Saturday, December 26, 2020

Another Trump hater? NO EASY ROAD TO TRUTH

A recent column, "Get Thee Gone," critical of President Trump's post-election behavior, attracted a fair amount of criticism. I learned a good deal from that criticism, including something about myself — to wit, all things considered, I prefer praise to criticism (about which more later.)

As far as most — not all — of the critics were concerned, any column that mentions the president is either pro-Trump or anti-Trump. And anything that is not 100 percent pro-Trump is, by definition, anti-Trump. No further analysis of the points made is required.

The columns I have written praising the president — for breaking with the conventional wisdom on Middle East peace-making, the plight of the working class, the Chinese threat, and campus due process, to name a few — availed me not. No criticism can be brooked.

That Manichean view of the universe, especially with respect to the president, strikes me as inimical to religion. It elevates the president to a stature that he cannot bear. A number of Christian conservatives have written about how pro-Trump boosterism has corrupted many evangelicals. And what they have written applies with equal force to elements of our own community; just substitute Orthodox Jews for evangelicals.

"Some evangelicals in the last four years have clearly made Trump their god and MAGA their religion," a recent Washington Times editorial opined. "It is perfectly possible to vote for Trump, his judges, for his tax cuts, without becoming an obeisant loyalist.... Yet many signed their souls over."

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