Saturday, January 14, 2017

Of January, 20, 2017 and Matthew 1, 8:6

As we approach the inauguration of soon-to-be President Trump, I hear the conversation shifting. I hear people chastising others for hoping Trump will fail; saying that if he fails we all suffer. True, I suppose.

I hope he brings us joy and prosperity. But, in fact I have no idea how he will actually do as President. In the end, I don't much care. I am dubious as to how much good or harm one man -- even the most powerful man in the country -- can do. I think that when a president does well, it is a combination of his efforts, the efforts of the rest of the government officials, the efforts and choices of the populace and of the circumstances of his given historical time. So, Trump could well be the president when things go well or he could be the president when things go due south on a jetski.

But, as I say, I really don't care. It is in the hands of fate (and of both the good and bad, hard-fighting elected officials) now.

What I do care about is that Trump's damage will be bigger than what he does as president. He is already a symptom of a dying culture. He is already a sign that any sense of manners, propriety and class are fading out of the American consciousness.

Now, our children will have a crass, loudmouthed, misogynistic egomaniac as their president. He is now the symptom of a societal sickness; on January 20th, he will become the cause of further decline. He is a bad example for our kids; for our people and for the world.

For me, it is not a question of agreeing or disagreeing with his politics. No, I really don't want to play the fiddle with a smile of self satisfaction on my face while Rome burns. But you will never hear me say that Trump is a good president. Not unless he becomes, all of a sudden, a gentleman. (For God's sake -- not, at least, until her pretends to be one, like some of his predecessors did. No, I am not kidding. It's like the difference between the student who fails but at least pretends his studied so as to show the teacher some modicum or respect... )

For a nut like me, being a gentleman is important. For a nut like me, sports figures and celebrities do have a responsibility to be role models. So, especially, does the President of the United States.

I know many Christians voted for him. I'd like to remind him of Jesus's words, in Matthew 1, 8:6:

"But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea."

Trump has shown us all dishonesty; a lack of compassion and a disregard of feeling for the unfortunate. His business practices are questionable, to say the least. He shuts down questions by raising his voice. He openly seeks to suppress truth by working to circumvent answering the press. He is a poor example for our kids. 

If we see a new era of prosperity, I will not change my opinion. Wealth is not cultural prosperity -- not all of it, anyway. Art, collegiality, manners, compassion, kindness...these are the things that foster prosperity. We can become a country of 98% millionaires under this administration and not become the least bit dearer in the eyes of God; or in the eyes of any gentleman or true lady; or in the eyes of history. 

To me, a "great" America is one in which respect and comportment are the currency of daily social commerce. Trump only knows one kind of currency. (If only we knew if he pays his taxes on it. as we have done with every other president...) 


  1. Cheering and clapping for your view here in South Georgia. A nation without kindness, respect and tolerance of diversity is a poor nation indeed.