I have known since the speech announcing his candidacy almost one year ago that I would not vote for Donald Trump — not in the primary, and not in the general election. And I know there are many people who agree with me. But I also know that many of those people have had a similarly hard time articulating exactly why we will not do it.
I've found encouragement from a handful of significant figures on our end of the political spectrum opposing Trump's candidacy and providing space for conservatives to tolerate those who will not vote for him (à la Dr. Russell Moore or, until recently, Rep. Paul Ryan). But I think we have lacked a clear argument regarding one point: why our not-voting-for-Trump is not the same as voting-for-Hillary.
While not quite a one-issue voter, I am a stark-raving, pro-life, conservative. Many voting Americans would never cast a ballot for Donald Trump because they actually want policies more in line with Secretary Clinton's views; I have nothing in common with these voters, except that I also will not vote for him.
So why won't I vote for the only candidate who might (read: might) appoint pro-life judges and sign on to conservative legislation?
The first half of my answer is easy — he has not earned my vote. If anything, his words and actions over the last year actively prevent me from voting for him.