Just before turning in yesterday and upon checking out the latest additions to my Facebook page, one friend asked the perfectly straight forward question: “What are Trump’s strengths”? This was part of a generally good natured exchange following my posting a link to an earlier blog post, which intimated that there were indeed several strengths. While not relishing my promotion to being one of Trump’s cheer leaders, I thought I would have a go at answering.
I had just arrived home after being on a split shift at the homeless night shelter I manage when I read this. During the evening, I had a pleasant chat with one of my volunteers who lamented on the state of the world, and one of the glaring examples he cited was that we had a nut case in the White House. Talking to another volunteer when I returned this morning, who was of a similar ilk, he was just pleased that he had the opportunity of doing something where he could make a difference – such as helping the homeless.
Going back to my Facebook thread, one Christian friend pointed me to an article, by an Evangelical leader, that argued although Trump was NOT the AntiChrist he is an AntiChrist, given some of the bad things he has said and done. As the thread demonstrated so well, there is no shortage of people who I am close to, who I respect, wanting to point out some of Trump’s weaknesses, and even I could come up with a long list – but for the matter that this post is more about strengths than weaknesses. An excerpt from one response reads thus: “I can see no redeeming features. He is confrontational, he is narcissistic, he shamelessly uses his position to promote his family’s businesses, he is unstable and dangerous to the peace of the world, he is ignorant which endangers the world because of his refusal to consider climate change and morally he is a repulsive individual”, which by any standard is pretty emphatic. I might add that while it is unlikely I would want to invite Trump to pastor my church and I hope and pray his declaration that he is a follower of Christ be borne out, I do see him having those fighting qualities and inner savvy needed “to make America great again” and to have a realistic crack at “draining the swamp”, just as he promised.
While I have tried to put forward my point of view, I doubt that I have convinced many and maybe I should focus my efforts on helping the homeless if doing good in this life is my goal. I also realize that part of the challenge is backing up my opinions with irrefutable facts, which not only is easier said than done in many cases, but given there are alternative facts that people assign more weight to because of their ideological position it can be an uphill task where old ground is repeatedly gone over. Since I care, not so much about defending the honour of a flawed President but over the outcome of the culture wars which matters more, I am not inclined to yield the floor and withdraw into hedonistic dotage. I suspect one of the reasons Trump appears so flawed compared with Obama, is that the latter had to display due decorum to put on a good show as he was intent on taking the country away from its traditional roots and handing it to the globalists by his liberal, progressive policies.
Concerning the blog referred to above, I had a go at saying that while I had many concerns about his presidency, I had come to a view that Trump was in the main a good thing for America and the rest of the world. I saw in him a man that while in certain matters, like the environment, health care and refugees, I have reservations, as well as (less importantly maybe) his authoritarian and abrasive style, he has done a lot of good and this only two weeks into his presidency. I am flabbergasted by his energy and how much this seventy year old has accomplished is so short a time that even his detractors admit is a strength. For me, the occasional gaff and walking around the White House in his bath robe is forgivable.
Because I think religious freedom is important I like his overtures at reversing some of the discrimination toward those holding Christian views and his commitment to overturning the Johnson amendment. I admire his courage in pointing out how Christian refugees have particularly been appallingly treated. Because I believe securing the country is one of the most important jobs of a President, while I question some of the implementation, he is right to address the matter. He is right to be explicit concerning the threat of Islam and this despite my having many Muslim friends. I liked his speeches to the CIA and the sheriffs and both demonstrated great leadership. Because I view aborting fetuses as tantamount to murder I support his order to defund Planned Parenthood. Because I believe equitable trade deals is important for America I support his moves to restore parity. He is right to prioritise the economy and bringing back jobs, something the previous administration failed in. I like his attention to detail – helping stop firms leaving America and saving money e.g. in the case of the Presidential plane. Not noted so much is Obama’s disastrous foreign policy. America paid off the classroom bully (Iran) with little given in return. Its dealings in the Middle East helped create ISIS, an escalation of conflict with little ending in sight and the refugee catastrophe we are now seeing, and its selling out of Israel is of concern (moves like the UN abstain vote and funding Palestinian terrorist types in his final days is of particular concern). All this Trump has began to overturn, although the proof will be in the pudding … While the fine points of diplomacy is not my forte nor Trumps either it seems, I like his approach toward Russia and China. Most of all I like him standing up against the globalists and the powerful unholy alliance who were set to take over the world.
All the above can be fleshed out and I am happy to do so in the months to come as time permits. Like us all, Trump has strengths and weaknesses but the proportion of strengths to weaknesses is (imo) greater in Trump’s case compared to that of his rivals. One thing Trump’s ascendancy has demonstrated is that America is a divided nation and it has divided opinions in my country also. The reason why we are more aware now of these matters is because of Trump. I don’t have a magic solution. I do hope that I can debate with friends who disagree – respectfully and intelligently. I hope we can work together in alleviating some of the social ills that beset our society. Unlike some of my friends I don’t see Trump as the threat; rather I see him as one who might help save us from the threat.
My eschatological views includes a future Battle of Armegeddon, marking the end of the world as we know it (and then the return of Christ), and just maybe God is having mercy on us by delaying this, because of his praying people. At the risk of being consigned as a member of the loony brigade, I think we will soon see some of the evil that is being dealt out in high places, and not just the invention of conspiracy theorists, and for an opportunity for humanity to turn to the light before seeing judgment, which is more important than my opinion of Trump. As I said to one shocked Christian friend, because of Trump, this may be the Christians finest hour in this day of grace. Rather than being an Anti-Christ he may well prove to be a deliverer in the mode of King Cyrus (prophesied in Isaiah 45).