Wednesday, July 31, 2019

The cult of racism.

Image result for MAGA racist imagesThe following article by Kathleen Parker is the best I have read to date about Mr. trump escalating his racism and the republicans being willing cheerleaders and defenders.  

"Going out on a limb here: President Trump is a racist. And a sexist. And a xenophobic nationalist. Among other things.

Not to name call or anything.

And all of those observable facts seem to sit quite well with his base of supporters, most Republicans in Congress and, apparently, with the evangelical Christian community whose members have ceded the floor to crickets.

Not even the chilling moment at Trump’s Wednesday rally in North Carolina  when the crowd chanted “Send her back!” can apparently budge them from their repose. The chanters were referring, of course, to Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), one of the four women of color known as “the Squad.” And the crowd’s clarion Trumpeter was the president himself, who, though he didn’t start the chant, certainly seemed to enjoy it.

His expression during the 13 seconds that he allowed the chant to reach its desired pitch was most chilling of all. His jutting jaw, his down-the-nose gaze, his seeming serenity in the eye of a storm — all spoke louder than the metronomic mass surrounding him.

The king was pleased.

Trump allowed ‘Send her back!’ chants for 13 seconds.

That moment encapsulated Trump’s reelection strategy and reminded everyone of three years ago, when retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn led the 2016 Republican National Convention in a similar chant aimed at Hillary Clinton: “Lock her up!” (We’ll resist the temptation to remark on the three-syllable limit when Republicans think aloud.)

In the language of “Criminal Minds,” Trump is escalating. Lock her up. Send her back. What’s next? One shudders to wonder.

This recent episode can be dissected in several ways. First, the four women composing the Squad are of color. They are minority women, in other words, by virtue of race or ethnicity but also by religion. (Two are Muslim.) Women aren’t a voting minority, or even a numerical minority, but they retain minority status in most measurable ways, from income to political power.
Thus, the Trumpeter was able to offend pretty much everyone group-wise — other than, of course, white males. There the GOP goes again.

Discussions the past few days about Trump’s strategy or purpose have been clarifying if not precisely revelatory. Some have said it isn’t necessarily racist to call out people who just happen to be of color. Others say, no, no, no, Trump was merely saying that these women, who, indeed, have said outrageous and offensive things (to some), ought to either get right with America (meaning white people) or skedaddle.

How did he put it: “If they don’t love it, tell ’em to leave it.”

This was Trump’s attempt at clarifying the tweets that started this whole saga, basically that the four representatives should go back to their horrible, filthy, corrupt countries, by which, one presumes, he meant some of those “shithole” countries he identified in 2018. Of course, the only woman not born in the United States is Omar, who came here more than 20 years ago as a refugee from Somalia.

To many Trump supporters, his “shithole” comment, which Trump denied saying though he admitted to using “tough” language, was likely viewed as an off-the-cuff remark not intended for public consumption. That’s fine to a point. We all say things privately that we wouldn’t dare utter elsewhere. However, what comes out of one’s mouth in private is what is inside one’s head, no matter who doesn’t hear it.

This is who Trump is. This, and I quote, is what he thinks: Nigerians will never “go back to their huts” after setting foot in the United States; Africa sends its “worst of the worst” to the United States; Haitian immigrants “all have AIDS.”

These cruel remarks are easily disproved. Nigerian Americans can boast a median income that exceeds the U.S. average. Forty-three percent of immigrants from African countries have at least a bachelor’s degree, compared with only 33 percent of all Americans.

The larger point, however, is that Trump obviously feels comfortable dismissing people of color as primitive, diseased and worse. Attributing stereotypical, denigrating characteristics to a group of people belonging to a particular race is the definition of racism. That the four women just happen to be of color is more than a blip precisely because of Trump’s consistent, default bigotry.

Republicans and evangelical Christians who fail to condemn this president’s use of the pulpit to preach down (not up), to employ and incite abusive language, to essentially put a target on a duly elected congresswoman’s back — can be presumed to concur and, therefore, to be complicit in whatever further degradation or violence follows.

