It is almost two years since Donald Trump was elected President of the United States. He is without a doubt one of, if not the most, controversial President the United States has ever had. With the mid-term elections happening next month, it seemed a good time to share my thoughts regarding President Trump in another Langstaff Letter, entitled ‘Understanding Trump.’
UNDERSTAND TRUMP IS NOT A NICE GUY. HE IS A WARRIOR
President Trump is not ‘Mr. Clean.’ He has a past; one that probably involved adultery and unfaithfulness in his marriage. He has a presence; one that includes lying. (However, remember that all Presidents have lied.) Some of his tweets can make you cringe with their crudeness and rudeness. His lack of gracious responses to others, such as John McCain. His recorded comments about women. We could go on and on.
Some would argue that a lot of this behavior took place before he was led to the Lord by Paula White. Maybe so, but let us be honest, he is still not a nice guy. We need to understand that he is not going to change a great deal. This is his personality. But have you ever thought that maybe we don’t need a ‘nice man’ to clean up the swamp? To do that, you need a warrior and a fighter, who doesn’t hesitate to throw a counterpunch.
We need to understand Trump and who he is.
UNDERSTAND THE LEFT AND THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA HATE TRUMP
There has probably never been a President who has been so despised and hated by the left wing of politics and the mainstream media as President Trump. Journalist David Kupelian and editor of Whistle Blower Magazine shared an email he received from a liberal reader of his magazine. The tirade ended with this comment, ‘The Republican Party is evil rebranded to succeed in our legal environment. You can’t be Hilter, but you can be Donald Trump.’ Donald Trump is seen by some as a modern-day Hitler.
Consequently, because there is so much bias, it is getting more and more difficult to determine what is fact and what is fake. Let us be honest, Fox News leans to the right, but think for a moment what the mainstream media would be like if there were no Fox News. The result is that there are politicians that are supported by columnists and news anchors who are seeking to impeach the President.
We need to understand the left and the media hate Trump.
UNDERSTAND WHAT TRUMP HAS ACCOMPLISHED
Stop for a moment and consider what Trump has accomplished in his first two years in office. Start with the economy. ‘The American economy is in fine shape growing by annualized 3.2 in the third quarter. . . . unemployment has continued to fall and the stock market to climb.’
President Trump has initiated tax reforms and simplified some of the rules and regulations that have hamstrung businesses. He has seen the appointment of constitutionally conservative judges and an Associate Justice to the Supreme Court. He has made progress in relations with North Korea, worked to reduce illegal border crossings, made significant changes to ObamaCare, moved the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, and worked towards making America energy independent.
We need to understand what Trump has accomplished.
UNDERSTAND THAT TRUMP IS A PRAGMATIST
Mychal S. Massie, founder and Chairman of the Racial Policy Center (RPC), a think tank he officially founded, wrote this in 2016, ‘We recently enjoyed a belated holiday dinner with friends at the home of other friends. The dinner conversation was jocund, ranging from discussions about antique glass and china to theology and politics. At one point reference was made to Donald Trump being a conservative to which I responded that Trump is not a conservative.
I said that I neither view nor do I believe Trump views himself as a conservative.[highlight] I stated it was my opinion that Trump is a pragmatist. He sees a problem and understands it must be fixed. He doesn’t see the problem as liberal or conservative, he sees it only as a problem’ (mycal-massie.com 2016). When Trump sees a problem, with illegal immigration, for example, his response is simply, ‘Build a Wall.’
By way of explanation, ‘A pragmatist is someone who is practical and focused on reaching a goal. A pragmatist usually has a straightforward, matter-of-fact approach and doesn’t let emotion distract him or her (Vocabulary.com).’
If you do not understand that Trump is a pragmatist, you will never understand Trump.
UNDERSTAND WHY PEOPLE SUPPORT TRUMP
There are many reasons why people support Trump including:
- Trump tells it as it is. He is bold as brass and lets it all out, holding nothing back.
- He is doing what he promised to do in the run-up to the election. For example, previous Presidents have talked about moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, but no one followed through with it. Trump, ignoring the criticism he would receive for doing so, moved the U.S. Embassy. Not too many Presidents have taken the list of promises made during their campaign and set out to implement them one by one. President Trump has done and is continuing to do this.
- The appointment of judges to the courts, especially the vacancies on Supreme Court.
- They consider what America would have been like if Hilary Clinton had become President. They do not see an acceptable alternative to Trump, and consequently, they support him.
- In all this, he is a strong leader (whether people like him or not) and people support and follow strong leaders, both good and bad. That is history for you.
Understand why people choose to support him.
UNDERSTAND HOW GOD CAN USE PRESIDENT TRUMP
One often wonders how God could use a controversial man of questionable character. But He does, usually without the man knowing it. Let me give you an example from history.
Napoleon Bonaparte does not go down in history as a great and virtuous man. He was more a man of war, a brilliant military leader, a French statesman, and one of the most controversial leaders in history. At that time, efforts were being made to eliminate slavery from Europe and the world. Led by people like William Wilberforce, the slave trade was made illegal in Britain but not so in other European countries. Efforts were made in the peace treaty with France to force them to include the elimination of the slave trade. But the French rejected it. Then, ‘what seemed a miracle happened.’ Napoleon, who had been banished to Elba following his defeat by Wellington, suddenly regained power. Knowing that all of Europe ‘would soon again be arrayed against him and in the canny preemptive to placate his chief enemy Britain, he quickly proclaimed the immediate abolition of the slave trade throughout the French Empire. It was a glorious turn of events for abolition’ (Amazing Grace p 243).
One can argue God used such a controversial figure as Napoleon to bring about a major victory for the abolition of the slave trade. He has done it before, and He is doing it again with President Trump. In this day and age, I believe God is using Trump to achieve some significant breakthroughs in our land and beyond.
Understand that God is using President Trump.
UNDERSTAND WE NEED TO PRAY FOR TRUMP
The Word of God makes it clear we are to pray for our leaders. Paul writes, “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers and intercessions and giving thanks be made for all men for kings and all who are in authority.” I Timothy 2:1
In 2016, Christians prayed concerning the upcoming election in a remarkable way. It is time to continue to pray, especially as we move toward the mid-term elections and with all the other things that are happening nationally and especially in Washington.
More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of. Wherefore let Thy voice rise like a fountain for me night and day (Tennyson).
Understand the need for prayer.
ONE LAST THOUGHT
I came across this quotation in an article in Christianity Today that caught my attention, “We should be on guard against talking about Trump more than Paul talked about Nero (Christianity Today).”
Let us keep our eyes on the Lord. God is sovereign in the affairs of men, and our trust has to be in Him above all else.
Metaxas, E. (2007). Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the heroic campaign to end slavery. New York, NY: HarperSanFrancisco.
The Works of Alfred Lord Tennyson (1994)