We’ve finally made it to the last post in this series. I set out to be brief in my assessment of Donald Trump’s danger to Americans. I thought I could reduce my thoughts down to one post, which soon proved to be impossible.
By way of review, I’ve proposed that Mr. Trump lies with impunity, still has no idea how to govern, has grossly mismanaged the pandemic, cares nothing for those below his socioeconomic bracket, tried to bribe a foreign power, fails the test of a consistent pro-life ethic, supports white nationalism, has no real foreign policy, denies of the science of climate change, resists common sense gun laws, is despicable in his treatment of women, treats immigrants inhumanely, and foments division and violence among our citizens.
If that weren’t enough to make the case he’s the most dangerous man in America, let me conclude with three final thoughts: he’s petulant, narcissistic, and toxic to the Christian testimony in America.
• His petulant and juvenile temperament is terribly unsuited for the office of the president.
“Trump exhibits malignant narcissism. His worsening hypomania is making him increasingly more irrational, grandiose, paranoid, aggressive, irritable, and impulsive. He evinces the most destructive and dangerous collection of psychiatric symptoms possible for a leader.” Psychologist John Gartner
Before being elected to office he wrote in his book, Think Big, “My motto is: Always get even. When somebody screws you, screw them back in spades.” Someone said of him, “His mind is a simple bot-like algorithm of petty prejudices and knee-jerk nastiness.” He mocks poor countries as “shithole countries” and leads chants in his rallies “Lock her up!” and “Send them back!”
We have always expected presidents to set the national tone, yet he’s like a reckless ship captain, endangering everyone onboard. Resembling an adolescent he denigrates his opponents and childishly calls anyone who opposes him pejorative names. He’s vindictive, impulsive, petty, callous, shameless and lacks any evidence of empathy.
He reminds me of King Ahab who, when Naboth wouldn’t sell him his land, he “went home sullen and angry” and “lay on his bed sulking and refused to eat.” (1 Kings 21:4)
“Whoever mocks the poor shows contempt for their Maker; whoever gloats over disaster will not go unpunished.” Proverbs 17:5
“When a country is rebellious, it has many rulers, but a ruler with discernment and knowledge maintains order.” Proverbs 28:2
• His bearing and behavior are profoundly, if not pathologically narcissistic.
- “I know more about courts than any human being on earth.”
- “I know more about drones than anybody.”
- “I think nobody knows more about campaign finance than I do.”
- “I understand politicians better than anybody.”
- “Nobody knows more about trade than me.”
- “I know more about renewables than any human being on Earth.”
- “I think nobody knows more about taxes than I do, maybe in the history of the world.”
- “Sorry, losers and haters, but my I.Q. is one of the highest —and you all know it! Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure, it’s not your fault” (Donald Trump)
It’s painful to watch his self-adulation at press briefings and campaign rallies. His incessant boasting about his intelligence, the size of his sexual organ, and the beautiful women that love him is nauseating. He never takes responsibility for failures and steals the credit that belongs to someone else. He called himself “a very stable genius,” “the chosen one,” and once said of the country’s ills, “I alone can fix it!”
Everyone in the country should all have seen red when he said he could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue in Manhattan and shoot someone and not lose one vote! Whoever follows him in the Oval Office will have a lot of toxic waste left behind to clean up and it will be a long time before the rest of the world can imagine America being “great.”
Peter Wehner said, “Asking Donald Trump to understand morality is like asking a person who was born colorblind to understand color.”
“Show me a conceited person and I will show you someone who is arrogant, proud, and inconsiderate.” Proverbs 21:24
“The proud and arrogant person—“Mocker” is his name—behaves with insolent fury.” Proverbs 21:24
• Lastly, I believe that he is a danger to the testimony of the true Christian Church.
Shane Claiborne says that it “unveils an idolatry that has intoxicated many of our fellow Christians,” when the vast majority of the white Christian Church runs interference for him as God’s man for the hour. Some versions of the American Church feature a Trumpified Christianity, which hardly resembles God’s Kingdom and acts as a repellent, rather than as an attractive force to bring people to Christ.
In 2016 Evangelical leaders form Asia, Africa, and Latin America formed the International Fellowship for Mission as Transformation and issued a call for biblical faithfulness to the radical implications of the gospel. In it they wrote: “We grieve the part that evangelicals played in electing a person whose character, values, and actions are antithetical to the Gospel. Furthermore, we find it inadmissible that some high-profile evangelical leaders have hailed the President-elect as a Christian and a prophet. It does not surprise us that many people, especially from the younger generation, are abandoning the evangelical world altogether.”
They went on to declare: “As representative members of the global evangelical community, we stand with all who oppose violence, racism, misogyny, and religious, sexual and political discrimination by resisting the leadership of a person whose life, deeds and words have normalized and even glorified these postures.”
These are not people ensconced in American partisan politics. With the advantage of physical distance and their biblical vantage point, it is clear to them that Donald Trump is not only unfit for the presidency but is a danger to the Christian testimony.
I’ve spoken to dozens of non-Christians who view Christian Trump supporters as a bunch of naïve dolts being taken for a ride. Not exactly the testimony we were hoping for!
One Church leader from Burkina Faso said: “President Trump is like a mirror. He is a reflection of the society that voted him into power.” She went on to explain that he gives evangelical America an opportunity to see itself for what it really is; and that, it seems we haven’t yet come to terms with the danger of that narrative.
When Evangelicals run interference for the president, they associate themselves unwittingly with his rampant immorality, greed, divisiveness, and race-baiting, not to mention his cruelty and hostility to immigrants. They don’t see how being in league with him damages our collective testimony. The gospel itself is an offense to those who refuse to believe. We needn’t add to the offense by getting into bed with the likes of Donald Trump.
Many of the same preachers and supposed Christian pundits who preached sweaty sermons about the infidelities of Bill Clinton just 30 years ago have given this president mulligan after mulligan for his illicit lifestyle choices, not to mention inhumane policies. It’s hypocritical and everyone knows it! Well, everyone but those who don’t.
How can we expect anyone to take our Christ seriously while we dismiss, minimize, or make excuses for this president’s ineptitude and immorality? Many unbelievers I speak with are driven away from trusting a Church that trusts Donald Trump. They can see him for what he is and can’t see how we can’t see the same.
“Giving honor to a foolish person is like tying a stone in a slingshot.” Proverbs 26:8
“A sterling reputation is better than striking it rich.” Proverbs 22:1 (The Message)
The way Donald Trump acts and reacts and talks and thinks not only puts his soul in danger, but puts the soul of the nation in peril. We simply cannot support or allow another four years of this!
I’ve suggested 17 reasons why I believe he is a danger to American idea and to its citizens. There are many more, but I’m tired of listing them and you’re probably tired of reading them. Though it’s unlikely that you agree with all 17, but since no one has egged my house yet (don’t get any ideas!), we must still be friends––at least on speaking terms.
I’ll conclude by suggesting a number of books for further reading:
- The Spiritual Danger of Donald Trump: 30 Evangelical Christians on Justice, Truth, and Moral Integrity, Edited by Ronald Sider
- Christ in Crisis by Jim Wallis
- The Death of Politics: How To Heal Our Frey Republic After Trump by Peter Wehner
- Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump by John Fea
- How Would Jesus Vote: Do Your Political Positions Really Align with the Bible? By Darrell L. Block