This post originally appeared on MormonPress.
There are so many reasons Donald Trump should not be president. In fact, this list outlines in brutally efficient fashion a few of the ways Mr. Trump is entirely unfit to be President of the United States. Polls show that Utah voters are warming up to Trump (he’d beat Hillary Clinton if the race were today), which means that at least some Mormons are actually contemplating the act of casting their ballot for a man who boasted about his genitalia on national TV. With these poll numbers in mind, I’ll look at two questions about Donald Trump from a Mormon perspective.
Why might Mormons vote for Trump?
- They agree with him: it’s time for strength and America to be Great Again
- It’s no secret that Mormons think “society” and “the world” are worse than they’ve ever been. Wickedness is more pervasive, evil is more accepted, and God is less respected than ever before. Many Mormons might see a successful businessman who hates “political correctness,” and see someone who is willing to be bold (even if also occasionally overbearing) in the fight against the tide of popular opinion.
- They want a conservative Supreme Court
- Many Mormons care deeply about issues of religious freedom, marriage equality (or the desired lack thereof), and abortion. The Supreme Court of the United States will likely play a key role in each of these issues in the next few decades. Some Mormons might be happy to sacrifice for the sake of a SCOTUS majority.
- They think he’s better than Hillary
- Mormons don’t like the Clintons. President Clinton’s moral lapses while in office were off-putting to Mormons, to say the least. His dishonesty didn’t help, nor did his left-of-center legislating at a time when Mormons were solidly conservative. And Utah Mormons are still angry over President Clinton’s designation of a national monument in Utah.
- To allow a Clinton into the White House–again!–might seem like a major loss in the battle against immorality, dishonesty, and those agency-destroying liberals.
Why might Mormons reject those three arguments?
- Donald Trump’s America would be terrible.
- Donald Trump has no problem openly discriminating against someone based on religion. Mormons have a pretty rough history with people like this, and so aren’t too excited about electing a man whose intellectual predecessor on the issue of religious freedom seems to be Lilburn W. Boggs.
- Whereas Mormons embrace immigrants–indeed, many Mormons in Utah can trace their family history to immigrants not that many generations ago–Donald Trump demonizes them. Whereas Mormons are taught to look out for the less fortunate and have recently been explicitly asked to serve refugees, Trump (and his supporters) look at these modern-day pioneers with fear and scapegoating rather than love.
- Mormons are firmly opposed to racism. Donald Trump isn’t. President Hinckley taught, “I remind you that no man who makes disparaging remarks concerning those of another race can consider himself a true disciple of Christ. Nor can he consider himself to be in harmony with the teachings of the Church of Christ.” Donald Trump’s disparaging remarks about those of other races are considered blessings by the KKK and other white supremacist groups, who commend his racism and are seeing significant spikes in membership due to his implicit and explicit racism.
- He behaves like an insecure high school bully. When the Washington Post called him out for accusing the President of conspiring with terrorists, he banned the Post’s reporters from his events. Trump has banned all Univision employees from all his resorts because the station dropped programming for one of his pageants. When Senator Cruz and Governor Kasich refused to support him, he announced plans to take political revenge. When Mormon Buzzfeed reporter wrote an article Trump didn’t like, Trump launched a barrage of personal attacks against him. If this is how he acts when people disagree with him now, imagine what he’ll do from the White House. He’s actually already starting: he has compiled a list of people to fire on Day 1 because he disagrees with them politically.
- He’s not even that great a businessman. He inherited his fortune and then used it to start, and fail, business after business after business, often without even paying his contractors what he owed them.
- Who knows what he’ll do with the Supreme Court?
- He’s said he’ll nominate conservative Supreme Court Justices. Who knows if he will. He’s proven rather conclusively that his word means nothing.
- Is he, though? Is he really better than Hillary?
- This post is not meant to be a defense of Hillary Clinton, her candidacy, or her track record. Plenty of other articles have already covered those topics.
- But here’s the thing. We know what we’re getting with a Hillary Clinton Presidency: center-left policy. Some attempted compromises, some successful ones. A more hawkish version of President Obama’s foreign policy. Probably some kind of abuse of power and/or dishonesty at least once in her first term. She might not be your first choice, but she won’t destroy the country.
- On the one hand, Donald Trump will be an thin-skinned tyrant-loving dictator. But on the other, Hillary Clinton was dishonest about her private email server.
- On the one hand, Donald Trump has no respect for religious freedom. But on the other, Hillary Clinton was once accused of insider trading.
- On the one hand, Donald Trump is a racist, sexist, xenophobic hate machine. But on the other, HIllary Clinton is a Clinton!
 If you think Trump is just pretending to be a white supremacist in order to win votes, that when he gets into office he surely won’t act on any of the terribly racist things he’s said, check out an excerpt from this 1922 New York Times piece on another aspiring tyrant:
But several reliable, well-informed sources confirmed the idea that Hitler’s anti-Semitism was not so genuine or violent as it sounded, and that he was merely using anti-Semitic propaganda as a bait to catch masses of followers and keep them aroused, enthusiastic, and in line for the time when his organization is perfected and sufficiently powerful to be employed effectively for political purposes.
 McKay Coppins published an incredible profile of Trump in July of 2016 from his perspective as one of Trump’s enemies. If you’d like a deep understanding of how similar Mr. Trump is to an insecure high school bully, this whole article is worth your time: https://www.buzzfeed.com/mckaycoppins/how-the-haters-made-trump?utm_term=.diGBXVXWP#.vwMNVlV6L