That’s the plain and awful truth." [Source]

She makes some great points. But I also have to ask: What does Mr. trump have over all these supposedly powerful republican politicians ( I see you Mitt, Lindsey, and Marco) that they would put a stain on their legacy and embarrass themselves and their families by joining this cult?     

*Pic from reason.com































Monday, July 29, 2019

Someone remind Mr. trump that he is the president of Baltimore as well.


Image result for baltimore images*

I really don't know why Mr. trump won't just come out and call us black folks the N- word. It wouldn't cause him to lose any of his supporters, and it darn sure wouldn't be any worse than what he is doing now. 

We are all aware by now of his latest attacks on the city of *Baltimore (which happens to be a nice city) because he views it as a primarily black city. Some pundits are saying that this is no accident and that it is by design. They are calling it some kind of Jedi mind trick political strategy that he is using to divide the electorate and fire up his base. I disagree. Folks are giving Mr. trump way too much credit. 

Frankly, he is not that smart, and to suggest otherwise would be foolhardy. Mr. trump says all these things about Mr. Cummings and his primarily African American district for the same reason he attacked four women of color who represent their American districts, and told them to go back to whatever "shithole" country they came from. They are all people of color. And he does not like people of color, because he is a racist. It's really that simple. It's why he carried on a racist and vicious lie about Barack Obama's place of birth for many years,  it's why he gets visibly upset when a reporter of color asks him a question, and it's why he believes that by embracing a rapper who is in prison in Europe he will appeal to black people/ 

Mr. trump's language to describe Baltimore and other places that he believes are "infested" with Negroes (infested is the new racist term for places where blacks live) is certainly going to appeal to some members of his base, and he is hoping that it will energize them, and cause them to turnout and vote for him in 2020. It will be interesting to see what a lot of these white folks who are now clutching their pearls and acting shocked that their president is a racist will do when they get in the voting booth as well. 

I find it amusing that all these people in the majority population are now just discovering  that Mr. trump. I mean where have you been for the past thirty years? 

So now that trump's racism has been exposed for all the world to see, what will happen to the republican party? Will elected republican officials show some courage and call out the president for his ignorance and bigotry? I think that we all know the answer to that. Cowardice will win out over courage, and the republican senators and congress men and women will remain silent and complicit. 

“Cumming [sic] District is a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess. If he spent more time in Baltimore, maybe he could help clean up this very dangerous & filthy place.”

The only dangerous and filthy place that Mr. trump should be worried about is the one right between his ears.




Saturday, July 27, 2019

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Just the facts.

Image result for mueller images I wish I could take credit for this but I can't. Someone said today, referring to Robert Mueller's testimony, that this is one instance where the book was better than the movie.

What the heck was up with Mueller today? Poor thing, he looked like he didn't want to be there, and what's worse is he probably shouldn't have been there because of his health. Throw in the fact that he was bending over backwards to be objective and not to seem partisan, and the entire thing could have been one big disaster for the dems. I say could have been, because the only thing preventing it from being a total disaster was that the democrats still had the facts on their side. And when all is said and done, Mueller still had to pretty much admit that he could not say for a fact that had Mr. trump been Joe Blow Citizen he would not have been charged with a crime.  He flat out said that his report did not exonerate Mr. trump.

The dems were also saved by a couple of congressmen (and women) who asked some pretty good questions. I am not quite sure what the dems expected. I warned folks yesterday on twitter not to get excited about Mr. Mueller's testimony, because I expected that he would do exactly what he did today. I also said that no matter what he said the cult of trump would still be with him one hundred percent. They would just try to find more ways to discredit him and the investigation.

As bad as Mueller was today, you just know that it might have been even worse for the president, because optics can only take you so far. At some point the cold hard facts have to mean something. trump blew up on reporters today, because in spite of how he might try to spin it, he has to know that reasonable people all realize that he is a crook. 

Now, not surprisingly, while Nancy dithers more democrats are calling for the impeachment of Mr. trump. It wasn't Mueller's testimony today that did it, but rather, it was all the facts that were outlined in the report that he prepared. 

