When Will This Nightmare End? Personal Musings about Trump
*See the “Sidebar” below! Read it carefully. Then read “Note to commenters” at the end. Read it carefully. Don’t respond unless you have read both.
The question that bedevils me almost daily is this: Is it worth it to have an American president who is (in my opinion) an egocentric, power-hungry, ego-maniac, vulgar person, filled with disdain if not hate, possibly criminal, venom-spewing, immoral head of state and government who seems to side with conservative religious people about abortion and who claims to want to stem the flow of illegal immigrants into our country?
Now, having described Trump that way, I need to say that I may be entirely deceived about his personality. I’m a fallibilist which means I always admit that I could be wrong about anything. Perhaps, although I consider it unlikely, Trump is a kind, sweet, gentle, loving, gracious, moral, man who has simply been misunderstood and misrepresented by his critics. He could be all of that and still be strong and just and the best president any country has ever had.
But I don’t think so.
*Sidebar: The opinions expressed here are my own (or those of the guest writer); I do not speak for any other person, group or organization; nor do I imply that the opinions expressed here reflect those of any other person, group or organization unless I say so specifically. Before commenting read the entire post and the “Note to commenters” at its end.*
For the past two years (plus a couple months) I have awakened almost every morning hoping that this was all just a nightmare. By “this” I mean being a citizen of a country led by a man I personally consider extremely unqualified to serve in that office (viz., head of state and head of government) and extremely offensive in his speech and many of his actions.
I have spelled out what those words and actions are very specifically and clearly before. But one that boggles my mind—as to why more intelligent people don’t cry out against it—is that the hard-working journalists of America are “enemies of the people.” That language is not only offensive to them but frightening to me and should be frightening to everyone. It’s the language of a would-be dictator.
The action that I find egregiously bad is his “zero tolerance” treatment of illegal immigrant children—forcibly separating them from their parents and placing them in detention centers without adequate care for their well-being. This action was not only dismaying but frightening to me and should be frightening to everyone. It’s the action of a man lacking in compassion.
Now, again, perhaps, possibly, I am totally misinformed about these alleged words and actions of Trump. If so, I would like to be shown that. I am willing to revise my opinion of Trump if someone can prove to me that what I have heard and seen in the media is false. (I watch both MSNBC and Fox News—among broadcast news sources—and I read several highly respected newspapers.)
Because I believe that Trump has actually said and done these things, I find myself in an almost constant state of anguish about the state of my country and many of my fellow American citizens—especially my fellow evangelical Christians who laud Trump and defend him no matter what he says or does.
I wonder what it would take to wake them up to the danger? I wonder if they have fallen under the “great delusion” prophesied in 2 Thessalonians. It wouldn’t be the first time. I think back to how easily Christian leaders were seduced by Constantine and how easily Christians fell under the spell of Hitler. In both cases they could not have been paying attention, exercising true discernment.
During my own lifetime I experienced something like this when Nixon was president. Christians I knew and lived with defended him even after he resigned and claimed that he was a victim of foaming-at-the-mouth liberals who hated him for his conservative politics. Some even claimed he was run out of office on trumped up charges because he was a Christian—something very difficult to believe once the tape recordings of his oval office conversations with underlings came out. Even Billy Graham, a close friend of Nixon’s, expressed dismay and admitted he had been duped and had even participated in Nixon’s nefarious schemes by expressing agreement with him about some of his critics.
All that I am saying is that I disagree with them. In my humble opinion, for whatever it is worth, I don’t think it is ever “worth it” to have a head of state and head of government who has the kind of character I believe Trump has.
So how will this “nightmare” end? I worry about that. What if the only other viable political party, the Democratic Party, nominates as its presidential candidate someone who cannot beat Trump? I think that is entirely possible, even probable, if the party nominates someone perceived as socially radical. I offer this heart felt advice to the Democratic Party (of which I am not a member): Stop dilly-dallying around with sixteen or seventeen candidates, identify one who is highly qualified and politically and socially centrist, and start the campaign now—in a unified way of total solidarity. Stop intentionally alienating white males, conservative Christians and focus on the common good rather than special interests. Focus on using the five billion dollars Trump wants to spend on a “wall” on helping poor children in America and promise to crack down on illegal immigration by other means. Stop promoting abortion on demand and radical social experiments such as abolishing the traditional family system. Move to the center; make yourself and your candidate(s) attractive to the “middle masses” of America rather than primarily only to the sophisticated city-dwellers of the Northeast and West Coast. All that would be “worth it” to defeat Trump who, in a second term, might do anything.
To evangelical Christians, my brothers and sisters, I offer this heart felt advice: Come to your senses about this man who is not one of “us” in any sense and is using our (evangelicals’) support to prop up his basically pagan regime of pure power without principles. Look at what happened to ancient Christianity when persecuted Christians rushed to support pagan emperor Constantine just because he pretended to be a Christian. Look at what happened to conservative Christians’ credibility when they supported Nixon to the bitter end (and even afterwards!). Look at what happened in Germany in the 1930s when even God-fearing, Bible-believing, Jesus-loving evangelical Protestant Christians supported Hitler only because he pretended to be the only bulwark against communism.
In my humble opinion, my considered but possibly fallible estimation, it isn’t worth it.
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