my articles written about him during the primaries that I remembered just how much I did not want to see him win.

And, to be brutally honest, since I had endorsed Ted Cruz and Trump was his main opposition, on some level, even subconsciously, I must have looked at Trump as the competitor. So, just like you root for your home team and against the opposition, I rooted for Cruz and against Trump.

How did I go from that attitude to rooting for him and voting for him? How is it that today, despite my ongoing concerns about some of the president’s message and methods, I’m hoping for a red wave in the midterms? (For the record, I’m registered as an Independent but consistently vote Republican, especially because of key social issues.)

Let’s think about what is changing the minds of some formerly Never Trumpers.

The Kavanaugh hearings revealed just how intense and ugly the opposition can be.

The Democrat-inspired mobocracy is deeply disturbing.

The radicality of the pro-abortion movement has been unveiled for all to see, along with the radicality of the extreme feminist movement.

The outright hostility of the leftwing media has revealed their depth of antipathy, not just to Trump but to conservative values in general.

The emergence of die-hard socialist candidates has made our choices more stark.

It’s even increasingly hard to deny that some kind of “deep state” exists.

On the positive side, Trump has done a great job with the economy. He is doing better against ISIS and Islamic terrorism. He has proven to be a true friend to Israel. He has made some positive progress with hostile countries. He is absolutely keeping his promises about Supreme Court and Federal Court nominees. And he has proven sincere in his commitment to stand with evangelical Christians.

In my case, there were several factors that led to a change of thinking, all of which can be followed in the chronological reprinting of the 90 aforementioned articles included in my book.

First, I always said that if it was Trump vs. Hillary, I would reevaluate my opposition to him.

Second, prophetic words from friends of mine saying that God had raised up Trump like a Cyrus-type figure (a foreign king who was not a worshiper of Yahweh) had me asking the whole time, “Am I wrong here?”

Third, the fact that he struck a chord with so many Americans got my attention.

Fourth, the fact that he beat so many fine Republican candidates suggested strongly to me that there was a supernatural wind in his sails.

Fifth, close friends of mine who were respected evangelical leaders spent lots of time with him and assured me that he was open and listening.

Sixth, his positions became more consistent, leading me to believe (or, at least) hope, that he would keep his word, hence my vote for him.

Now, as president, while I certainly do not support his every word and deed, I must say he is doing the things I hoped he would do if elected.

Would it be great if would be a good role model too? Absolutely.

Do I often wish that he could unify more people behind him? Certainly.

But am I glad I voted for him? Without a doubt.

And, as I’ve often said, if it were Trump vs. Hillary today, I’d vote for him without any hesitation.

Perhaps this analogy will prove helpful.

There are a bunch of pit bulls with rabies terrorizing a neighborhood and biting the children. But there is no town dog catcher, and kids are suffering and dying.

Two candidates emerge.

One is the nicest guy in the world. He’s happily married with great kids, and you’ll never hear a foul word from him. But he can’t even catch a fly. The guy is hopeless.

The other candidate is as nasty as they come. His three ex-wives hate him. He curses like a drunken sailor. But the guy can catch a dog with his teeth.

For whom would you vote?

That’s where many formerly Never Trumpers are today. The stakes are that high, and he’s the man for the job. A great role model would be a wonderful plus. It’s just not in the cards right now.

So, let’s keep standing with President Trump, both in prayer and in face to face support, helping him become a better man. And let’s make our voices and votes heard for the good of the nation. The political stakes are really that high.


