Some of my good Christian friends in the state of Louisiana have told me they cannot vote in good conscience for David Duke in this fall’s senate election. As they consider the Senate field in Louisiana, they look around and dislike all their options so much that they tell me they simply cannot bring themselves to support the lesser evil in this contest and so they will be forced to write in a different third-party candidate or abstain entirely.

At first glance, I can understand their reservations. Duke is, after all, a former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. He’s led an organization with a history of lynching, arson, racial intimidation, and no shortage of other violent crimes. In addition to his long-standing links with the Klan, Duke has also publicly aligned himself with a Holocaust denier and his ex-wife played a major role in the founding of Stormfront, a major white nationalist and neo-Nazi website that at one time had more than 50,000 members.

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There is reason to think he may have distributed neo-Nazi literature during the early 1990s, perhaps even including Adolf Hitler’s book Mein Kampf. He has also been charged with inciting riots and tax fraud and in one of the early speeches after announcing his candidacy, he cited concerns about “ethnic cleansing” as being a major motivating factor in his campaign. And, yes, he once compared the holocaust to Affirmative Action. I know. I know.

As I said, I can understand why my evangelical friends would choose not to support Duke. But based on my extensive years studying Christian ethics I disagree. Since Duke has announced his candidacy for the senate race in Louisiana, I think it is a morally good choice to support David Duke.

Now, I know some of you will be wondering how an evangelical like myself could support a self-described white supremacist and neo-Nazi like Duke. How could someone who has previously expressed such concern about the moral qualifications of office holders suddenly turn a blind eye to Duke’s considerable failings? Am I simply sacrificing all of my credibility as a public Christian in order to seize a final dying chance at political power such that I’m willing to even support a charlatan who has so far furnished us with no credible reasons to think he will fulfill his promises to my constituency?

No, the truth is that I have credible reason to believe that Duke is a baby Christian. In fact, a friend of mine who pastors a large church in Houston, which is located quite close to Duke’s home state of Louisiana, has given me his personal assurance that Duke prayed the sinner’s prayer with him recently.

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Does he occasionally still use racial slurs when describing minorities? Sure.

Is he penitent about his divorce from his wife? No clue!

Does he still hand out Mein Kampf to people? Well, sometimes.

But we all stumble, guys. No one is perfect.

The important thing is that he is a baby Christian and we should show him grace. What’s more, just because he has many private moral failures does not mean we cannot give our support to him this November. Indeed, he is, by all accounts, a wonderful family man with great children. Past indiscretions, such as completely horrifying things he might have said in the past 12 months, should not be held against him as he seeks elected office. God calls us to show grace to the penitent and that obviously means we should vote for the penitent when they are running for elected office.

If people will mock me for my endorsement of Duke, I can only take comfort from the fact that self-righteous religious people once mocked Jesus for associating with tax collectors and sinners.

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Beyond these basic considerations, a further point must be made: Hillary Clinton is bad. Hillary Clinton is pro-choice. She is opposed to religious liberty. Hillary’s America will be an America that is closed to religious schools and that sees all attempts to legally limit the number of abortions shot down by an activist Supreme Court. Not only that, Hillary will have the opportunity to appoint as many as four different Supreme Court justices.

David Duke will be an invaluable ally on all these issues. We particularly need him in the Senate as the Senate plays a pivotal role in approving Supreme Court nominees made by the president. The latest polls suggest that the Democrats may well take not only the White House this fall, but also the Senate. If that happens, Hillary could easily appoint four Ruth Bader Ginsburg-style liberals to the Supreme Court. She could create a 6-3 or even 7-2 liberal majority on the court that will last for at least one generation and quite probably longer than that. The damage the courts could do during that time cannot even be imagined. By supporting Duke’s run for the Senate, we can increase the number of solid conservatives in the Senate opposing Hillary’s activist judicial appointments.

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Some critics, after hearing the above argument, have asked me if there is anyone evangelicals should not support if that person will appoint good Supreme Court justices. Others have beat around the bush with this question but I’m going to give it to you straight: We cannot be perfectionists when it comes to politics. If a prominent politician is willing to fight for pro-life judges and to protect religious liberty, we should support them, period.