Remember that when the pundit class start talking about optics and all the theater surrounding these hearings. It's all about the facts.


Monday, July 22, 2019

When the racist has secret admirers.

TWEET METhere is a Marist poll out today that shows that Mr. trump's approval rating among white Americans is 48%,  and his disapproval rating among the same group is 48% as well. This is after his most recent racism tour.

Personally, I am not surprised, I have always suspected that there are a lot of white folks in this country who approve of everything that Mr. trump is doing. They just choose to keep quiet about it because it's not cool to support an openly racist individual in polite company.

I was watching David Gregory on CNN yesterday, and he really brought the point home. He summarized it in a way that a lot of white pundits have been afraid to do. He basically admitted that a lot of white American voters are happy with the economy and they will look past --and compartmentalize-- trump's racism if it helps them economically in the long run.

This all makes sense because racism isn't personal to white folks. Sure it would be nice if it didn't exist, but let's be honest, it's never going to affect their lives. "I'll teach my children not to be racist, but if a racist is my president, and I still have my job, and my 401k is doing alright, I will ride with the racist until he does something so outrageous that I just can't ride with him anymore." 

Black folks are sitting on the sidelines and wondering, how much more outrageous do things have to get before everyone (not just people of color) say, enough? And it's not just that he is a racist. He is also possibly a rapist, and someone who colluded with a foreign government and obstructed justice as well. If he is getting away with all those things, he will certainly get away with being a racist.
No matter how much we say that racism antithetical to American values, it is not something that causes us to lose sleep at night. Even if our leader is a racist.

To his credit, trump understands this, and he understands that he can round up just enough openly racist folks and secret admirers to get enough votes to hold on to power. It''s why he is not letting this latest beef with "The Squad" go. They are the perfect boogeywomen for his base and his secret admirers. Every time some of our fellow Americans sees these women they see a future that terrifies them. 

Mr. trump and his handlers have figured this all out. Which is why, in spite of the great economy (thank you Obama), they want to focus on immigration reform. They know that that there is one thing that is guaranteed to always fire up the racist: The thought of letting more people in who don't quite look like they do.

Of course we are learning these days that the racists among us might not be alone when it comes to these thoughts.









Friday, July 19, 2019

Narcissist or racist? You decide.

Image result for trump images       The following article was written by William Saletan for slate.com 


"Lindsey Graham, the Republican senator from South Carolina, has a theory about President Donald Trump. The president is a “narcissist,” not a racist, Graham told reporters on Wednesday. A racist hates everyone of a certain color or ethnicity, said Graham. A narcissist, on the other hand, makes exceptions for those who flatter or support him.

That’s an accurate assessment of how Trump thinks. But it’s an elaboration, not a refutation, of the president’s bigotry. Trump is a narcissist and a racist. He uses racism as a weapon to serve his narcissism. And his narcissism, in turn, shapes his racism. Because Trump equates love of America with love of himself, he treats his domestic critics—particularly those of African, Middle Eastern, or Latin American ancestry—as enemies of the United States. 

In his latest attack, Trump tweeted that four Democratic congresswomen—one black, one Latina, one Palestinian American, and one Somali American—should “go back” to the countries from which they “originally came.” Reporters reminded Trump that all four women were citizens and that three were born in this country. He refused to back down. At a rally in North Carolina on Wednesday night, the president lambasted the congresswomen, particularly Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, who was born in Somalia. He paused for effect as the crowd chanted, “Send her back!”

