If we’re concerned with voting according to Catholic principles, I honestly wonder how this election is an open question. Objectively speaking it takes five minutes on Google to determine that Trump is reasonably friendly to the prolife cause in tangible ways like influencing the judiciary (google his specific list of nominees which directly led to Priests for Life endorsing him), chipping away at Planned Parenthood’s abortion business and political power, as well as seeking specific economic reforms (look at his policy platform) that would improve position of poor families thus reducing the need for abortions.
In addition, Trump is vehemently anti-war in all but narrowly justified cases like fighting the Islamic State. He’s been complaining about Iraq and Afghanistan as long as Bernie Sanders. Also, all evidence points to his ending Obama and Hillary’s horrible multi-country drone war and policy of causing civil wars in Libya and Syria.
Thus the two nonnegotiable triggers that have swayed almost all conscientious Catholics I know into voting either Republican or Democrat in every election in my lifetime, being pro-life and anti-war, are met here. The USCCB, not that they have much credibility in this arena, says you should not vote for a candidate who exhibits clear objective complicity with evil, and can abstain from voting at all if all candidates are objectively and clearly complicit. I don’t see that satisfied here, but even if it was, what are conservative Catholics’ objective reasons for not voting Trump? Do they have valid, rational reasons or can they simply not stomach the social shame the left has placed upon supporting Trump? Is being able to tell liberal friends that they didn’t vote for Trump worth having Hillary control the executive branch and judicial appointees for 4-8 years?
“He’s obnoxious,” “he’s a liar (without clear evidence),” “I don’t trust him“ (do you have actual reasons why?),” and “he’s orange” are not clear reasons. Well, maybe the orange. That’s pretty bad. But even “his sordid past in the 80’s” or “his divorces back in the day” aren’t very good reasons, because we’re voting for a politician and not a pope. We need someone who has the best chance of working for our concerns in the White House for the next four years and beyond, not work against them as Hillary surely would.
Donald Trump is not the ideal candidate as a faithful Catholic. But as we know, the perfect can often be the enemy of the good.