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DanaBonhoeffer posted a comment · Oct 20, 2018
And, if we believe the world is too powerful for us and we need the government to fight for us, then the Word seems to lose its power. I believe in stepping out of my comfort zone to play my part in Christ's body. In doing so, I have gotten to see miracles. God is powerful and faithful!
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DanaBonhoeffer posted a comment · Oct 20, 2018
Alan Dodd and Daniel434 both make good points. Our nation is suffering. I would briefly say that the health of the Church is more important than that of our political system. If the Church is not practicing love, justice, compassion, kindness and humility (Micah 6:8), we should not be working so hard to make sure that the government does it for us.
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Alan Dodd posted a comment · Oct 20, 2018
Too long for a comment, Dana. Your many words end up neutering any action. I read a quote once that went something like, “If you can see all sides of an issue you are ineffective because you get lost in a maze of fine distinctions.” Our survival as a decent nation is at stake. One can be decisive and take quick action, even drastic action if necessary, without compromising values.
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Daniel434 posted a comment · Oct 19, 2018
Excellent post, Dana. However, I do feel we need a bulwark to slow the raging torrent of secular liberalism and the Trump administration is doing a great job. I love the administration, I do not love Trump. I wish he would change, and I will continue to pray for him to do so, but it doesn't seem likely. I do think the dog catcher analogy is a bit flawed, but I understand Dr. Brown's point. As a Christian I still find it hard to root for Trump, so instead I just root for his administration, not necessarily him as an individual. He has put some great people around him, too bad they all keep leaving! I will sorely miss Nikki Haley. As Christians we all should pray for Trump but make sure we are not so invested in politics that we miss out on the Kingdom of God.
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Sharon C posted a comment · Oct 19, 2018
I very much agree with you, Dr. Brown. I fasted and prayed AGAINST Donald Trump many times during the primaries. But I've come to believe that God had a purpose - a good purpose - for putting him into his position. I also pray regularly for him to truly come to faith in Christ. In addition to standing with evangelical Christians, his administration seems to seriously care about religious liberty issues and persecution, both in the U.S. and world-wide.
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DanaBonhoeffer posted a comment · Oct 18, 2018
Dr. Brown, Recently, you shared this analogy: There are a bunch of rabid pit bulls biting children. There is no town dog-catcher, but two candidates emerge. One is the nicest guy in the world but couldn’t harm a fly. The other is as nasty as they come and could catch a dog with his teeth. Who would you vote for? Your offered answer—vote nasty over nice—fails for several reasons. Firstly, it lacks imagination. After reading that scenario, three alternative solutions immediately came to mind. One weakness of our two-party system (which also has strengths) is the default to binary solutions. God calls us to a wisdom that is not of this world (1 Cor 2) and also asks us to be renewed in our minds (Rom 12:2, Eph 4:23; also see Ephesians 2:1-10). Secondly, it passes the buck. There was a reason that Jesus did not simply try to convince Pilate or Herod to make life better for the Jews. Instead, Jesus worked with a group of ordinary men whom He trained to change the world. For too long, American Christians have looked for a “dog catcher” to do the work that God calls the church to do. For Jesus, the easy option is often the wrong choice. Think of what Jesus said to His disciples when they asked Him to send people away to buy food (Luke 9:13). Jesus works through the church, His body, and we should not expect government to save us—as you aptly shared in your post about God, not politics, saving our nation (I agree! John 14:16). Thirdly, the analogy uses fear to eclipse the big picture. To the religious leaders of his day, Jesus said, “These you ought to have done [i.e., following religious laws], without neglecting the others [“justice and the love of God”]”. This pit-bull analogy obscures other important issues: moral leadership, civility, mutual responsibility, etc. by overlaying them with one frightening problem [whatever happened to those who value Micah 6:8?]