Trump and the Serenity Prayer

Trump and the Serenity Prayer

By Beth Van Duyne


Because choosing the least of all evils is an important choice too. 

By Beth Van Duyne

Beth Van Duyne has served as mayor of Irving, Texas, since 2011.

A famous American theologian once said, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference.” Over the course of this presidential election cycle, I have repeatedly needed to come back to this quote and take comfort in its simplicity. Neither of the candidates I supported, Carly Fiorina and Ted Cruz, were able to become the Republican Party nominee. So I accepted something I could not change.

Throughout Donald Trump’s candidacy, I’ve had many face-to-palm moments over things he said, facts he butchered, manners he lacked and cringeworthy revelations about his past. Am I disgusted by what Trump has said about women? Yes. Do I agree that he’s the best we Republicans have to offer? No. Will I be voting for him? Absolutely.

Writing this op-ed is my attempt to muster the courage to change the things that I can — by explaining why Donald Trump will be a better president than Hillary Clinton.

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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump points to the crowd as he delivers a speech during the evening session on the fourth day of the Republican National Convention on July 21, 2016.

Source Joe Raedle/Getty

This election is no longer about picking the best candidate, but choosing the one who will do the least damage. At the end of the day, I’m comparing Trump to Clinton, not to God. To that end, I am much less offended by an egotistical vulgarian than by an official whose Department of State ignored pleas of an American ambassador about to be killed, who brags about raising taxes on American businesses while her foundation collects millions of dollars from foreign governments, antagonizes race relations while undermining police departments across the country, risks our national security for her own convenience or seemingly nefarious purposes and defends her mistakes as not knowing any better while running on a campaign of experience. When trying to determine which of these two will do the least damage, there is simply no comparison — and that is where we need the wisdom to know the difference.

Make no mistake: Trump’s blunders were deeply insulting and cost him millions. Clinton’s, however, cost American lives and will undoubtedly continue to do so if elected.

My perspective is that of a Christian, a conservative, a parent, the mayor of a top 100 city and a Republican who is disgusted with the way “leaders” in Washington have conducted our nation’s business for the past eight years. I do not accept the notion that because of Trump’s offensive statements about women, I, as a woman, must not vote for him. Nor do I accept the notion that because Clinton and I are both women, I must therefore stop using my brain and turn my vote to her. While Clinton and I were both born with a set of ovaries, that’s about where our similarities end. Can we not get beyond gender and race as reasons to support a candidate?  

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A giant poster of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump stands in the backyard of a supporter in West Des Moines on January 28, 2016 before the Iowa caucuses.

Source Christopher Furlong/Getty

I am voting against Clinton because I deeply disagree with her political views, policy positions and vision of what this country should be. Her progressive tax-and-spend principles, animosity toward Christian values, on-the-record support of open borders — which serve only to endanger our families and neighborhoods — and propping up of hostile foreign regimes that sponsor terror while oppressing those who do not agree with them, all fly in the face of my conservative beliefs.  


Conversely, Trump’s policies on the economy, taxes and national security are more in line with traditional Republican values. Compared with Clinton’s $1.4 trillion in tax hikes, Trump’s commitment to proven pro-growth economic policies is a no-brainer for anyone who wants more jobs, higher wages and the type of GDP growth our nation desperately needs. Trump’s tax plan, which he has pledged to move in the first 100 days of his presidency, slashes tax brackets and corporate tax rates, ends the death tax and, perhaps most important, creates a consumer-friendly IRS. Trump’s commitment to fully secure the border, to deport criminal illegal aliens and to provide local law enforcement the tools they need to keep our communities safe are significant issues. 

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Supporters cheer at a campaign rally for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on October 10, 2016 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. 

Source Jessica Kourkounis/Getty

That last issue is particularly significant in Irving, Texas, where the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (an agency created under the Bush administration and cut back under Obama’s) coordinated with municipalities and local law enforcement to apprehend and deport criminal illegal aliens.  Over the course of several years, the city of Irving used these programs and coordination to help apprehend and deport thousands of illegal immigrants who were committing crimes, including those involving violence and drugs. This led to a dramatic reduction in all crimes in our city, and for a number of years, Irving has been named one of the safest cities in the United States.

But perhaps the most important reason I support Trump is my belief and support of the fundamental principles our Founding Fathers recognized — that checks and balances are essential in maintaining a constitutional republic. With possibly three seats coming open on the Supreme Court, the next president will decide the makeup of the court for decades to come. 

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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump waves to supporters after a campaign rally aboard the USS Iowa on September 15, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.

Source Justin Sullivan/Getty

During the past debate, Clinton was very clear that she would nominate progressive justices who champion liberal policies such as gun control, abortion, amnesty and unchecked labor unions. In other words, she’s advocating the Supreme Court become a lawmaking body, marginalizing Congress and making three judges nominated by her and two nominated by President Obama, none of whom were elected by the people, responsible for dictating public policy. Supreme Court justices have lifelong appointments specifically to remove them from making decisions based on politics. Trump’s prospective Supreme Court nominations include strict constructionists who will uphold the Constitution and not legislate from the bench. 

We are beyond “could’ve, should’ve, would’ve” discussions. These are the two candidates from whom we have to choose. Voting for a third-party candidate will yield the same results as in ’92 — a Clinton presidency. What’s at stake over the next four years is a presidency that will be influential in deciding the future of national security, ISIS, economic growth, Second Amendment rights and freedom of speech, to name just a few. I’m principled but also a pragmatist, which is why, as a woman, a Republican and an American, I support Donald Trump for president.