This is not a time for division over small, petty things like basic moral principles. This is a time to unite behind the sorts of leaders who will deliver to us the Pyrrhic victories that have defined our proud movement for decades. We simply don’t have time for the nonsensical reasoning of those voters who claim we cannot support Duke because “he’s a racist,” or “he got a divorce,” or “he is a Neo-Nazi.” These are past, minor mistakes that Duke has made. They won’t affect how he governs.

Some of you might also be wondering whether or not we should stop to ask ourselves “is the worst-case scenario with the pro-life candidate worse than the worst-case scenario with Hillary?”

For example, you might raise concerns about Donald Trump’s odd and, let’s be honest, comparatively minor remarks about killing the families of terrorists earlier this year. He didn’t mean it. He was just shooting from the hip and being authentic. Who hasn’t casually wondered aloud about ordering others to commit war crimes in a moment of absent mindedness?

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Just last week I suggested in a church leadership meeting that we could increase attendance at our SBC church by opening canisters of mustard gas outside the local PCA church. My pastor told me that this would be a bad thing to do and I apologized… after I had already done it and a bunch of Presbyterians ended up in the hospital. But it’s OK now. They all survived. Well, one of them is blind. But let’s not count that one. It was an accident. I was trying to get people to come to my church. My intentions were noble. Really, I don’t think I did anything wrong. But even if I did, it’s done now. No need to keep talking about it.

Remember, let him who is without sin cast the first stone.

You might also wonder if we can really justify support for a guy who is literally a neo-Nazi on the comparatively slender argument from the Supreme Court. Well, given that a guy who wrote a biography about one of the great opponents of the Nazis is endorsing Trump, I can assure you that this is no cause for concern. God in his wisdom and grace has called America to lead the world in promoting righteousness.

Therefore we must support David Duke.

It’s actually very simple:

People who will oppose Hillary are good.

Because Hillary is bad because she’ll appoint bad judges.

David Duke will oppose Hillary.

Therefore David Duke is good and we should support him this fall.

Ultimately, when it comes down to the ethics of voting, it really is as simple as that.

Note: If you want a more serious treatment of the Trump phenomenon, we’ve written about it at length elsewhere on this site. You can see the full archives of our work on the subject by looking through the Donald Trump tag.

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Posted by Jake Meador

Jake Meador is the editor-in-chief of Mere Orthodoxy. He is a 2010 graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he studied English and History. He lives in Lincoln, NE with his wife Joie, their daughter Davy Joy, and sons Wendell, Austin, and Ambrose. Jake's writing has appeared in Commonweal, Christianity Today, Fare Forward, the University Bookman, Books & Culture, First Things, National Review, Front Porch Republic, and The Run of Play and he has written or contributed to several books, including "In Search of the Common Good," "What Are Christians For?" (both with InterVarsity Press), "A Protestant Christendom?" (with Davenant Press), and "Telling the Stories Right" (with the Front Porch Republic Press).


  1. Excellent use of satire. Thank you.


    1. @matthewleeanderson:disqus just listened to the latest mere fidelity episode on satire before reading this — an excellent pairing ?


  2. I can just see the comments from those who are not reading closely or reading the whole thing.


  3. Write In’s: Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, and Amin……Democracy of the Dead ‘n all.

    [GKC, before you read this in the heavenly realm, I beg your forgiveness….but then you got satire fersure.]


  4. This is the article I’ve been waiting for. Many thanks, good sir.


  5. You say ” Hilary Clinton is bad ….” , so you cast the first stone . But you say let’s not cast the first stone on Duke because he is bad , too. You don’t know what you are talking about , or you are just an hypocrite . You should vote or not vote according with your conscience .


    1. its satire, bro.


      1. satire is supposed to be funny
        this is just mockery of a principled position

        Hillary will bring more abortions [she wants to undo the Hyde Amendment]
        and she will continue Obama’s assault on religious liberty

        Duke is Hitler for all rhetorical purposes
        false premise, cheap trick

        but David Duke never killed anybody
        he’s a pathetic bigmouth and that’s all


        1. > Hillary will bring more abortions

          Do you mean like how the number of Abortions during the Obama administration has declined?


