Good morning everyone, and a very merry week of Christmas to all.
Yesterday, Donald Trump’s campaign sought an audience with the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the ruling of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, and thereby overturn the results of the Pennsylvania election, and undo the Electoral College.
I daresay there isn’t a more provocative act that Trump could do, outside of appearing on national television from the Oval Office and declaring himself “emperor.” Most Americans, outside of white evangelical Christians, already believe Trump wants to transform this nation into a dictatorship. Now their fears are being confirmed, over and over again. Even in the Trump administration, officials are alarmed.
I wrote about the spell-like devotion to Trump among evangelical Christians over at The First this morning. I am not sure the audience there will be very receptive. Cult members never are very receiving of the news that they’re in a cult. It’s quite interesting to me that I have been so wrong these last four years. Back in 2016, I wrote that Christians supporting Trump are making a bargain like the frog made with the scorpion. I scarcely believed that the frogs would not only transport the scorpion to the other bank of the river, but also in the process become scorpions themselves.
Even given some of Trump’s lasting accomplishments, with Israel, tax reform, and the Supreme Court, by far the most dangerous legacy he created was a persistent, armored bubble containing supporters who hearken only to his words. Many of these are loyal to Trump in fanatical ways. This is literally the stuff of dictatorship. It should scare anyone who sees it for what it is.
Remove the politics and legitimate (though overblown) concerns about running elections, and underneath there’s a populist dictator and his fawning people. A huge number of them are church-going (or at least claim membership in a church) white Christians. Want to start a religious or race war? This would be how to do it.
Of course, not all evangelical Christians have fallen under the spell, and many today are doing their best to fall out of it. But enough white Christian Americans (see David French’s article over at The Dispatch) believe that Trump had the election “stolen” from him, and that this is a huge, corrupt “deep state” effort to depose a man who increasingly believes himself to be the legitimate resident of the White House for the next four years (even if he’s not in it).
I always thought Trump’s brand of snake oil was one he didn’t imbibe, that he didn’t get high on his own supply, as the dealers say. But now I’m not so sure. I think Trump is believing his own conspiracy. There’s no healing there, only concern.
Joe Biden tweeted “in one month, we begin to heal.”
It’s a wonderful idea, isn’t it? But I am not sure how we heal. Joe Biden’s presence in the Oval Office is not some magical presence that will bring healing to the nation. Quite to the contrary, among the group of bubble-isolated, hardened Americans who believe Trump was illegally deposed by conspiracy, his presence will be a great insult, and a reason for derision and vengeance.
On the other side, it won’t take much to activate those who will be trying to dance on the grave of Donald Trump (who will still be very much alive, and very loudly heard) into their own derision and revenge against Trump supporters. Or anyone who looks like a Trump supporter. Such is the state of our division.
I believe that the key to our national healing may best lie in the hearts and minds of evangelical Christians, both white, Black and other races. Oneness and unity in Christ is more powerful than any political divide. Ecclesiastes 4:12: “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” While the body of Christ in America is divided, it can be overpowered. Our healing comes from a unity beyond nationalism or patriotism. It comes from our Heavenly Father.
We’re coming up on Christmas Day. Christmas dawn will break over the world, whether democratic, socialist, communist, or tyrannical dictatorship. The darkness cannot stop the light from breaking. And it breaks with love, joy, mercy and compassion.
Congress has reached an anemic accord on coronavirus relief, round two, which doesn’t do nearly what it should, but it’s better than nothing.
If you haven’t read Susan Bagwell’s (former writer from RedState, before it became TrumpState) piece, “Fallen idols in the land of the free,” you need to read it.
David Thornton’s Christmas carol countdown is at #5, follow along.
Thanks everyone for your support. I’m thankful for those who post their opinions and comments even when those comments are completely opposed to my conclusions. As long as we’re civil, discussion in the public forum is welcome!