My disdain for him is equal to, if not greater than yours. So much of what he stands for, I simply detest. Not a day goes by where I don’t find his actions and attitudes unbecoming of a human being, let alone the President of the United States of America.
Yet, when I search to connect the dots that led to his rise in power. When I dissect the pathway of disease that has led to his infection. When I retrace the erosion that allows such a lapse of discernment, I must be willing to look into the mirror.
To be sure, conservative Evangelicalism and the safe harbor it affords to countless evils, has led the way in opening wide the gates to Trump’s rule and reign. This is obvious and well documented.
Yet, perhaps what we fail to see, is that in some way, great or small, we are all the incubator from which “Trump” has been birthed into the world—yes, progressives included.
We say that we detest his gross inappropriate sexual immorality, yet we sexualize our young children with provocative attire, seductive poses for social media, and the competitive message that beauty is centered upon one’s outward appearance.
We say his lying is of pathological origins fit for the Antichrist, yet we internally exonerate the daily fibs and exaggerations we tell that are deemed necessary to get ahead in life, or at least, take hold of our share. Somehow, in our minds, those are innocent, not unlike the little-white-untruths we insist are developmentally healthy for our children to explore.
We say that we are “progressive” and therefore nothing like him, yet we roam social media waiting to devour our own at first sight of their departure from our own personal ideology of progressive conformity.
We say that he has foolishly walled himself off from wise counsel and only gathers those around him whose loyalty is blind and without ethics, yet we huddle in our exclusive progressive tribes centered on much the same tenets, positioning and using the people around us for our benefit and “progressive” aspirations.
We say that the way he undermines his competition and enemies with vicious tweets and callous decisions is of the devil himself, yet when another walks into our own territory of influence, we guard our platforms at all cost, willing to send to the curb anyone who dares to get in the way of our spotlight and progressive empire building.
We say we are a people for the “common good,” yet we can’t find enough in common or good with each other to pause from our repeated self-destruction long enough to come together and unite our votes for the defeat of blatant tyranny.
We say his vacations are a rape of the American taxpayer, yet we refuse to muster the short amount of time and energy it takes to get up off the couch, educate our brains, and vote.
Every time we make beauty something that can be accomplished through powder, poses, and privilege, we are Trump.
Every time we place promotion, progress, or personal gain above truth, we are Trump.
Every time we subscribe to a legalism that affords us the exclusive right to judge, condemn, and marginalize, we are Trump.
Every time we position and use people in our lives for the fulfillment of personal aspirations, we are Trump.
Every time we sabotage and demonize those who would share in our spotlight or thwart our empire building, we are Trump.
Every time we eat our own and render people as disposable, we are Trump.
Every time we turn platforms into pedestals, we are Trump.
Every time we choose ignorance, complacency, and comfort over integrity, responsibility, activism, and the welfare of humanity, we are Trump.
We can bend, twist, and hide behind our excuses, but the cold hard truth is this… in some way, great or small, we are Trump—all of us. Not because we are simply imperfect humans like him, but because we all have been bewitched by a self-centered American spirit that has turned the very best and most sacred things of life into commodities of personal gratification. People, power, platforms, church, politics, and even Jesus: nothing has been exempt from being fashioned into a flag to wrap around our own selfish pursuits.
As hard as it may be to hear, Trump is a product of ourselves, we are not immune to culpability—all of us.
Therefore, it’s high time we stop pointing to the many obvious reasons why Trump is a thing, and start looking to ourselves as an integral part of the problem and likely the only part of the solution. Not simply because we believe to have better ideas, theologies, views, or values, but because at the end of the day, we are better humans.
For our most important vote will not be in the 2020 ballot box, but in our daily choice to actually live against the very things we say we are against.
Until we do, there will always be a Trump.
Grace is brave. Be brave.
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You certainly are one for making us face ourselves. I am not American but what you say probably also applies to me in some ways. Thanks for your boldness in helping us all to be better.
I’m sure it applies to most of us who live in an industrialized country, no matter which one it is. I recognized a few things that I need to work on.
The power of Grace is certainly universal. Thankfully.
Hey Chris, do you think it might be good to encourage your readership to pray for the US President? Maybe you already have, and I’ve missed it-apologies if that’s the case. Scripture encourages us to pray for those in authority and I think that would include your President.
