The whole country, including the racists, is paying for Donald Trump’s racism and incompetence.
He could have handled this. He had a template that is so well established it’s almost like a cooking recipe of governance. It has been modeled for us so many times that we have a name for it. We call it Mourner in Chief.
When George Floyd was murdered, what any president except Donald Trump would have done was say that it was an outrage. Any president except Donald Trump would have responded with words and actions that expressed our deep national morality that says that you don’t kill helpless people, that when someone is down on the ground at your feet, you don’t keep on hitting them, or choking them or kneeling on their neck.
That is an American value. It has informed the way we’ve conducted our official business in every sphere, ranging from the personal to international warfare since this nation’s founding. It is part of how we’ve managed to keep this world from exploding into another global conflagration of war and destruction for these past 75 years.
Without America and our understanding that you don’t keep on kneeling on somebody’s neck after they are down, Europe and Japan would not have come back after the appalling destruction of World War II. We knocked them down, hard. But then we extended a hand and helped them get back up on their feet. We helped the people we had fought, and those who fought beside us. We rebuilt them and put them back together after World War II.
We’ve tried to do that everywhere we’ve gone. Admittedly, it has been with varying degrees of success. But one thing we have achieved with our willingness to cooperate and build bridges is that the human race is still here, despite its clear ability to annihilate itself with a push of a button. America has been the driving force in creating the high standard of living that so many people enjoy around the globe. We have used our enormous power in ways that are, despite the times when we have obviously failed, an example of a people who are basically good and decent.
All Donald Trump had to do after George Floyd was murdered was follow the script that other presidents have laid down. He needed to speak to this nation in simple, heartfelt words that express our national decency and refusal to use official force to unjustly abuse or — God help us — kill the people of this nation.
He needed to go to George Floyd’s funeral as the representative of We the People, as our Mourner in Chief and express in a public way our solidarity with those who are unjustly harmed by out of control authority. He needed to form a presidential commission to consider legislation to address police violence, and he needed to call for the leaders of Congress of both parties to pass this legislation.
It was time for democracy to do what democracy does, which is to heal itself. We needed to address what has become the national scandal of militarized local police forces who kill and oppress the black people in their community with no redress under the law for their victims.
If he had done that, we would not be where we are today.
What he did instead was pour gasoline on the already burning fire of racial tension. Instead of decrying racism, he doubled down on it. Instead of being our mourner in chief, he tear-gassed peaceful demonstrators, walked across a street with a bunch of men in suits and camouflage and indulged in a photo op with a Bible in front of a damaged church. The resulting photos have become a symbol of his hypocrisy and official indifference to the racism that is fueling protests all over the country.
Instead of being the president of all the people, he gathered his more than a little bit demented followers under his wings at a bizarre bit of fireworks at Mount Rushmore. He has since jetted around the country making speeches that attempt to blame the failures of his administration on his political opponent. He has used Christianity as an obvious political shield for anti-Christ behavior that includes more attacks on the least of these than I care to name.
The fact that a lot of big-name clergy are willing to sell out Jesus Christ in a wholesale repudiation of the Gospels by deifying whatever evil this amoral man commits has bamboozled a lot of their weak-brained followers into deifying Trump also. Rather than a sincere conversion and the painful, costly changes in behavior that follow sincere conversion, Donald Trump has used Christianity as a political tool to excuse and put a moral imprimatur on his most immoral and life-destroying actions.
He has single-handedly debauched the pro life movement and turned it into a woman-hating, racism-excusing, pro death movement with an anti-abortion flag. He and his whore clergy have so degraded the name of Christ and the powerful civilization-building, life-saving and soul-saving force that is genuine Christianity that it will not recover its moral and prophetic voice for generations.
I don’t think that Donald Trump specifically intended to wage war on America’s soul. But that is what he and his whore preachers have done. I don’t think he intended to destroy the witness for Christ and Christianity in this nation, but that is the effect of his obvious hypocrisy and the all-in, flat-out-lying, aggressive contempt for the Gospels evinced by his big-name, anti-Christ, Christian clergy.
We are in the situation where we now find ourselves in this nation because Donald Trump is such a complete and total racist that he cannot even fake being anything else.
We are here because a good number of our “star” Christian clergy of every denomination, including my own Catholic Church, have laid their fidelity to Christ and the Gospels on the altar of big-time government money and schmoozing with the prez. Who else but the government could open its coffers and shovel billions of dollars into the religious maw? That is exactly what happened with the stimulus money.
“Follow the money” wasn’t just a phrase invented for Watergate. People in politics know that if you want to understand why someone is doing something that doesn’t make sense; something they won’t get off of, that they won’t quit, that the reasons they give for doing it keep changing but they won’t stop; if you want to understand that, all you have to do is figure out who is getting the money and who is giving it to them.
It’s the same exact way with these preachers, priests, bishops and cardinals who are selling out Jesus for Trump. I know this. I’ve seen it. Many times.
Our whole country, including the racists who love Donald Trump sooooo much, is paying for his racist incompetence and stupidity.
We are dying of a plague, warring with one another in our streets, and at each other’s throats in our homes, our churches, and even our families because of him and his incompetent, amoral, venal smallness of heart and brain.
We the People have one weapon to defend ourselves against this monstrous wave of destruction. We have one last chance to save ourselves.
That weapon is the vote.
That chance is the upcoming election.
Look at what 4 years of Donald Trump have done to this country. Do you really want more of this?
This is our chance to save America.
Cast your vote like you were a soldier, hitting the beach at Normandy.
In a very real way, that’s what you are.