By David Carlson
For any parent who has instructed a child to always tell the truth, the behavior of the current occupant in the White House has made many of us wonder what kind of family Trump came from. Truth seems to be the most elusive quality in this president.
Trump’s charge of Obama wiretapping him during the campaign has been denied by all those who would know about such tricks. The consistent “Gee, I don’t remember what we talked about” from those in his administration who are questioned about their dealings with the Russians before the election convinces very few.
Amnesia at this level by so many so-called bright new national figures would set a new mark in the Guinness Book of Records.
Recently, we were treated to another fiction by Trump. When his promised repeal of the Affordable Care Act went south due to defections within his own party, he blamed the defeat on the Democrats. What? Aren’t the Republicans in the majority in both houses?
Some people find this behavior harmless. “Oh, that’s just Donald.”
The cost of Trump’s lying, however, could be high. In the remaining months of his administration, our nation will almost certainly face a major crisis in the world. In that crisis, he will need the support of our traditional allies, especially the leaders of Europe.
Imagine, however, Trump asking for support in such a crisis and hearing this response from the Germans, French or Brits: “Why should we believe you? You’ve lied consistently, and for all we know you’re lying now.”
And won’t European leaders in such a crisis remind Trump that his arrogant “Make America Great” mantra deserves the response “Go ahead; see how great you are on your own”?
As a Christian, I am commanded to pray weekly for our nation’s president. My prayer is that our nation will not face such a crisis before mid-term elections in 2018, when the nation will likely elect Democrats and moderate Republicans to counter this president’s dangerous agenda.
Until that day, I thank all those who railed at town meetings against TrumpCare and flooded their representatives’ mailboxes with their rage at this president’s policies. The nation has spoken.
And yes, those who find Trump truly frightening can find encouragement in the knowledge that no incoming president in recent memory has had lower approval ratings. On average, six out of any 10 Americans want a different president. But those resisting need to stay committed and, yes, stay angry. And we need to pray that God will shower more mercy on our nation than ever before — at least until November 2018.
David Carlson is a professor of philosophy and religion at Franklin College. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.