Kind regards from Scotland
Here in America, prayer is often used as a way to assert power and privilege over people in a condescending way. It looks spiritual, but is often used in self serving ways. So, in that sense, I have not asked my readership to pray for Trump. I would hope that most, if not all of my readers, would have God’s best in mind for him.
That’s a cop out Kris! Be brave and pray for the guy and invite your readership to pray as well. The motivations of those who pray are in God’s department not ours. Be brave and surprise your readership by encouraging them to pray for the man in the White House.
Kind regards from this side of the pond.
Dude, I see prayer completely different than you, stop judging my actions simply because you don’t agree or understand them.
Chris…..I’m intrigued. I haven’t judged your actions……all I’ve done is encouraged you to encourage your readership to pray for your president, which I thought was a pretty straightforward request, but there seems to be an issue over that?
Why would you not want to encourage folks to pray for him? He needs prayer back up as does our Prime Minister and here in Scotland…our First Minister. And…..you said that you see prayer different to me – how do you see prayer?
I can tell your hope is to pin me into a corner to say what you want me to say, which is I don’t want to pray for Trump, nor encourage my readers to because I want him to fail or endure harm, or something like that. That is stupid and inaccurate. I don’t see prayer the way you do, it’s not a “back up” nor way to influence the hands of God. In my view, Trump doesn’t need prayer, the way you see it. Period.
A tough read but true in every sense. I had a similar revelation last year. It hit me like a ton of bricks that what I hate in him may be exactly the things I hate in myself. Looking at my own reflection. Sobering. I still struggle with my feelings for him. I want to love as Jesus loves but I really do hate trump. I want to love those who wholeheartedly love and accept him but I find myself keeping my distance for my own health. Still muddling through and evolving daily… at least I recognize what is going on and am willing to look in the mirror and try to make the changes I need to. I figure that’s progress. Thank you for this great blog post ♥️
Always love to hear your thoughts Cherie, thanks for sharing them!
Thank you, Chris, for calling us all out. We can make a difference and it starts with the person in the mirror.
Very true, Larry!
Very insightful Chris. As hard as it is to admit, you are right. We all had a hand in making this mess and it will take all of us to clean it up. Keep up the good work.
Well said, Patti!
Heartily agreed CHRIS – thank you! From the opposite spectrum we both can see the malaise through a glass darkly. It starts at the bottom (with us) – God gives us leaders worthy of us – just like us – either the vile Hillary or the vile Trump were set before us – to shame us – and then we turned on each other and pointed the fingers of The Accuser – “it’s your fault” – like spoiled schoolyard children, fat on luxuries we did not fight for nor build…and therefore meaningless to us. Leaders do not make us holy – they only reflect us. Like the days of Solomon, and like the days of 70 AD in Jerusalem. Where’s the Law of Christ and the unity before the spirit of this world?
Thanks Dean for reading and commenting!
This post knocked me on my tail! What courage to admit our likeness to a man who we find repulsive! Excellent post, friend!
I am retired and still married to my first wife. I don’t grab women by the p***y nor brag about doing so.
I have served in Haiti . It is a depressing place, and the West has too often been the reason. Sh**hole describes our poor response, not the people or the country.
I spend my days as a volunteer tutoring adults for GED, or preparing taxes for widows.
I am Trump?
Trueblue, thanks for your comment, I believe the article answers your question.
Thank you for this, Chris. Very well said. I would offer up this “verse” to your “we are Trump” litany:
Every time we participate in our civilization’s devastation of the earth in the course of living in this out of control ecological ticking time bomb, and shove aside the knowledge that this is unsustainable because “what else can we do?”, and deeper down, we don’t want to do what it will take to live through a tough transition to energy production, food production, and product production that properly appreciates the limits (and capacities) of our ecological reality, we are Trump.
I would also suggest that it might even be the most important recognition that we could make, given that it is the only one with an expiration date. Not that all the other items in your list aren’t urgent. I believe they certainly are. And the sooner the better, certainly, on all of them. But if we don’t realize the ecological realities as a crisis that requires much more than we’ve EVER given as a human species, then we won’t have time to do ANY of it because of the chaos of simply fighting to survive, if we can at all.