None of this, according to Graham, was racist. “A racist says, ‘Go back to Somalia because you’re a Somalian or you’re a Muslim or whatever,’ ” Graham told reporters on Wednesday before the rally. Trump doesn’t operate that way, said Graham. “If you’re a Somali refugee who likes Trump, he’s not going to say, ‘Go back to Somalia.’ … It’s not about being from Somalia. It’s about whether you support him or not.” On Thursday, Graham presented a similar defense of the “Send her back” chant. “If you’re a Somali refugee wearing a MAGA hat, he doesn’t want to send you back. You’ll probably have dinner at the White House,” said Graham. “If you embrace his policies, it doesn’t matter where you come from.”
It’s true that Trump makes exceptions for people of color who are nice to him. In 2016, he praised a black man at one of his campaign events, telling the audience, “Look at my African American over here.” Trump called the man “a fan of mine” and commended him for punching a protester. To Trump, the loyalty was personal: my, mine. But when Omar criticized the president, he accused her of disloyalty to America. On Monday at the White House and on Wednesday at the rally, he smeared her as a traitor and terrorist sympathizer. He baited the rally crowd into its “Send her back” chant by telling lies about Omar, including a fabricated quote: “Al-Qaida makes you proud. You don’t speak that way about America.”

The president is waging a similar campaign of character assassination against Rep. Rashida Tlaib, a congresswoman of Palestinian descent who was born in Michigan. In January, Tlaib called for Trump’s impeachment, referring to him as a “m—–f—–.” Trump declared her language unpatriotic, calling it “highly disrespectful to the United States of America.” At Wednesday’s rally, he framed Tlaib’s contempt for him as contempt for America. Tlaib “used the F word to describe the presidency and your president,” Trump told the crowd. “She was describing the president of the United States and the presidency with the big fat … vicious F-word. That’s not somebody that loves our country.”

Trump has been playing this l’etat, c’est moi game for years. Throughout his first presidential campaign, he impugned the patriotism of people who disagreed with him. He targeted Latinos, Muslims, Arab Americans, and African Americans. Even giving one’s life in military service wasn’t enough, in Trump’s eyes, to overcome the sin of opposing Trump. When Khizr Khan, the father of a slain Muslim U.S. Army officer, criticized Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States, Trump repeated his warnings about “radical Islamic terrorism” and suggested that Khan’s wife, as a Muslim woman, “wasn’t allowed to have anything to say.” Trump justified his smear by complaining that Khan had “viciously attacked me.” 

The clearest case of Trump’s narcissistic racism was his 2016 slander of Gonzalo Curiel, a federal judge in California. In an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, Trump declared Curiel unfit to preside over a lawsuit against Trump University because, although Curiel was a U.S. citizen born in Indiana, the judge was “of Mexican heritage.” According to Trump, this presented “an inherent conflict of interest” since “I’m building a wall. I am trying to keep business out of Mexico.”

Trump said he had no problem with most Latinos. “I employee thousands of Latinos,” he told Tapper. “I employ, over the years, thousands of Mexicans. They’re great. … I sell them apartments.” Trump said he wouldn’t have had any issues with Curiel, either, if Curiel had treated him better. “If he were giving me fair rulings, I wouldn’t be talking to you this way,” said Trump. But Curiel was handling the case in a way Trump didn’t like. And that, according to Trump, raised a sinister question: “Why?” The answer, according to Trump, was that Curiel was Mexican—and, on that basis, “should recuse himself.”.

Everything in Trump’s rant against Curiel matches Graham’s diagnosis. If Curiel had ruled in Trump’s favor, Trump would have treated him no differently from a white judge. But when Curiel made trouble, Trump played the race card. He framed the judge’s unfavorable rulings in a private fraud case not just as anti-Trump, but as anti-American. It’s the same racist-nationalist-narcissistic maneuver Trump is now attempting against Omar and Tlaib.

Graham understands this. Three and a half years ago, he excoriated Trump for proposing the Muslim ban. “He’s a race-baiting, xenophobic religious bigot,” said Graham. “He doesn’t represent the values that the men and women who wear the uniform are fighting for.” But now, as Trump vilifies two Muslim congresswomen and tells them to leave the country, Graham says it’s not racism. Trump is the same man he was then. It’s Graham who has changed.

Trump has no principles. He doesn’t believe in white supremacy any more than he believes in equality, pluralism, or civil rights. All he has is a set of resentments—his and his supporters’—that he’s willing to deploy whenever they suit him. He’ll go after whatever he can use against you: your ancestry, your religion, your disability, your sex. Racism is part of his narcissism, and narcissism is part of his racism. That’s his sickness. And the sickness in his party is that to men like Graham, the narcissism somehow counts as a defense." {Source}

So to answer the headline of this post. He is both. 

