Trump, protests, temper tantrums and change

Jeremiah 20:9 Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.

This election I did a very good job staying away from politics. Like Jeremiah, for a season, I kept my mouth shut. My high school class setup a special, private group on Facebook to discuss the election, but I removed myself from the group because I would rather sleep at night, and I did not think I could defend many of things Trump had said. I was quite confident the American people, especially women, would reject him. In some ways, I was just as wrong as the press and the pollsters, although I could never reconcile the polls with the Trump enthusiasm. That was always incongruous.

On one matter I did not stay quiet – the protests that erupted after the election. Like Jeremiah, the words were burning in my heart and I could not stay. I have never seen such a large group of petulant, spoiled, and coddled children throwing a temper tantrum. We just had an election; all of Trump’s dirty laundry had been aired and it turns out many people did not care; he won. Fight his agenda; write your Congressman; give Trump a crushing defeat in the midterms, but don’t cry about an election you just lost. That’s pathetic.

Life is full of disappointments, and how we handle them exposes our true character. The Friday before the election, I was debating voting for Trump or writing in Bobby Jindal. Instead of standing on the fence, I went with Trump and if I needed some sort of validation, I got it with the largest temper tantrum of all time. Something has to change.

The left, Trump, and schadenfreude

Proverbs 16:18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

For me the Trump election is really about arrogance. The liberal cognoscenti told us that a Trump victory was akin to drawing an inside straight – not really possible. The demographics are against Republicans. America is not going to vote for a misogynist and a racist – a demagogue not seen since the days of Hitler1. And so the railing hyperbole went on and on.

So, this morning I am enjoying a little schadenfreude. It is hard to empathize with people who have been so self-righteous and sanctimonious throughout the election. (Is Donald Trump more morally depraved than Bill Clinton, who the left extols as one of our great leaders?) And the liberal powers that be put their fingers on scale with blanket-to-blanket coverage of Mr. Trump’s scandals but nary a word on the pay-for-play scheme perpetrated by both Clintons on a massive scale. A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight (Proverbs 11:1).

Four days before the election, I was vacillating between Trump and writing in Bobby Jindal, but my contempt for the left was too strong to sit on the fence and casting my vote for Trump was cathartic. It was the double bird – the one thing this cycle that the left correctly interpreted. I have no illusions about Mr. Trump’s jejune policy prescriptions solving our deep and intractable problems, but the country has been essentially leaderless for six years as Obama has worked assiduously on improving his golf handicap while ignoring the Republican-controlled Congress. All of his accomplishments came in the first two years with a filibuster-proof Senate. He would not cut a tax and budget deal with a speaker, John Boehner, who was so moderate his own caucus unceremoniously dumped him. Instead, after railing against Bush’s deficits and unfunded wars when a senator, Obama racked up an additional $10 trillion in debt. He ruled as ideologue who could not or would not comprise with the opposition, and the mainstream media ignored it all, or better repackaged it as Republican obstructionism. Trump, for all his faults, is at least a leader with a vision for the country and with positions malleable enough to get some things done. Where there is no vision, the people perish: (Proverbs 29:18)

  1. Timothy Egan, “Goose-Steppers in the G.O.P.” New York Times, 11 Dec 2015, p. A25. Note, there are many more articles in the paper of record, and other mainstream outlets, that equate Trump with Hitler. ↩︎

Having a form of godliness

2 Timothy 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves… 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

There was an excellent article in today’s New York Times1 on Trump’s experience at church. For most of his adult life, he went to the Marble Collegiate Church on 5th Avenue whose pastor was the famous author Dr. Norman Vincent Peale. In 1952 Dr. Peale wrote the popular The Power of Positive Thinking which essentially taught that people could achieve their material dreams if they just put their mind to it. “You can if you think you can.” A corollary to this theology was the doctrine of self-fulfillment in lieu of the glorification of God and Christ. It is not hard to see how Trump developed into an egotistical and self-centered “Christian,” for this is what he was taught. Also, it is not hard to see why he could not name a favorite Bible verse or book—the preaching he sat under was untethered from the Bible. Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

  1. James Barron, “Overlooked Influences on Donald Trump: A Famous Minister and His Church.” New York Times, 5 September 2016, p. A 14. ↩︎