Less than a week before America chooses the next president, campaign teams for both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are traveling to many states in order to elicit support from undecided voters, or boldly attempt to turn states against what a party has typically gained the advantage from previous elections. This week, the emphasis has been on the key states of Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, and Colorado. Also, there are some other states that each candidate can not bank on to vote a certain way, even if they have for a number of elections.
Although, from an electoral college perspective, Hillary Clinton would have over the 270 votes needed to win the election (according to CNN), polls and projections are still not enough to maintain the confidence within the Democratic party, especially with the ongoing release of secret emails, and the FBI once again becoming involved to investigate any potentially unlawful activity.
One state that is still in a tight race is Virgina. Right now, Clinton has just about a three-and-a-half point lead over Trump, with Trump actually leading by three points in the Hampton University Center for Public Policy Poll. However, within the state, a popular Christian University is witnessing a divide in support.
For the president of Liberty University, Jerry Falwell Jr., there is no doubt that Donald Trump is the candidate that should be in the Oval Office and be in charge of this nation come January of 2017. Throughout Trump’s campaign, he has been in firm support of the Republican nominee, despite all of the critiques from evangelicals about his transgressions. While Falwell, understandably from an evangelical point of view, strongly opposes Clinton due to moral issues such as abortion and gay rights, he also does not believe Trump’s comments on the Access Hollywood video tape has any weight regarding his presidential nomination, according to a recent interview by the Washington Post.
“I don’t think the American people want this country to go down the toilet because Donald Trump made some dumb comments on a videotape 11 years ago.”
However, what Falwell has not been very vocal on regarding morality is Trump’s recent promotion of the LBGT community, as he waved the rainbow flag during a recent rally in Colorado. Whether it was due to an inconsistency in his personal stance, or political pandering, it sparked the ire of many evangelicals due to feeling that he is misrepresenting the values that come along with this particular group of voters.
These inconsistencies have caused a division between Falwell and an increasing amount of his students at Liberty University. In fact, students are so serious about not voting for Trump, a statement has been typed to build a coalition for others from the university to join in as well.
Entitled “Liberty United Against Trump,” the students addressed many key issues in the over 500-word statement. Particularly, the fact that the majority of students are not in support of Trump.
“Donald Trump received a pitiful 90 votes from Liberty students in Virginia’s primary election, a colossal rejection of his campaign. Nevertheless, President Falwell eagerly uses his national platform to advocate for Donald Trump. While he occasionally clarifies that supporting Trump is not the official position of Liberty University, he knows it is his title of president of the largest Christian university in the world that gives him political credentials.”
The students added in a report by the Washington Post that Trump’s values are an antithesis to what the university represents.
“Trump is the antithesis of our values; there is no reason to revisit his vices here. Most non-Christians recognize Trump as amoral and self-centered. If we ignore this fact and buy in to his promise of strength, what will it tell the world about how seriously we Christians esteem our values?”
This divide within the largest Christian University in America, and my graduate school alma mater, shows how there is a such an unsettling feeling for both of these candidates heading into the election on November 8. Similar to John Kasich writing down John McCain in his early voting, as reported by Cleveland.com, students of Liberty University have the same mindset of refusing to compromise their conservative values for a Donald Trump vote.
[Featured Image by Steve Helber/AP Images]