I’m praying for the president and first lady to fully recover from COVID-19. Though a harsh critic of his presidency, I recognize him as a fellow image bearer and as a beloved of God. I have no desire for him to be sick or worse.
Nevertheless, I will proceed to make available this series of posts on his danger to America as its leader. I mean no disrespect of him while his prognosis remains unsure, and I wish him well. But I feel it imperative to finish publishing these thoughts prior to the election on November 3rd.
“Trump has sent the annual budget deficit and the national debt skyrocketing; decimated the Department of State; gutted the Environmental Protection Agency; taken defense funds to try to build a wall to ward off immigrants from the south; taken no action against Russian aggression in Ukraine or its interference in our 2016 and 2020 election campaigns; taken the side of Putin against our own intelligence community and many of our allies; and applauded authoritarian figures in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, North Korea, the Philippines, and beyond.” Ron Sider
We’ve all heard interviews with people on the street saying in essence that there is nothing Donald Trump coud do to lose their support. I find that claim entirely moronic. Would they say that of their dentist? Would they keep going back to him even if he pulled ten of the wrong teeth and broke their jaw while doing it? Theirs is not a well thought out political commitment but the sort of no-turning-back, all-or-nothing, fatal embrace offered in spite of his ineptitude and sociopathy.
Among our list of dangers in the previous three posts we’ve noted such things as Mr. Trump’s relentless dishonesty, complete ignorance of the workings of government, gross mismanagement of the pandemic, conscienceless injustice to the poor, illegal bribery, a faux pro-life ethic, clear white nationalism, incompetence on foreign policy, and denial of the science of climate change.
Could there be anything more? Unfortunately, yes. Let’s talk this time about bribery, firearms, and misogyny.
• Bribery is a clear and present danger to the democratic process.
Donald Trump was impeached in the House of Representatives for shaking down a foreign country for dirt on a political rival, which amounts to bribery. In dictatorial regimes that sort of criminal behavior among politicians is routine. But a democratic republic by the people and for the people can’t survive in such an atmosphere of manipulation and graft. It’s a violation of the Constitution; not to mention profoundly immoral. Even people in his own party were willing to admit this and some even voted to impeach.
Democracy requires that our elected officials are able to compromise with each other when it is possible and to co-exist when it is not. Donald Trump has shown for his entire term that he is not one of those people. His fans praise him for being a “wrecking ball” and drainer of the “swamp.” Pastor Robert Jeffress said in praise of Mr. Trump’s style of governing, “I want the meanest, toughest SOB I can find.”
I’ll concede that mental toughness, emotional stability, and the strength to stand on one’s convictions are all necessary traits in a world leader. But, frankly I see all but three of those qualities in our president. His incompetence to work with lawmakers to find common ground with whom he disagrees is well documented. As such, he is danger to our civic fabric.
“By justice a king gives a country stability, but one who is greedy for bribes tears it down.” Proverbs 29:4
“The wicked accept bribes in secret to pervert the course of justice.” Proverbs 17:23
“A tyrannical ruler practices extortion, but one who hates ill-gotten gain will enjoy a long reign.” Proverbs 28:16
• His resistance to common sense gun laws is a danger to our schools, churches, and citizens everywhere.
From deep inside the pocket of the NRA he appeals to fawning fans by citing his favorite Amendment to the Constitution (the 2nd), propagandizes that his opponents are coming to take our guns, and proposes that teachers bring guns to their classrooms.
Though they account for six times as many people shot in mass shootings than by other guns, this president has no objection to semi-automatic weapons with large capacity magazines in the hands of American citizens. It was in the musket era that our Founding Fathers established our right to bear arms. They couldn’t have foreseen a time when one crazed citizen could kill dozens, if not hundreds of people in the span of seconds.
“Many, many bodies—flung everywhere! Silence!” Amos 8:3
“Put your sword back in its place for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.” Matthew 26:52
• His misogynistic sexual mores endanger the moral foundation of Americans, both men and women.
He was married three times, accused by more than two dozen women of being a serial sexual assaulter, cheated on all of his wives, and paid a porn star to quiet her about their affair during his wife’s pregnancy.
In reference to presidential moral behavior the Southern Baptist Convention passed what they called the “Resolution on Moral Character,” which says: “Tolerance of serious wrong by leaders sears the conscience of the culture, spawns unrestrained immorality and lawlessness in society, and surely God’s judgment.” This they resolved in relation to Bill Clinton’s sexual sin in 1998. No such statement has been made concerning Donald Trump’s even more egregious behavior.
His public television cruelties are legendary. He called one woman a “dog,” another a “fat pig,” and yet another “disgusting.” He tweeted about one woman that she is “unattractive both inside and out. I fully understand why her former husband left her for a man––he made a good decision.” He once said, “It really doesn’t matter what the media writes as long as you’ve got a young, and beautiful, piece of ass.” He also said on a national stage during a campaign debate, “My fingers are long and beautiful, as it has been well documented, are various other parts of my body.” Not what I would call presidential.
We’ve all heard the Access Hollywood tape where he said, “It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the p—-. You can do anything.” Not for nothin’, this is the same man who had the audacity to call Mexican immigrants “criminals and rapists.”
In a televised interview he said, “If Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.” That’s just creepy! If one of his opponents said something like that, his sycophantic base would bury them. After all that he still had the nerve to claim, “Nobody respects women more than Donald Trump, I’ll tell you. Nobody respects women more.” I think I might know a few men who do.
While I don’t lay the blame for America’s chauvinistic sexual deviancy at the feet of Donald Trump, what he “preaches” with impunity on his Twitter account, on Fox TV, and during MAGA rallies is morally indefensible and dangerously degenerative to Americans.
His morality is so untetheredthat he doesn’t qualify as a representative for our country. Few of our presidents to date have been paragons of virtue, but his is a whole different category of amorality. Many of them trafficked in selective morality, but this president seems to have selected the absence of such a thing.
“He who loves wisdom makes his father glad, but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth.” Proverbs 29:3
“If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell.” Matthew 5:29
Next time we’ll talk about the president’s inhumane immigration policies and his penchant for fomenting, anger, division, and violence among Americans.