          1. Abortions have declined partly because of the success of pro-life legislation on the state level, which a more leftist court will continue to uproot.

            Hillary also favors killing the Hyde Amendment, which bans government money for abortions.

            It is important for Christians to keep their consciences informed. Why this is not funny and fodder for snotty partisan drivebys.

            Hillary Clinton’s abortion game-changer: Why her call for abandoning the Hyde Amendment is so important

          2. Abortions decreased because of better sex ed and greater availability of contraceptives you doof.

          3. And will go through the roof if Hillary succeeds in killing the Hyde Amendment.

            Thanks for the rude insult and for ignoring what I wrote. Peace.

          4. Lol, no it won’t, not unless groups of evangelicals insist that abstinence works (it doesn’t) and deny contraceptives to groups that can’t necessarily afford them (which they do all the time).

            You want to reduce abortion rates? Reduce unwanted pregnancies. It’s that simple. We already know how; all of you need to come out of the dark ages.

          5. LOL? Abortion isn’t funny. Some of it is murder. We have become moral imbeciles.

          6. If you feel that way, you’d take what I said more seriously instead of trying some lame “moral high ground” diversion tactic. Or something. I don’t know. I gave up trying to understand evangelicals and their contradictive beliefs.

          7. I’m not an evangelical, I’m a Thomist. You cannot do evil in pursuit of good. It is not “contradictive,” it’s wonderfully clear and powerful moral reasoning.

            Abortion is intrinsically evil.

          8. “You cannot do evil in pursuit of good.”
            Pure fantasy, and a dangerous fantasy at that.

          9. Yes, and NARAL President Ilyse Hogue gave just such a speech at the Democratic National Convention–that aborting her first child was a good thing–and was applauded for it. That is appalling. moral bankruptcy.


            I hope you’ll re-examine your position. Sorry if I was harsh. I am passionate, not angry. But in addition to loving the good, we must hate evil. They cannot co-exist.

          10. Most people in our country can see that slavery is evil. It is wrong to give one person the power of life and death over another person. In order to justify slavery, the slave has to be dehumanized first.

            It is somehow hard to see that abortion is a similar kind of evil. In order to convince so many woman that abortion is okay the baby in the womb has to be dehumanized first.

            If dehumanization is wrong in the former, then how can it not be wrong in the latter?

            It is more difficult because so many woman have deep feelings of guilt and shame, but don’t know what to do about it.

            Christ is the way out of our guilt, sin, and shame.

            Pope Francis’ Year of Mercy is part of that.

          11. Why do people do that?

          12. Because they can’t face the evil they’re part of? “Only” 650,000 abortions so far this year, as though that’s cause for celebration and some badge of moral honor?

            Sorry, no congratulations for doing a little less evil. And Hillary will do more. She has said abortion is a ‘fundamental human right.’

            How Christians can fool themselves that it’s OK to assist such evil is a crime in itself.

          13. I agree 100%. How do we reduce “unwanted pregnancies”? What does the term “unwanted pregnancy” even mean in a Christian context?

            A “pregnancy” is a developing baby, a human being created in the image of God.

            Christians should not be using euphemistic terms like “unwanted pregnancy.” It helps harden the conscience and hide the true nature of the evil of abortion. It helps promote the culture of death.

            A woman is convinced that it’s just a pregnancy she is ending, and not the life of her baby – a fellow human being who should be given fundamental human rights.

          14. Elegant. “Ending a pregnancy.” Like changing the channel. No big deal, eh?

          15. What does “safe sex” mean? That’s another example of how the left twists language and even gets Christians to play their devilish game.

            In what way is sex ever “safe”?

  6. Let’s imagine that Nelson Mandela was alive and was running for office in the US. Many Christians would say what a lovely candidate. But let’s compare him to Duke:

    Mandela convicted of conspiracy to commit violence on a large scale and was not considered a political prisoner by Amnesty International because he refused to denounce violence. He was offered to be released from prison many times if he disavowed violence, but he didn’t. Duke leaves the KKK in 1980 precisely because members of the KKK endorsed violence and he did not.

    Duke’s ex-wife was involved with the creation of a website with unpleasant character, Winnie Mandela supported good old necklacing (putting a tyre around the victims head which is filled with diesel then set alight causing the victims face to melt).

    So Duke disavows violence 36 years ago but everyone portrays him as secretly wanting to lynch anyone who isn’t an albino. Now it could well be true that he wants to do this but contrast this with a a unrepentant communist who would never disavow violence- the double standard is astounding: if you come from a far-left background that is always ignored, if you’re from a hard right background it never goes away. Let’s first discuss what he overtly professes before becoming a psychologist (which is a perfectly reasonable thing to do).

    If I understand correctly Duke’s main platform for his Senatorship is restricted immigration (at present I don’t think he’s espoused repatriation voluntary or forced) and the repeal of all anti-discrimination legislation. The former you’ve had an article on here defending immigration restrictions. The later, in particular the Civil Rights Act, is the seminal piece of legislation which allowed the floodgates open for the government to dictate who you can and can’t associate/ do business with. No Civil Rights Act, no guns to the head to Bake the Cake. As a historical note the segregation laws were enforced by the government- it was forced dissociation, anti-discrimination laws are forced association.

    On these two issues (alone, I’m not taking into account his character etc at this point) Duke’s platform the former in principle is non-problematic and the latter is definitely a good thing – freedom of association is essential to a free society, not Gary Johnson, the most unlibertarian LP candidate ever.

    To sum up, the way the histories of public figures from the left and the right are dealt with entirely, and unjustifiably differently and Duke has propsals that are worth discussing.

    Just for the record I’m a Christian libertarian.


    1. You say that you’re a Christian libertarian, but there is nothing Christ-like or liberty valuing in your post.


      1. Such as?


    2. Sattler's Tongue August 4, 2016 at 10:15 pm

      I think some of the frustration for me at least is that MereO has adopted a “no enemies to the left, no friends to the right” philosophy. Is there any leftist politician who would inspire MereO to explain that christian support for such is a betrayal of Christ, an abandonment of principles? And is there any politician to the right of MereO who does not face such a charge? Even the much loved Huckabee has finally been understood as just another politician…

      I solace myself with Tom Waits description of this old world;

      There’s leak, there’s a leak, in the boiler room / The poor, the lame, the blind / Who are the ones that we kept in charge / Killers, thieves, and lawyers!


      1. ST – I’ve been a huge Ben Sasse fan for quite awhile and haven’t been shy about that on social media, although I’ve not written about it here in much detail.

        I also think our record as a site should also be taken into account on the point about the left–just last month we ran a piece by Samuel James about the California religious liberty bill. We also have published a few pieces that tackle the #Brexit issue far more sympathetically than anyone on the left would be comfortable with. I personally have also been pretty forthright in my criticisms of the left on SSM and abortion.

        To speak frankly, and I’ll leave this comment for others saying the same thing, one thing that disappoints me with conservative evangelicals is that when I say something hard about liberals, I get cheers. When I say something hard about conservatives, I get lots of whinging about “respect” and “balanced criticism,” and similar responses. My concern is to speak truthfully. If I fail in that, I’m happy to be corrected. But the insistence that I handle grievous error to my right with kid gloves while breaking out the sledge hammer for people committing errors on the left is unfair and ruins any credibility I might hope to have with those outside the church. Further, it dishonors Christ, which is my greatest concern as a Christian writer aspiring to fidelity in my vocation.


        1. My criticism is not that you must treat the right with kid gloves but that you misrepresent Duke and don’t engage with his policies- you can do that even in a satirical post.


    3. Not only that, but Duke was involved in organizing the New Orleans protocol; to get the various white groups to officially agree to a zero tolerance policy on violence. In an alternate universe, he might get a Nobel Peace Prize (more justified for this than Al Gore’s slide show or Barack Obama’s inner city work.)


    4. Jessica Neubauer August 5, 2016 at 10:59 am

      Wait, Mandela is running? Awesome!


      1. I suggest you listen to Stefan Molyneaux’s Truth About South Africa and Apartheid. South Africa used to be the shining economic light in Africa (it conducted the world’s first heart transplant), now it is the crime capital of the world.


        1. Jessica Neubauer August 5, 2016 at 4:49 pm

          Way to miss the point. BTW, what’s the temp up there on the moral high ground?


          1. Much cooler than where Jake is

        2. So apartheid wasn’t a crime?

          Isn’t your comment like saying how wonderfully genteel the antebellum South was?


    5. Omg, Nelson Mandela was a black man living in his own country in Africa when an imperialist government took over and forced all ‘African Nationals’ into a segregated and poorer quality education. How can you equate a taught hatred for other races with people fighting for their civil liberties denied by a foreign government? I do not like violence, but if a foreign government tried to force Americans to give up our civil liberties, what lengths would you be willing to go to to fix the problem?


      1. I’m merely pointing out the double standard here- the way Mandela’s imprisonment is reported it implies he wasn’t guilty and was an entirely peaceful anti-apartheid activist. However in certain circumstances I think armed resistance is justified. With Duke however he has repeatedly denounced violence and has stated that he believes in equal rights for all races which is why he opposes affirmative action etc. Now he could be lying but unless we have evidence for this which we would use consistently with any other public figure to show that he was lying, it’s reasonable to take Duke at his word.


  7. “God in his wisdom and grace has called America to lead the world in promoting righteousness.”
    AND in this you will find no biblical evidence. Nice try, but that’s a swing and a miss.
    This is the kind of dishonest biblical exegesis that fails flat on its face… it’s a freaking lie.


    1. Please tell me you know this article is satire.


  8. Clever. Good job.


  9. JesusChristSuperstrain August 3, 2016 at 5:07 pm

    If you vote Republican then you have already accepted the Mark of the Beast. The Republicans will never stop until they have forcibly tattooed a cross on the right hand or forehead of every human. If you think that sounds awful, he’s not called the Anti-Mohammed or the Anti-Buddha or the Anti-Dawkins.
    And Republicans will vote for the Anti-Christ himself if he says he is pro-choice. Nothing else matters to the Republican. They have been given over to the great delusion and their choice is the man of lawlessness and perdition. Hillary isn’t a man, by the way, so she can’t be the Anti-Christ.
    Once again, if you vote Republican then you have accepted the Mark of the Beast and now you are the eternal enemy of God, and your eternal destiny is the lake of burning sulfur.


  10. He’s led an organization with a history of lynching, arson, racial intimidation, and no shortage of other violent crimes.

    So does Hillary. It’s called the Democratic Party.

    This guilt by association stuff is chickenspit. Trump is not Duke.


  11. I’m not trying to be snarky, but why wouldn’t some evangelicals support Duke? The writers on this blog represent a mix of PCA and SBC folks. The PCA was founded by a prominent segregationist. And the SBC played a vital role in resisting the Civil Rights movement. In fact, it was an SBC minister who orchestrated the 1964 murders of three civil rights activists in Neshoba County, Mississippi. In fact, even Christianity Today was co-founded by a segregationist.

    In the PCA, it took 43 years to get around to coming to terms with that past. That occurred just two months ago! And about 15% of the commissioners voted AGAINST it. Let that sink in. In 2016, 15% of the top leaders of the PCA cannot bring themselves to apologize for the denomination’s segregationist past. In fact, they responded by starting a FB page entitled Concerned Presbyterians, and devoted to kinism (but not racism, yeah). And, in my 15 years in the PCA (mostly in the South), I can’t count the number of times an older RE would tell racist and sexist jokes on the golf course on Saturday morning.

    Will a majority of evangelicals in Louisiana vote for David Duke? Probably not. Will a sizable chunk, especially those over 50, vote for him? You bet they will!


  12. […] Jake Meador: Evangelicals Endorsing Donald Trump: The Evangelical Case for Voting for David Duke  […]


  13. Jake, I appreciate this comparison. It’s relevant. However do you have a clear 3rd alternative? Abstain? I think many are ready and willing to jump to that option vs. Trump, but I haven’t seen a good movement towards one out there. If there was I think everyone may be able to get behind it. I say this all with full seriousness and full respect.


  14. BadLuck Jonathon August 4, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    LOL How much longer will conservatives be able to hide the fact that they are and have always been false christians? Was it you racism, sexism, idolatrous gun-worship, idolatrous flag-worshipping patriotism, treading on the poor and oppressed, refusing to honor the appointed ruler President Obama, or your general all-out bigotry that gave it away? #LOL


  15. Nice profile pic. Down’s syndrome?


  16. Excellent! Thank you!


  17. Duke has said repeatedly – and for decades now – that he is not a “white supremacist.” His involvement with the Klan was over 40 years ago when he was in his early 20s. There is no single Klan organization. Any 5 guys can call themselves the Klan. Duke was never violent, never endorsed violence, and had far less involvement with the Klan than house speaker Robert Byrd. The Klan itself, when it was at its height in the 1920s, was not a violent terrorist organization. It was actually mainstream politics.

    You know what drives this article? Not morality, but moral vanity. You’re not taking a stand for principle, but trying to signal to others how moral you are. It’s ugly and disingenuous. You should be embarrassed. You managed to not address a single view that Duke actually holds. You instead invented scary strawmen arguments then used them to attack Duke as a person. That should tell us everything we need to know, don’t you think?


    1. This is precisely why I made the Mandela comparison. If those on the right err it can never be forgotten, if you are on the left such erring must be swept under the carpet.

      On a related issue anything to do with race MereO almost always jumps effectively to “institutional racist” or blacks are still perpetually oppressed by whites. Note the response to the shooting of Alton Sterling- not that you’d realise from the media coverage that the police kill a lot more whites than blacks. Now the police kill proportionally more blacks but then you have to take into account.

      Now I’m not saying the police are beyond reproach, they have become increasingly militarised and need to be responsible for their brutality. Further individual cops could well deliberately target blacks. However there is little evidence that blacks are systematically targeted


    2. If you want to know what Duke actually stands for type in dukeforsenate dot com and you’ll see his platform. At least his foreign and monetary policy is something Christians could rally around.


  18. Sattler's Tongue August 4, 2016 at 10:09 pm

    Oy. Watching MereO spiral downwards in quality (my opinion) as the political season gears up has been depressing! We’ve had articles noting that no true Christian could back Cruz because he said that thing about Israel that one time… Of course no true Christian could possibly back Trump who is simply beyond polite society. To consider voting for Trump is to betray Christ! We’ve had loooong articles to tell us so as if by dint of many words the case can be established beyond a shadow of a doubt. And don’t you think about not voting! After all its been repeatedly explained time and again that the anabaptist viewpoint (two kingdoms, one of which is irredeemably corrupt) is just *the worst*. If only Wendell Berry would tell us who to vote for…

    I’m being sarcastic here but I’m sorta serious. I like a good satire. This wasn’t a good satire. Pretty good strawman though! I can only speculate that (as is the case with nearly everyone) the political season is making MereO crazy! So much of the writing comes across to me (not a republican, probably not gonna vote for president this year) as so much virtue signaling. If the urge to write about Trump comes over you again please lie down until it goes away!


    1. Read literally any Evangelical endorsement of Trump and you’ll maybe get this.


  19. JAKE MEADOR id the devil incarnate


  20. This is satire, right?


  21. When talking about racism, Planned Parenthood, white supremacy, the KKK and Hillary Clinton, remember this uncomfortable factoid.

    KKK has given $20K to Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Who is the candidate supporting racism again? This woman is running as POTUS.

    It would be good to see Mere Orthodoxy now write a similar article presenting The Evangelical Case for Voting for Hillary Clinton.


  22. […] , subsequently  eviscerated by everyone on the planet (including those who share his reformed theology) perhaps best by Throckmorton.  All of these point out the moral, logical, theological, economic […]


  23. That was one of the most surreal articles (?) i’ve ever read. A person actually thought that stuff and tells people about it. Incredible. And nauseating. Jesus would recommend euthanizing you.


  24. […] The Evangelical Case for Voting for David Duke – “Some of my good Christian friends in the state of Louisiana have told me they cannot vote in good conscience for David Duke in this fall’s senate election. As they consider the Senate field in Louisiana, they look around and dislike all their options so much that they tell me they simply cannot bring themselves to support the lesser evil in this contest and so they will be forced to write in a different third-party candidate or abstain entirely.” […]


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