Friday, August 18, 2017

Responding Nobly to the Presidency of Donald Trump

In August 1974, Richard Nixon felt compelled to become the first President of the United States to resign. A month later, President Gerald Ford pardoned Nixon for any crimes he might have committed. With that act, Ford may have ruined his chances to win the 1976 election. At any rate, Jimmy Carter benefited from his status as a Washington outsider to become President.
While beneficial to getting elected, being different did not endear Carter to the Washington insiders with whom he had to work. If one were to believe the corporate media at the time, Carter was perpetually misguided and incompetent. The media neglected few opportunities to ridicule the President.
When attempting to discern how we might live as faithful witnesses to Jesus, we need to remember a few details. One, the corporate media controls almost all of the new information available to us ordinary citizens. Two, this global media is controlled by a tiny number of men. Three, these men use the media as nothing more than means to pursue their own ends. They seek, not to provide us with information that is relevant, accurate, and timely, but with images that will agitate, tranquilize, or distract us as needed to achieve their own unspoken ends.
In other words, those who control the dominant media are not committed to truth but to power. They serve the six false Olympian gods of power and not the one true god of freedom. It is unrealistic for us to expect the truth from them. To develop a realistic understanding of reality, we have to rely more on what happens than on what the media shows and says. Even then, we may never be informed about the happenings that matter most.
Based on what we do know, we may make certain observations about Donald Trump.
We know that Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton to become the 45th President of the United States. While Hillary got 48% of the popular vote compared to Donald’s 46%, Donald won the only vote that matters, that of the Electoral College, and did so with 304 votes compared to Hillary’s 227.
Jimmy Carter endured the harassment and ridicule of political and media leaders for four painful years. Who knows how many of us Christians thoughtlessly repeated their false and undignified opinions with our relatives, friends, and colleagues or, worse, our fellow Christians on Sundays?
What’s happened to President Trump, however, is far worse. He has faced, not ridicule, but rage. This has come, not just from political leaders of the Democratic Party and the media leaders who sympathize with them, but from Republican political and media leaders as well. This is odd, ignoble, and dangerous.
Jesus calls us to do better. All new leaders need the benefit of the doubt to become good leaders. President Trump never enjoyed this. He began to be savaged by the media the day after the popular vote. We should have offered him our congratulations and prayed that God would bless him with the wisdom he needs, as any one of us would, to lead America in helpful directions.
All Presidents, Trump included, pursue policies that, if attained, would be destructive to our vitality as a nation and as human beings. Being faithful witnesses means opposing such policies. The gods of power would beg us to use any means necessary. Jesus would have us act differently. He is the god of freedom, truth, love, and vitality. The means we choose to oppose destructive policies must be consistent with those values and him.
Right now, in the United States, political and media leaders of both major parties are not just attacking President Trump’s policies. They are attacking his character. They are politicizing the character of the President and want us to join them in destroying it. There is nothing good down that road. If President Trump is forced to leave office before the next scheduled election in 2020, this will only bring great harm to our already fragile nation.
At this moment, we Christians must remain with our good lord and savior on the difficult path that leads to life. We must say no to these attacks in our hearts and not repeat them with our lips. We must show others that there is another, nobler, way to respond creatively to other, more decisive, challenges of our times.

Copyright © 2017 by Steven Farsaci.
All rights reserved. Fair use encouraged.