People are divided over Donald Trump perhaps more than any other President in history.  So let me first address those of you who can’t believe that any Christian in his right mind could ever vote for Donald Trump.

I didn’t vote for Trump in the primary.  Early on I was vociferously against him.  There is much about the man that isn’t likeable.  Trump presents as an arrogant narcissist obsessed with his own magnificence.  He has a junior high penchant for giving insulting nicknames to his opponents.  He taunts and tweets blunt, offensive things; sometimes, it seems, just to rile people up.

Trump is a sloppy and imprecise communicator who exaggerates wildly and gets details and statistics wrong.  When it’s pointed out, he doesn’t apologize, acknowledge the error, or correct himself.  The lack of humility is annoying.

Like many wealthy powerful men, Trump has engaged in his share of immoral behavior.  He cheated on his first wife and later engaged in salacious dalliances with a few porn stars who were paid to keep silent.  Goodness knows what other skeletons might be in his closet!

If those are the things you don’t like about Trump, I don’t disagree with you.  
Still, in the presidential elections I voted for him.

How could a Christian – a pastor, no less -- vote for a man like Trump?  

Because being nice is not a requirement for being an effective leader.

Many superb leaders have been immoral:  Thomas Jefferson, FDR, JFK, and Martin Luther King, Jr., as well as the man after God’s own heart, King David. And many great leaders have had gruff and gratingly obnoxious personalities (Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk, Winston Churchill, and Margaret Thatcher) while some of the nicest men have been dreadfully ineffective leaders.  Benjamin Harrison and Jimmy Carter (both kind and committed evangelical Christians) come to mind.

When I look for a surgeon to operate on my heart, I don’t investigate his personal life or what he does on weekends.  I look for a successful surgeon.  If someone warns me, “Well, that guy may have done thousands of successful surgeries, but his bedside manner is downright AWFUL” – that’s the surgeon I want!

In a presidential election I’m not voting for a sweet hospital chaplain.  I am looking for someone who has the intestinal fortitude to stand against dangerous enemies, the determination to see things through amidst opposition and criticism; a person whose policies seek what is best for the country.  I am looking for someone whose political compass is pointing in a direction that will lead to a better America.

Being “nice” is no guarantee that a leader possesses any of these crucial traits.
‘Nice’ is not necessarily the equivalent of ‘good’.  ‘Nice’ can be the best cloak for evil.  The tempter in both the garden and the wilderness was quite nice to those he sought to flatter and bring to ruin.  Withstanding and defeating such a subtle enemy may require one to be everything but nice.