The final speech of the Republican National Convention painted a bleak, Blade Runner-version of America. The only solution, according to Trump, is himself.

“Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it,” he said.

That desperation, that dangerous pride, is alarming. But the most alarming and angering thing I heard all night came when he talked about average Americans and said these words: “I am your voice.”

If Donald J. Trump is my voice and your voice and our voice, we as a nation have become only more blatantly vulgar and violent, sexist and racist, hateful and offensive. If he is our voice, our voice must be muted.

There is a power in one’s voice—a power that cannot be surrendered to some wannabe politician simply because he’s claimed it for himself. Your voice cannot be captured because some speechwriter said it could be. Our speech cannot be co-opted by a wave of the hand, even by a candidate for president of the United States.

Of course it is common language to declare oneself the voice of the voiceless, to talk about speaking for those who can’t speak for themselves. I have used that language myself, probably in what I though were my best moments. But hearing Trump use that rhetoric to claim America’s middle and lower classes for himself, to draw out the voice of ordinary Americans like nectar from a flower, I realized that we must think more carefully over our use of the phrase, lest we simply give in and say, “Well, I guess he’s my muse and wordsmith now.”

When Trump claims to be my voice, he has stolen it like Ursula stealing Ariel’s every word, sucking out a soul and repossessing it. It makes me reconsider every time I thought so nobly that I was speaking on behalf of another. Perhaps they did not want me to speak for them. Perhaps I misrepresented. Perhaps my words were not adequate for the infinite depth of another human’s heart and mind. And now that I think about it, they almost certainly weren’t.

Our voice is our spirit for public consumption. Our voice is, in a way, who we are to the world. The idea that a man of such vile character could become my voice, as though by some dark magic, as though by the sheer and brutal will of political wordcraft, is itself a sort of terror.

Trump, like anyone—though he has more power and a grander pulpit—could say anything at all, as he has proven over the last year, and claim, “I speak for the people. I speak for Jack and Jill and all the others.” And that is a paralyzing thought. Because what if I’m not there to refute him? What if the ordinary American is not in the Oval Office to say he doesn’t speak for us there? What if the blue collar worker isn’t in the consulate in Beijing or Dubai to say Trump’s words are not my own? These things will inevitably happen. They have happened already.

It’s a serious, perilous thing to say you are the people’s voice. I never realized that so gravely until today. And so we must speak loudly and clearly, holding on to our voice with all our being, in order to talk down the microphones and macroaggressions of the shouting master.

For when we lose our voice, we lose our power.

No one can be my voice unless I relinquish it. No one can take our voice as long as we speak out. So speak out.

Trump has tried to commit a most banal and baleful theft—to confiscate the voice of regular Americans and rename it The Mouth of Trump. He must not succeed, because his tune and his words are nothing like the words we sing.

He was not my voice when he endorsed an unrepentant nationalism, preached American exceptionalism, and suggested the US could betray its NATO allies.

He was not my voice when he endorsed violence by saying he’d “defend in court” his supporters who brutalized opponents, encouraged violence at his events, and refused to condemn violence at his rallies.

He was not my voice when he endorsed hatred of his opponents, sexist comments against women, racist comments against Mexicans, and xenophobic comments against refugees.

He was not my voice when he endorsed the oppression of journalists, the closure of American mosques, or the blanket ban on Muslims entering the United States.

Was he yours?

The RNC finale speech was chock full of irony. The prime example came when Trump said, “Anyone who endorses violence, hatred or oppression, is not welcome in our country, and never will be.”

My only question: If that’s the case, when is Trump leaving?

Trump is not my voice. He does not speak for me. He must not speak for us.

Posted by Griffin Paul Jackson


  1. Thanks for this blog post regarding Trump; I really enjoyed it and am definitely recommending this blog to my friends and family. I’m a 16 year old with a blog on finance and economics at, and would really appreciate it if you could read and comment on some of my articles, and perhaps follow, reblog and share some of my posts on social media. Thanks again for this fantastic post.


  2. What is a Christian to do, come November? My dear Somali family here in Minnesota is so interested in the election. The mom is so excited at the idea of a woman becoming the president! I told them I cannot vote for a liar. On the other hand, I cannot vote for Trump. I mentioned the idea of not voting, which to them, was abhorrent–to throw away the precious gift of voting in a free society!


    1. Griffin Paul Jackson July 22, 2016 at 11:18 am

      That is the tough question here. I absolutely agree that neither candidate represents my ideals, perhaps my faith ideals least of all. What Ted Cruz said at the RNC–“Vote your conscience”–is my underlying feeling (how it was boo-worthy is bothersome to me). If that means voting for a third party candidate so you can stick to your principles, I would support that.

      For me, I do think voting is important. It’s the root of democracy and if we surrender that right–that duty, in my opinion–we’re surrendering more than just a single ballot. That said, if you will not be able to sleep at night because all candidates betray your conscience, again I would say we need to stand up for our principles, even if that means silence for now. (Maybe? I’m not sure if I’m really okay with not voting, actually.)

      For me, as you may have read a few posts ago (“Come November, I’m voting for democracy”), while I disagree with Clinton on numerous issues, some of them significant, I believe she will at least protect democracy, which will enable change in the future. Trump, however, worries me much more, and I wonder if we will even recognize our country, our values, our system in four or eight (or twelve) years were he to be elected.

      So, to Christians, I would echo Cruz–vote your conscience, and if you can’t find a candidate that works for that, vote for someone who will at least allow the country to maintain a conscience. Also, and I don’t mean to be apocalyptic here because I think no matter what happens we will move on as a country and sort things out, as Christians we need to recognize that we are citizens of the Kingdom. No president, no human laws, no social norms, and no borders will change that.


  3. […] that says most Americans want you here. I could talk about how the people pulling these strings are not my voice. I could say, “Things will get […]


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