Alan Jacobs on trump

Alan Jacobs is a professor of literature at Baylor and, as an avocation, a keen observer of the political realities of America. In the current online issue of Harper’s  he he has an important article called The Watchmen: What became of the Christian intellectuals?  In it he traces the last 75 years of the dwindling role of thoughtful Christians in American public life, which prompted me to check out his blog

In an entry last June, when it was already becoming apparent that trump was going to become the GOP nominee, he wrote:

We all know what Trump is: so complete a narcissist that the concepts of truth and falsehood, right and wrong, are alien to him. He knows only the lust for power and the rage of being thwarted in his lust. In a sane society the highest position to which he could aspire is apprentice dogcatcher, and then only if no other candidates presented themselves.

He is right, isn’t he?, that we all know this about trump? No, apparently he is is mistaken. Millions seem not to notice. The problem with political discourse in the midst of this campaign season is that America seems to have trouble grasping that we are not choosing between two (or four) candidates for the office of President. trump is not running for president because he has no clue what that office is about and no interest in it at all. He has spent his life forcing his will on others (or negotiating, as he would so deceitfully put it) and running his businesses with an incredible degree of autocratic dominance, that he cannot envision the position of the President as anything other than The Most Powerful Boss in the World. He is, in effect, running not for President but for Dictator.

One of the problems this raises is that when we comment on trump, some people think we are engaging in political commentary. That is not the case at all because trump is not a participant in the political arena at all. He is marked not by a desire to assume the responsibilities of the presidency but, as Alan Jacobs noted, simply by his lust for power. he would be an utterly irresponsible president.

So we have three candidates who hope to be president and one who has no interest in the position at all. It is, to use a silly but apt image, as if three are running for Chief Orange while one is trying to become the world’s biggest durian (a terribly stinky fruit in Asia).

Power in a democracy should be entrusted carefully and cautiously, not simply turned over to an individual carte blanche. In trump’s mind, running for dictator is simply a matter of convincing people to give him free reign to do whatever he likes with our country.

A very intelligent and likable addition to trump’s tiny staff is Kellyanne Conway. She has a truly anti-American responsibility in this campaign. As campaign manager, she is working hard and somewhat effectively to wrap trump in an attractive package. However much she succeeds in making him look good, she will never change the reality of trump. He is the enemy of America, the enemy of America’s responsible role in international affairs, and the enemy of democracy. Does that make Conway guilty of treason?


About mthayes42

I am a retired pastor, interested in the Bible, cross-cultural ministries, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and the current and past history of western civilization.
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