Donald Trump became America’s president by accusing Washington, DC, the nation’s capital, of being a political cesspool of dishonesty. It was the pot calling the kettle black. On October 17, 2016, thus three weeks before Donald Trump was elected U.S. president, he tweeted on his Twitter account, “I will Make Our Government Honest Again — believe me. But first, I’m going to have to #DrainTheSwamp.
What did Trump mean by “drain the swamp”? That expression means literally to remove water from a swampy area known for its breeding of mosquitoes that carry the malaria disease. But of course, Trump meant it metaphorically–to remove dishonesty from the nation’s politics and restore honesty and truth. After all, isn’t that what his present media name means–Truth Social?
But the real truth has been that Donald Trump has been a great big liar who has been dividing America. We can’t rightly blame all of this political division on Trump; but he is guilty of perhaps most of it. And it is his playbook now in his main effort of trying to overcome his legal woes by staying out of prison. He is trying to divide America, getting enough people to vote for him next year and return him to the White House. That way he can cancel investigations and trials against him, at least federal ones. If that occurs, our democracy will be greatly harmed as he tries to turn this country into a dictatorship.
Jesus said something about national division. He was casting out demons. We read in the Gospel of Mark (NRSVue), “the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, ‘He has Beelzebul, and by the ruler of demons he cast out demons.’ And he [Jesus] called them [his disciples] to him and spoke to them in parables. ‘How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand” (Mark 3.22-24).
If America continues in this intense, political division that Donald Trump is stirring up, will America stand in the future? According to Jesus, it will not.