Jessica Rousselow-Winquist | Contributor
I have read all the letters sent to the editor as well as the opinion article by Ethan Rice and would like to respond to some ideas contained on this page.
I have been amazed by the number of evangelical leaders and lay people who support the Trump administration. Ethan Rice's column sheds some light on the issue when he quotes Jerry Falwell, Jr. asserting that you don't vote for someone because they are
good . . . but because of their policies. In other words, Falwell believes the political can be divorced from the personal. I believe the personal is the political. Beliefs, values, opinions, cannot be divorced from actions, and political actions include the support for and implementation of policies. I believe it is true that we speak out of what is in our hearts, and we act on our words.
A number of letters expressed confusion about why people are upset by the appearance of the Vice President at graduation. My husband explained it very clearly in his opinion piece last week, but let me repeat, many of us are opposed to the Vice President speaking at graduation because of his deep connection to the Trump administration. It is impossible for me to believe that one would accept an invitation to share the ticket unless you shared the values and visions of the President you are going to serve.
Several people also indicated they believe the vice president will not give a political speech. I think this is worth questioning. First, Pence has given graduation speeches before. In fact, last year he spoke at Hillsdale College commencement. Because Hillsdale is also a Christian college with a deep evangelical history, I read the text of that speech to get an idea what he might say. The speech is divided into three sections. In the first few paragraphs he compliments the institution, the administration and the students and talks about his education at a Christian college "not far from here." The second section of the speech is political, listing all the achievements of the Trump/Pence administration in the first two years and promising they will deliver even more good things in the future. He clearly identifies with the president's agenda. He concludes the speech by returning to the Christian ideas he began with.
Last year, the election of 2020 was two years away. This year, the President has been ramping up the campaign for his second term. The election cycle is well underway, and Trump means to win any way possible. Keeping his base intact is essential, and a significant part of that base is evangelical Christians. In my opinion, it is highly improbable that the Trump/Pence campaign would pass up this opportunity for a stump speech at an evangelical college.