*Image from thenation.com

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

And a pig shall lead them.

Footage of Trump and Epstein together at a party in 1992 emerges
I am so sick and tired of this debate about whether Mr. trump is a racist or not. The fact that we are still debating that question tells you all you need to know about where we are in America in 2019.

Yes America, your president is a racist. He has told you so with his deeds and words over the years, and yet you still refuse to believe it.

This might be because quite a lot of you are perfectly fine with that, and you share a lot of his views about people of color and where we belong in this American melting pot. When he tells American citizens who were born here to go back where they came from, what he is saying is that they should go back to the continent of their ancestors. The fact that they were born here is irrelevant, because their country of birth is not the point; their race is.

When Kellyanne  Conway snapped at a reporter and asked him about his ethnicity, she was carrying on with  a familiar theme with this White House: White identity politics. It's something that worked for Mr. trump to get him elected, and now that he finds himself down in the polls (even while the country enjoys economic prosperity) he is going to that playbook again. Mr. trump doesn't care about the sixty percent of the people who find his behavior execrable, it doesn't bother him because he has his "base". These people would stick with him if he was caught dropping the N-word on live television. Sadly, republican elected officials would stick with him as well. "OK, so he called the reporter a Nigger, but to be fair, she was rude to him as well." They will always make excuses for this guy.

Interestingly,  I also think that there is something else going on here. I do believe that Mr.trump is worried about something more than just being called a racist, and that is the criminal case involving his buddy, the alleged sex trafficker, Jeffrey Epstein.

Remember when Donald said that he hardly knew Epstein and that they were not friends? Well, as it turns out, he was lying (shocker) and MSNBC showed us the video tape to prove that he was lying this morning.

This entire Epstein saga might not end well for Mr. trump. I watched him feel and grab women on the video while picking out the women that he wanted like they were a bunch of cattle, and it was disgusting. To say that this guy is a pig would be a great disservice to pigs. After watching him in that video it makes it easier to see why scores of women have accused him of sexual assault and even rape. 

"What follows is then private citizen Trump enthusiastically gesticulating with a denim shirt clad Epstein, as the two laugh together, point, and comment on what they see before them. It’s not clear what exactly they are discussing, but it appears that they are assessing the women dancing before them.

Trump has publically claimed that he knew Epstein, who plead guilty in 2008 to two sex crimes, including one with an underage girl, in a sweetheart plea deal that ultimately led to the resignation of Trump administration  Alex Acosta. The soon to be former Labor Secretary served as US Attorney in Florida in 2008 and oversaw the federal prosecution of Epstein."

Just remember the old adage: Where there is smoke there is fire. 

*Image from MSNBC

   

Monday, July 15, 2019

And a racist shall lead us.

Image result for the squad democratic women images

I know that I write a lot about racism and racists on this site, and I always enjoy pointing out racists when they rear their ugly and vile heads. The truth is, though, that racists don't bother me that much in my every day life. For the most part I ignore them, and I try not to let them affect my life in any meaningful way.

This all changes when the racist in question is the most powerful man in the world. There was a time when most people in this country would not say that their president is a racist. The thought that we elected a man to lead us who holds racist views was just so abhorrent to most people that they could not bring themselves to believe that Donald trump is actually a racist.

That has changed, as most people are finally starting to realize that Mr. trump is actually a racist. Of course it took trump himself telling them as much, and going all David Duke with some of his recent tweets for folks to acknowledge it. 

Of course most black folks have known all along that Mr. trump is a racist. We knew when he started questioning the legitimacy of the first African American president. We knew when he called for the death penalty for five very young (and innocent)  men in New York city after an attack in Central Park.  We knew when he declared that Mexicans were rapists, and that a Mexican Judge could not be fair. And we knew when he called countries being led by brown people, shithole places. 

Black folks are still surprised that our white brothers and sisters won't acknowledge the obvious when it comes to Mr. trump's racism, but we understand that talking about racism and pointing out racism tends to make white folks uncomfortable.

