Back in March, before the field of presidential candidates had been narrowed to two (ignoring the minor party candidates who have no chance of winning), I published a post titled “What If the Choice Comes Down to Hillary or Trump?” My conclusion at that time–which I repeated in print and on the radio–was that if worse came to worst, if those were the two major party candidates facing off in November, I’d be casting my vote for Hillary. Oh, I had no love for Hillary; in fact, I despised her pro-abortion policies. I was afraid, though, that Donald Trump, speaking too bluntly on the world stage, would endanger the safety of all Americans.

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I WAS WRONG, I have long since reversed my position, and I want to tell you why.

First, in the months since I wrote that post, Hillary Clinton has proven herself to be so firmly entrenched in positions which I consider truly deplorable, that I see no hope for redemption. I’m talking about her rabid pro-abortion politics, but also her views on education, religious liberty, big government, immigration, and so many social issues. Furthermore, she has promised to appoint Supreme Court Justices who will entrench her over-the-top liberal policies in law for generations to come.

Meanwhile Donald Trump has lowered the decibels in his campaign speeches, has reduced the hyperbole and–this is most important–has shown a willingness to listen to a series of great political appointees. From vice presidential pick Mike Pence, to Roger Stone as political consultant, to Kellyanne Conway as campaign manager,  he’s chosen conservatives whose pro-life credentials are a matter of public record. He mentions, as possible Cabinet picks, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani as director of Homeland Security; Dr. Benjamin Carson for the Department of Health and Human Services; and he’s hinted at a role for South Carolina Senator Trey Gowdy, one of my personal favorites.

And this week, Trump announced that he’s asked 34 prominent Catholics to advise him on matters of public policy.  Among the respected Catholic leaders on his advisory board are Rick Santorum, former U.S. Senator and presidential candidate; Francis Rooney, former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See; Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List; and more. (You can read the full list of 34 appointees in my article at the National Catholic Register.)

It’s not just Catholics who have the ear of the candidate. Trump has also pulled together an Evangelical Advisory Board which includes respected voices such as Focus on the Family founder James Dobson; Richard Land, former head of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention; Ralph Reed, head of the influential Faith and Freedom Coalition; Tim Clinton, president of the 50,000-member American Association of Christian Counselors; David Jeremiah, pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church near San Diego; and many others.

At the Values Voter Summit in September 2016, Donald Trump spoke openly about the issues which concern faithful Americans.

Speaking about the possibility that he would, as president, have the opportunity to appoint new Supreme Court justices and other judges in district courts, Trump said:

I have pledged to appoint judges who uphold the Constitution, to protect your religious liberty, and apply the law as written. We reject judges who rewrite the Constitution to impose their own person views on 300 million-plus Americans.

On Education, he said:

I have outlined a new civil rights agenda for our time–the right to a safe community, a great education and a secure job.

School choice is at the center of this civil rights agenda, and my goal is to provide every single inner-city child in America that is trapped in a failing government school the freedom to attend the school of their choice. Competition–the schools will get better and better. 

And that means a private school, a religious school, a charter school or a magnet school. School choice also means that parents can home-school their children. Hundred percent.

My plan will break the government monopoly and make schools compete to provide the best services for our children including every African-American and Hispanic child in this country, every single one of them.

This proposal begins with a $20 billion block grant from the federal government for states to pursue school choice programs.

If we do this, that would mean $12,000 in school choice funds for every disadvantaged student in America. What a difference this is going to make. This money will follow the student to the public, private or religious school that is best for them and their family. In so many ways, you’re going to have choice.

Mr. Trump spoke about the nuclear family, and the American family:

Crucially, I will also fight for the American family and American family values. The family must be at the center of any anti-poverty agenda.

The bedrock of our unity is the realization that we are all brothers and sisters created by the same God.

We are all equal, and we all come from the same Creator. If we remember that simple fact, then our future is truly limitless. There is nothing we as Americans can’t do.

Imagine what our country could accomplish if we started working together as one people under God, saluting one flag. It’s time to stop quibbling over the smallest words and time to start dreaming about the great adventures that lie ahead for our country.

Is Donald J. Trump the strongest candidate America has ever seen? Will he achieve the stature of a Ronald Reagan on the world stage? Ummm…. No.

James Dobson, whose sound reasoning I came to respect during his years behind the microphone at Focus on the Family, expressed the concerns and the crisis we face in 2016:

If anything, this man is a baby Christian who doesn’t have a clue about how believers think, talk and act.  All I can tell you is that we have only two choices, Hillary or Donald.  Hillary scares me to death.  And, if Christians stay home because he isn’t a better candidate, Hillary will run the world for perhaps eight years.  The very thought of that haunts my nights and days.  One thing is sure:  we need to be in prayer for our nation at this time of crisis.

But Trump holds before the American voter the possibility of a different America. It’s not just a campaign slogan; it can be our reality. “This,” he said,

“…is my promise to all of you: Starting in 2017, we will be one American nation. It’s time to break our ties with the bitter failures of the past and to embrace a new American future. Have to do it. Together, we will make America believe again, we will make America united again, and we will make America great again.”

With hope for the future of this great nation, I ENDORSE DONALD J. TRUMP for President of the United States of America.