I listen to a lot of commentary about the current campaign for president. Over and over, I hear everyone saying this election is all about anger. More often, lately, I’m hearing the refrain that Trump is ahead because voters like his expressed anger and are planning to vote for him even though he doesn’t share their views on policies.
That’s what disturbs me most. Isn’t it supposed to be about the right policies?
For Christians, it should be even more foundational: right policies carried out by the person who best represents those policies in his own life. Yet Donald Trump can be vague or contradictory about his beliefs and prescriptions and say the most outrageous things without denting his support materially.
He’s becoming bolder with his vulgarity, using crude and obscene language in his public appearances; yet, astoundingly, I still hear some Christians defend him.
Cartoonists have not let Trump’s use of language go unnoticed:
Well, that’s just our culture now, some may respond. Sadly, that may be true. But do I want a president who caters to that kind of culture? Do I want a leader of this nation to be brazenly awash in that culture? Trump’s whole manner lends itself to the further breakdown of a culture that used to operate within a Biblical framework—at least publicly. There are few obstacles now to a completely degraded public “conversation.”
Challenged on his use of foul language by Greta Van Susteren on her Fox program, Trump answered, “I’m very capable of changing to anything I want to change to.”
The electorate this time around seems to have fallen to that dreaded “lowest common denominator.” One commentator, assessing both the Trump (get angry!) and Sanders (get free stuff!) campaigns, describes it this way:
Those who believe that politics is little more than personal psychodrama played out on a grand stage might be closer to the truth than usual this election cycle. Neither Trump nor Sanders, despite their claims, is ushering in a revolution. They are ushering in a politics more petty, vulgar, and low—more animated by voters’ base inclinations—than any in recent memory.
If New Hampshire is any indication, voters are not about anything so high-minded as constitutional government or national security or racial justice or even “hope and change.” They’re about me getting mine, by hook or by crook. Free college, free health care, and winning.
This election is the Gollum-cry of the masses: WE WANTS IT.
I wish I didn’t have to say I agree with this assessment, but I do.
There is still time for us to come to our senses. That’s my fervent prayer.