The sad thing about trump is that not only is he a racist, but he is an ignorant racist. He is the type of racist that's not smart enough to defend his racism or to understand the roots of it. Clearly he is not very smart, because he pretty much told three Congresswomen who were born in this country to go back to their own countries. 

But we have come to expect this from Mr. trump. What's sad is that his republican pals, for the most part, have been silent about his racist and ignorant screed. And the ones who had the courage to speak out have been few and far between.

Sadly, this too shall pass, and the racist- in- chief might even get a second term because there are a lot of people (particularly in his own party) who agree with him.  They applauded him today at the White House when he doubled and tripled down on his racism, and leaders in the GOP like Lindsey Graham actually came to his defense.

Over the next few days cable news outlets will play the outrage card, a few people will make statements and write opeds condemning trump, and we will all clutch our pearls and act shocked that the man we elected to be our leader is an ignorant xenophobic bigot. But we have seen this rodeo before ("good people on both sides"), and I am pretty sure that we will see it again. 

*Pic from huffingtonpost.com

    


Saturday, July 13, 2019

Caption Saturday.

Image result for president trump lady liberty image*

I need a caption for this pic.

Example: "I moved on her like a bitch."  

*Pic from american-buffoon.com


Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Faith based lunacy.

TWEET ME

"These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me."~Matthew 15:8 ~ 


I'm sorry, but these white Christian evangelicals are not driven by love of Christ, they are driven by something else. Their love for all of Mr. trump's policies prove this.

I read a fascinating article by Peter Wehner about this issue, and I want to share it with you:

  "Last week, Ralph Reed, the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s founder and chairman, told the group, “There has never been anyone who has defended us and who has fought for us, who we have loved more than Donald J. Trump. No one!”

Reed is partially right; for many evangelical Christians, there is no political figure whom they have loved more than Donald Trump.

I recently exchanged emails with a pro-Trump figure who attended the president’s reelection rally in Orlando, Florida, on June 18. (He spoke to me on the condition of anonymity, so as to avoid personal or professional repercussions.) He had interviewed scores of people, many of them evangelical Christians. “I have never witnessed the kind of excitement and enthusiasm for a political figure in my life,” he told me. “I honestly couldn’t believe the unwavering support they have. And to a person, it was all about ‘the fight.’ There is a very strong sense (I believe justified, you disagree) that he has been wronged. Wronged by Mueller, wronged by the media, wronged by the anti-Trump forces. A passionate belief that he never gets credit for anything.”

The rallygoers, he said, told him that Trump’s era “is spiritually driven.” When I asked whether he meant by this that Trump’s supporters believe God’s hand is on Trump, this moment and at the election—that Donald Trump is God’s man, in effect—he told me, “Yes—a number of people said they believe there is no other way to explain his victories. Starting with the election and continuing with the conclusion of the Mueller report. Many said God has chosen him and is protecting him.”

The data seem to bear this out. Approval for President Trump among white evangelical Protestants is 25 points higher than the national average. And according to a Pew Research Center survey, “White evangelical Protestants who regularly attend church (that is, once a week or more) approve of Trump at rates matching or exceeding those of white evangelicals who attend church less often.” Indeed, during the period from July 2018 to January 2019, 70 percent of white evangelicals who attend church at least once a week approved of Trump, versus 65 percent of those who attend religious services less often.

The enthusiastic, uncritical embrace of President Trump by white evangelicals is among the most mind-blowing developments of the Trump era. How can a group that for decades—and especially during the Bill Clinton presidency—insisted that character counts and that personal integrity is an essential component of presidential leadership not only turn a blind eye to the ethical and moral transgressions of Donald Trump, but also constantly defend him? Why are those who have been on the vanguard of “family values” so eager to give a man with a sordid personal and sexual history a mulligan?

