Trump: A Flawed Champion
Many pundits suggest that if you haven’t made up your mind by now on your choice for President, you haven’t been paying attention. They’re largely correct, but there are some (a minority) who are paying attention and are seeing a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. (Apologies to Winston Churchill) This may be best exemplified by David French’s recent column where he quotes theologian John Piper at length. The upshot of his post is that a leader’s immorality destroys society. To that end, he cites “unrepentant sexual immorality,” “unrepentant boastfulness,” “unrepentant vulgarity,” and “unrepentant factiousness” as key markers of unsuitability in a leader.
French’s list is a #NeverTrumper’s transparent slap at Donald Trump. Historically, Trump was a womanizer. His verbal style is boastful and vulgar. He is accused of being a divider. For the one who’s not paying attention, Joe Biden’s claim that this election is about character seals the deal. Vote Biden! But we have to peel back the layers of this onion.
On the charge of sexual immorality, we must compare Trump’s ancient history with Biden’s continuing fondling of women and excuses for his son’s profligate behavior. Recent revelations point to worse. Joe keeps on keepin’ on, while Donald is notably faithful to Melania.
We’ve all heard Donald Trump’s statements about his “tremendous” company, “beautiful” buildings, and “fantastic” golf courses. Supposedly this is evidence of narcissism, a major character flaw. But pundits who have grown up near Trump in Queens recognize this a simply local style. Apparently, many people from Queens speak this way as a daily part of life. Brooklyn has a different flavor, and Indiana (VP Pence’s home) is radically different.
What about Biden? Are his statements any less dramatic? He claims to have worked across the aisle to create legislative miracles, but the only one he can cite is the 1994 Crime Bill that put large numbers of black youths in prison for trivial crimes. Trump was actually able to work across the aisle to begin reversing this evil with the First Step Act. Biden claims that he was instrumental in negotiating the Paris Climate Accords, from which Trump withdrew the U.S. But he lied by claiming his counterpart was Deng Xiaoping, who was already dead. We could go on with Biden’s “scholarship” and “degrees,” but you get the picture.
Vulgarity is one place that Donald Trump seems to have a lead on Joe Biden, but as we noted earlier, those with personal history in Queens recognize that as a verbal style he learned growing up. We should compare Trump to many of Biden’s supporters, who make Trump’s language sound like Shakespearean prose.
“Unrepentant factiousness” is, to put it bluntly, a lie. Anyone who actually works with Trump finds him to be gracious and willing to work with anyone who will work with him. But even though many of us saw him as the lesser of two evils in 2016, most have learned that he fights. And he doesn’t pick fights. Rather, he stands up firmly against our enemies in the Swamp.
Washington, D.C. isn’t called “the Swamp” just because a few blocks of it -- Foggy Bottom -- were originally swampland. Rather, it acts like a swamp, amorphously oozing around your footsteps, sucking the boots off your feet and then trapping you to be lunch for alligators. The administrative state has grown so large and powerful that supercomputers programmed for artificial intelligence are being pressed into service just to sort out the immense number of conflicting government rules. With such an enormous morass, it’s no surprise that many thousands of traitors may be hiding in the dark corners.
Of course, every one of those treasonous actors (does the “whistleblower” come to mind?) has friends and is capable of causing great harm. Fiefdoms have to be safeguarded from housecleaning. And favors are traded for the protection. Every perceived slight becomes fodder for some exposé that a compliant media blows up into a “scandal.” After all, they are part and parcel of the Swamp. They are the Ministry of Propaganda, and every player scrambles to be the next Joseph Goebbels.
What is Trump’s act of division? He actually stands up for America. The Swamp couldn’t care less about America. It cares about itself and where its next victim lies. But Donald Trump refuses to slaughtered or neutered. Any ordinary person would have wilted under this unrelenting pressure. But he lives by the maxim that a man is known by his enemies. If his adversaries are evil, then he is on the side of righteousness.
So in an odd sort of way, Donald Trump is a divider. But his act of division is one of exposing evil by standing for good. Now we can begin to peel back the layers of the onion. Are moral flaws disqualifying? Ultimately, the question answers itself. As the Apostle Paul notes, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”(Romans 3:23, NAS) Every president is flawed. Even George Washington, for all his greatness as a general and president, was a flawed person who owned slaves. John Adams, who was a major force behind the Declaration of Independence, was incredibly abrasive. He was thrown out of office for signing the Alien and Sedition Acts, which criminalized speech critical of the government.
Since every president has had manifest moral flaws, it must be very clear that moral flaws, by themselves, cannot be disqualifying. John Kennedy, a notorious womanizer, guided us safely through the Cuban Missile Crisis. Abraham Lincoln, who freed the slaves, did so as the result of political calculation. Barack Obama, who promised (and almost succeeded) to “fundamentally change America,” gave the order to take out Osama bin Laden.
The only morally perfect person ever was crucified because he was regarded by the Swamp of His day as an unacceptable divider. Every president and candidate for president has flaws. We have to choose based on performance, not on style. And Donald Trump’s performance has been good. His judicial nominees have been excellent. His tax cuts were wise. His reduction in regulations have unleashed businesses to create wealth for all America.
Joe Biden’s track record, in words even the Left can understand, stinks. At every turn he has grown the Swamp and taken his vig. Donald Trump went to Washington to make your life better, while Joe Biden went to Washington to make his life better. Becoming a multimillionaire without ever holding a productive job is all the evidence we need.
David French and John Piper are wrong. We can’t judge our President on public moral character. We aren’t electing a savior. We’re electing a champion.
Image: Gage Skidmore