I actually don’t think Trump’s almost unfathomably toxic personality and decades of indecency on every level should tip the scales in the other direction if you [support his policies]. Policy is bigger than any one person’s dysfunctions. On some hard-nosed realist level, it doesn’t make sense to mortgage all your policy preferences for the sake of choosing someone who is nicer and more decent. You can hold your nose to vote for the guy because of what he can deliver you in terms of right and far-right policies, if that’s your thing. A 6-3 Supreme Court majority is a 6-3 Supreme Court majority, and the ramifications will long outlive Trump.
Jesse Singal, Even If You Are, For Some Reason, A Liberal, Single-Issue Anti-Wokeness Voter, You Still Shouldn’t Vote For Trump – Singal-Minded (likely pay wall).
Singal is a progressive, and isn’t giving away much here because of how tendentiously he characterizes Trump’s policies. Nobody who supports the policies as Singal describes them is even going to think about voting against Trump on character grounds.
But I actually do think Trump’s almost unfathomably toxic personality … should tip the scales in the other direction even if you prefer his policies.
[W]e’re no longer in a position (especially in parts of the American Christian community) where one can point out a political leader’s serious moral defects and expect believers to think there is any serious problem with those defects—unless and until one can tie those defects to specific poor policy choices. The leader, in this conception, is essentially a producer of specific laws and policies, and it’s the laws and policies that then shape the nation, not the character of the man or woman in power.
Interestingly, I’ve never really seen this principle applied outside of politics—and I never heard it strongly argued before the age of Trump. In the world of business, for example, we see even CEOs or managers who run profitable enterprises fired and even disgraced for personal scandals that are completely unrelated, say, to their plans for a new product line.
Moreover, outside of politics, we don’t even think twice about these character tests. Why? Because their necessity is self-evident. In a company, in a church, in a military unit—everywhere, really—leaders are culture-makers. They’re culture-shapers. And they have an immense impact on the institutions they lead, the people they lead, and the communities they influence.
I find it bewildering that Christians can be so sure that greater damage will be done by bad judges, bad laws, and bad policies than is being done by the culture-infecting spread of the gangrene of sinful self-exaltation, and boasting, and strife-stirring (eristikos).