On Facebook I posted a document crafted by fifty-five Christian leaders on why Donald Trump is not a good candidate for president. I received a record number of responses, most of them negative. So I decided, rather than to respond at length on Facebook, to share some of my thoughts here.
I admit that I’m a preacher and not a politics junky. I seldom dive into the sewage of political banter. But it’s my observation that Donald Trump’s candidacy is less about politics and more about how we view and treat one another in our country and around the world. So, here we go.
A couple of people reported that Trump treats his employees with kindness. If true, that certainly speaks well of him, and I’m glad to hear it. But his repeated insults of other races, women, the President, and other candidates, to my mind, “trump” any reports of him being a nice boss.
Someone else mentioned that he has “good kids,” and I can only hope they are. I don’t know them. But again, when it comes to holding the Commander in Chief of the best country in the world, I don’t believe that good parenting skills speaks louder than most everything he says and stands for.
It seems to me that Trump’s supporters don’t care about his agenda; they’re just captivated by his persona. They view him as the strongest, most dominant, most assertive political figure they have ever seen and overlook that he is erratic and unprincipled.
I don’t want a president who throws tantrums on the national stage and denigrates anyone in his way (Megyn Kelly, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, President Obama…). The way he speaks about individuals who disagree with him and about groups of people who he sees as a threat are off the Richter Scale. We simply have to be sickened by his tone, tactics, and egocentricity.
Here are some of Donald Trumps most inane remarks of late:
“I think the only difference between me and the other candidates is that I’m more honest and my women are more beautiful.”
“The point is, you can never be too greedy.”
“My IQ is one of the highest — and you all know it! Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure; it’s not your fault.”
“Be careful, Lyin’ Ted, or I will spill the beans on your wife!”
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending the best. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists… And some, I assume, are good people.”
“You know, it really doesn’t matter what [the media] write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass.”
“I’m not a schmuck. Even if the world goes to hell in a handbasket, I won’t lose a penny.”
“Nobody knows the system better than me — which is why I alone can fix it.”
“I don’t think Ivanka would do that, although she does have a very nice figure. I’ve said if Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.”
“Mexicans love me and I have a great relationship with blacks!”
“My fingers are long and beautiful, as, it has been well documented, are various other parts of my body.”
Seriously? If I hadn’t heard him say these things I’d have thought they came from a Middle School kid on the playground! Are these the kinds of things you want your President to say, let alone believe?
As an American, it’s embarrassing to me that Trump has any following at all. As a follower of Jesus, it distresses me that my brothers and sisters can muster anything but disgust over the kind of person he seems to be. I’m alarmed by the so-called “Evangelical voter base” that’s fallen into some sort of fawning trance over this man.
When Bill Clinton was exposed as an adulterer the Christian world wanted to burn him at the stake. But that same constituency seems to be looking the other way with Trump, who humiliated his first wife by conducting a very public affair, his name is displayed on a casino that features a strip club, he discussed anal sex on the air with Howard Stern, and claims to be a Christian but has never asked God for forgiveness.
I don’t expect any candidate to follow Jesus or to even reflect all of my biblical values (such as they are). Some of the best and a few of the worst people I’ve ever known are believers in the same God that I love. But there are some irreducible minimums required for the Commander in Chief. To my mind, Trump flunks every test of character and basic civility. I do expect a candidate to display at least a modicum of maturity, discretion, and sound judgment. It doesn’t appear to me that Trump possess much, if any, of the above. He can make lots of money and spout stormy speeches, but those are not qualities I look for in a president.
Speaking of Bill Clinton, when the story of his affairs hit the media, I said to our church the following Sunday that the worst part of it was that it would undoubtedly lower the bar of sexual morals in the country. I said that I was particularly concerned that our youth would redefine sex, and that “oral sex” would no longer be considered sex. I’m not laying the entire blame of the decline of sexual morality of youth on Clinton, but looking back, I believe it had a deleterious effect. In the same way, I believe that Trump has already lowered the bar of civility, decency, and morality. He’s already brought out of the worst in our national dialogue and four years of his rhetoric from the White House will be marked by a significant decline of basic human (let alone biblical) values.
I’m no fan of Hillary Clinton either. Many bad things could be said about here as well. I strongly disagree with many of her policies, her tone, and her slippery version of the truth. But if we’re talking “lesser evils,” I can’t imagine any of the candidates (from the primaries) who wouldn’t fit in that enormous category.
Neither candidate has the power to make America great. But it’s my opinion that Trump would, by feeding our anger and exploiting our fears, as well as setting the pace for incivility, immorality, and inhumanity, do the most damage and the least good to our beloved country and its global reputation.
Jesus for President? Just kidding. He’s not running. Not running for anything. He owns his office outright.