. The Bible repeatedly calls believers to “not be afraid” (i.e., Joshua 1:9 and many, many others) and yet many church-goers allow fear and self-interest to tempt them into overlooking vital godly values and thus dishonoring the Gospel. In a recent post, you reasoned that evangelical support for Dennis Hof may have crossed the line because Hof was “actively” sinning, as opposed to President Donald Trump. However, I beg you to see that this is a false line of division that offends many people against whom the President has sinned while in office through his lies (> 5,000 and counting), racist and misogynistic statements & policies, degradation of the poor, separation of children from parents (see Jer 7:6, Ezekiel 22:7 & 29, Zech 7:10, Malachi 3:5), personal insults, advocacy of murderous despots and the promotion of false religion through friendship with prosperity gospel leaders, among others. It would be clearly false to say that Hof’s sexual sins were somehow more disqualifying than the President’s many current bald-faced transgressions (see James 2:1-13). Fourthly, it makes Christians seem no different than non-Christians (Eph 5:7-9). Choosing nasty over nice sends the message that the ends justify the means and that character is of no value. This confirms the belief that current American Christians would reject Jesus for their leader if He were to appear in the flesh right now. A nasty dog catcher might get rid of the pit bulls but would also teach the children to value a Judas over Jesus—among other sins. About leadership, see Psalm 49:20, Proverbs 28:2, Isaiah 14:4-6, Daniel 9:12, Hosea 17:19 & 13:10, Micah 3:1-12, Matthew 20:25, Luke 22:26, Romans 13:3. Some have argued that Jesus would not have the right character to govern in our current social climate and political system. This line of reasoning fails to recognize that our current governing system is fallen and that trying to use this ungodly and unbiblical system to save our country is a pipe dream, especially for those who believe that Jesus is the only way to salvation. Christians should not be partners with darkness (Eph 5:7 & 11)! Yes, God did use evil or fallen rulers to accomplish His ends (Gideon, Jephthah, Samson and others), but those men were also cautionary tales. They were men whose rule often resulted in terrible consequences later to their nations. The context of their rule was often that of punishment for their followers (e.g., during the captivity). When despots were beneficent, God’s people were to thank God for His mercy rather than simply overlook the fact that they also suffered injustices and humiliations from those ungodly leaders. They were to wait for their deliverance from God rather than trust worldly rulers to save them. One of the underlying mistakes that I hear among U.S. evangelical leaders is the belief that the “culture wars” should be seen as a zero-sum game. This is the same kind of thinking that I have seen overseas among Muslim and communist leaders in their intolerance for dissent. The idea that any backsliding or change in our larger society must be a defeat for the church is a lie. Even if the whole world falls away, the church must stand its ground and not wring its hands over the kingdom of darkness. If we truly believe that we are light and have the truth, there is no command in the Bible for us to try to use the world’s methods and might to change non-believers to be like us (2 Cor 10:4, Eph 6:12). I have personally witnessed God’s power and testify to His ability to conquer through ordinary people and weakness (see 1 Cor 15:43, 2 Cor 13:4, Heb 11:34) rather than political rulers and secular power. In addition, the Bible explicitly says that our enemy, Satan, disguises himself as an agent of light (2 Cor 11:14). How are Christians to discern attempts to seduce them to darkness if they promote—not just accept with resignation—agents of darkness who are their leaders? Any student of history can look at the United States today and foresee how the church will easily fall under the sway of the AntiChrist in the end times. Christians should not ally themselves unequally to secular authorities (1 Cor 6:14; also see “Blinded by the Might” by Cal Thomas and “Tempting Faith” by David Kuo) and expect that all will be fine. How much damage will future historians say that the U.S. church has and will sustain from its current abdication of duty in favor of the government and secular leaders? More could be said, but how should we respond to our responsibilities as citizens? To your credit, you wrote elsewhere that politics will not save us. I agree, but would add that relying on political might could also doom us. Thinking about the culture wars as if political leadership were the only solution is worse than futility. Rather, we should prioritize the role of the church as healer and minister to the world for this is God’s intention (Eph 3:10 and many others). As much as possible, we should align ourselves with leaders who manifest Christ and the Gospel rather than egotism, might and nasty dispositions—even if those leaders do NOT seem effective from a worldly point of view!
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J.C. posted a comment · Oct 16, 2018
Great article Dr. Brown...reflects a lot of my own thoughts on why I voted for Trump and continue to support him. I backed Ben Carson during the primaries and when he endorsed Trump rather than Cruz that made me think that maybe he knew something that I didn't (or maybe Trump promised him a cabinet position and Cruz didn't!?!) Also, the love and support Trump received from his children and how successful and well-spoken they are made a very positive impression on me. It made me think that Trump may have been a very less than ideal husband, but at least he seemed to be a pretty good father. He reminds me a little bit of my own dad (minus the billions of dollars).