As the days and weeks — and now months — go by, I find myself more and more convinced that Donald Trump is cut from the same mold as Hitler and Stalin. He lacks the cunning of Hitler — in fact, he seems to be far less intelligent than he claims to be. He lacks the sheer brutality of Stalin. So I’d have to call Trump merely Tyrant, Junior. But tyrant nonetheless.
His incredible, whiny pettiness in quite like Hitler. People who are fundamentally insecure tend to be hypersensitive to criticism. Notice how Trump labels every criticism as a “vicious attack” against him? That’s a very dangerous sign.
Tyrants and even some gentler but still insecure leaders like to rally people against some other group because people with small minds can more easily stand against something or someone than for anyone or anything.
Which brings us to one of the things I most deeply resent about Trump, though ultimately it may turn out to be good for America. A very great deal of the mileage Trump is getting comes from his exploitation of the serious racism which is still a part of the American psyche.
The racism has been there for more than three centuries. It is to our shame that we have tolerated it so much, though even as I write those words I find myself thinking with admiration those many people, black and white, who paid such high prices during the civil rights movement of the 60s and 70s. But their work remains badly incomplete because the racism still thrives in America.
Trump deliberately blends American resentment at how badly our government has been working for the past several years with the racism that festers in our people. the two factors make a volatile mix which may turn our to be deadly.
Yet, to be as optimistic as possible, maybe Trump is doing us a favor by exposing American racism. Maybe it is like lancing a boil, intensely painful at first but leading to better health in the long run.
As a retired pastor, I must always add a thought that is never far from my mind: I so wish that the church in America knew how to lead the culture toward integrity, justice, and peace. If we really are the children of the Creator, shouldn’t we be masters at demonstrating how to enflesh the conviction that all men [persons!] are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights?