In which we take a look at the debasing gyrations of the manufacturers of conservative Christian opinion on the eve of the inauguration and the embarrassing depths to which they will sink in the coming four years.
The task of the Trumpist intellectual is to make coherent Trump’s incoherence; to find a throughline amidst the to-and-fro of his whims; to concoct an ideology for a man who is only appetite and insecurity; to defend the indefensible. In short, it can’t be really done, at least not with rigor and honesty. To be sure, the rudiments of a more nationalistic conservatism can be debated and argued. But it seems folly to do so in the service of such an impulsive and corrupt man, making them inextricable from Trump’s own vulgarity and wickedness—along with the bigotry he enables, the violence he has encouraged, and the incompetence he already has displayed. Trump debases and degrades everyone who works with him and for him, who joins his cause—Chris Christie provides the obvious template here. That certainly will be the fate of the intellectuals who provide this uninformed authoritarian with cover.
Case in point: this ridiculous piece of hagiography from John Zmirak vendor of Trumpist court prophecy: “Is God Capturing the Heart of Donald Trump?”
When I walked in Mr. Trump’s office in April 2016 at his invitation, I knew I had been sent by God. I went with confidence in the Lord, trusting that He would speak through me. I was impressed to ask Mr. Trump’s second son, Eric, to join us for the first few minutes. I felt he would want to say some things about his father, and I would say some things about the need for a fatherless nation to have a father. The interaction was gratifying — more than I could have hoped.
Eric said, “I have a great father.” I said, “Let’s join in prayer and hope that he will learn what it is to be a wise father figure to a fatherless nation.”
Puhleeze. The adulterous husband of three, who brags that the years he spent dodging the draft and STDs were his “personal Vietnam”, who spits on Gold Star families and POWs, calls bragging about sexual assault “locker room talk,” mocks the disabled, offers friendly overtures to Austrian Nazis and American white supremacists, who has never apologized for taking vengeance on his infant nephew in a spat over Daddy’s money, who sees no need to ask for God’s forgiveness and whose favorite Bible verse is “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” and whose fathering consisted of handing the kids off to the ex-wife gives zero, zip, nada, no indication of being the “baby Christian” that delusional court prophet like James Robison (and his publisher John Zmirak) want Christians to believe he is.
That’s the thing. There’s no There there. Some urban legend goes out that the guy is supposedly a “convert” and Christians gape and grin and buy it and proceed to endorse everything he does.
This is another example of what I’m talking about when I say that Christian Trump supporters doomed themselves to spending four years talking complete BS to rationalize their support for this clown. Most of them *said* “We’re voting for the the lesser evil. We’ll hold his feet to the fire on abortion. Don’t you worry!” But forget them actually challenging him on a single evil he advocates once he assumes power. Nope. They will waste all their time defending the most transparent lies like “Baby Christian Donald Trump’s growth in Christ” instead of the unborn.
Men of Gondor will not be corrupted by the One Ring, nosirree!