Part of the answer is their belief that they are engaged in an existential struggle against a wicked enemy—not Russia, not North Korea, not Iran, but rather American liberals and the left. If you listen to Trump supporters who are evangelical (and non-evangelicals, like the radio talk-show host Mark Levin), you will hear adjectives applied to those on the left that could easily be used to describe a Stalinist regime. (Ask yourself how many evangelicals have publicly criticized Trump for his lavish praise of Kim Jong Un, the leader of perhaps the most savage regime in the world and the worst persecutor of Christians in the world.)

Many white evangelical Christians, then, are deeply fearful of what a Trump loss would mean for America, American culture, and American Christianity. If a Democrat is elected president, they believe, it might all come crashing down around us. During the 2016 election, for example, the influential evangelical author and radio talk-show host Eric Metaxas said, “In all of our years, we faced all kinds of struggles. The only time we faced an existential struggle like this was in the Civil War and in the Revolution when the nation began … We are on the verge of losing it as we could have lost it in the Civil War.” A friend of mine described that outlook to me this way: “It’s the Flight 93 election. FOREVER.”

Many evangelical Christians are also filled with grievances and resentments because they feel they have been mocked, scorned, and dishonored by the elite culture over the years. (Some of those feelings are understandable and warranted.) For them, Trump is a man who will not only push their agenda on issues such as the courts and abortion; he will be ruthless against those they view as threats to all they know and love. For a growing number of evangelicals, Trump’s dehumanizing tactics and cruelty aren’t a bug; they are a feature. Trump “owns the libs,” and they love it. He’ll bring a Glock to a cultural knife fight, and they relish that.

Jerry Falwell Jr., the president of Liberty University, one of the largest Christian universities in the world, put it this way: “Conservatives & Christians need to stop electing ‘nice guys.’ They might make great Christian leaders but the United States needs street fighters like @realDonaldTrump at every level of government b/c the liberal fascists Dems are playing for keeps & many Repub leaders are a bunch of wimps!”

There’s a very high cost to our politics for celebrating the Trump style, but what is most personally painful to me as a person of the Christian faith is the cost to the Christian witness. Nonchalantly jettisoning the ethic of Jesus in favor of a political leader who embraces the ethic of Thrasymachus and Nietzsche—might makes right, the strong should rule over the weak, justice has no intrinsic worth, moral values are socially constructed and subjective—is troubling enough.

But there is also the undeniable hypocrisy of people who once made moral character, and especially sexual fidelity, central to their political calculus and who are now embracing a man of boundless corruptions. Don’t forget: Trump was essentially named an unindicted co-conspirator (“Individual 1”) in a scheme to make hush-money payments to a porn star who alleged she’d had an affair with him while he was married to his third wife, who had just given birth to their son.

While on the Pacific Coast last week, I had lunch with Karel Coppock, whom I have known for many years and who has played an important role in my Christian pilgrimage. In speaking about the widespread, reflexive evangelical support for the president, Coppock—who is theologically orthodox and generally sympathetic to conservatism—lamented the effect this moral freak show is having, especially on the younger generation. With unusual passion, he told me, “We’re losing an entire generation. They’re just gone. It’s one of the worst things to happen to the Church.”

Coppock mentioned to me the powerful example of St. Ambrose, the bishop of Milan, who was willing to rebuke the Roman Emperor Theodosius for the latter’s role in massacring civilians as punishment for the murder of one of his generals. Ambrose refused to allow the Church to become a political prop, despite concerns that doing so might endanger him. Ambrose spoke truth to power. (Theodosius ended up seeking penance, and Ambrose went on to teach, convert, and baptize St. Augustine.) Proximity to power is fine for Christians, Coppock told me, but only so long as it does not corrupt their moral sense, only so long as they don’t allow their faith to become politically weaponized. Yet that is precisely what’s happening today.

Evangelical Christians need another model for cultural and political engagement, and one of the best I am aware of has been articulated by the artist Makoto Fujimura, who speaks about “culture care” instead of “culture war.” [More here] 

Just think about this for a minute: These so called Christians declare that there is no man that they love more than a man who has been accused of raping a 13 year old girl, cheated on his third wife with a porn star --right after she gave birth to his son---, and publicly bragged about assaulting women.  

"Jesus wept"~John 11:35~