I am a Democrat. Most of my family and friends are Republicans. Go figure. But no one I know personally calls themselves a Trump supporter — they make sure I understand they are supporters of the Republican Party. Why is this? Because a Trump supporter is not a Republican, not really. The Trump camp is its own strange fish, something born out of the underbelly of our culture, something I call anti-Christian, or maybe a better way to state it — something that defies the words and teachings of Jesus Christ.
Now, those not born into the Christian faith, and all who are, have heard the frequent “righteous” claim by Trump supporters that they adhere to Christian tenets. Nah-uh. Let’s take a look at why Trump supporters are not only neither Left nor Right politically, but exist in an alternate reality that is immoral and goes against the grain of what is life-giving in Christian scripture, and indeed life-giving in all faiths.
Trump’s own behavior is absorbed and welcomed by Trump supporters to such an extent that they follow him at rallies chanting wildly as if they are at a rock concert. Trump loves this. If you watch the rallies at all, notice what he does if the crowd seems to be quieting down. He throws out some nasty statement about another human being. His words are not just the rhetoric of political opponents — he uses dangerous words, words that incite people to violence. The crowd repeats his words, their voices merging like some negative force hitherto buried in a dark and hidden cave.
When a protest gathering occurs, an action sanctioned by our Constitution, it is intended to redress an inequity. The Founding Fathers were thinking of a protection for the people — all the people — when they added that into that extraordinary and historic document. They had experienced the tyranny of despotism in Europe and knew its dangers. Civil protest is their gift to us across the centuries.
Mob violence is not civil protest. Mob violence is a Trump rally.
Now, some of the people in the Republican Party, and for all I know, in the Democratic Party, do see any resistance to their political position as a threat and declare the people carrying out a protest to be a “mob.” Mitch McConnell loves doing this, but he is not really able to carry off the claim. He is using it as a buffer against criticism of his Supreme Court gerrymandering.
But Trump is a master at inciting a real mob. In a previous article I describe what a real mob is: Mob Behavior. But when I wrote that article awhile back, I was also thinking of Trump’s campaign and subsequent rallies while in office. He knows his audience, and again, loves making the crowd before him angry and hateful.
What kind of person likes doing that, making other people so upset? Who wants to follow someone who behaves like that, without moral compassion and decency? We don’t have to guess at this. Trump is a businessman — he is all business. He does not seem able to understand empathy, and his lack of factual knowledge about anything outside of business is suspect. But in a culture where money is pretty much a god, assumed by many as measure of a person’s worth — which it is not — Trump often gets away with behaving like a vulgar and warmongering lout — because he is rich. Illegally rich, but rich.
And his followers say yes to all of that.
Trump is a bully. His followers want to be like him. (A riveting article by DeRay Mckesson on Medium explores how the bully — all bullies — interact with those around them.)
Just how are these Trump supporters anti-Christian, in terms of the words of Jesus Christ? Let’s have a look:
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Luke 6:31 — Jesus tells us here the Golden Rule about loving our enemies. This is not Trump’s way. For Trump anything he does is right — we may never have had a public official in this country so immune to introspection as Trump. His main goal is to get revenge if anyone defies him, and he does not care who his target is — witness the people he fires for so much as disagreeing with him in his Cabinet and elsewhere. This is the man who threw a roll of paper towels into a crowd in Puerto Rico and laughed, after the cataclysmic experience those people were experiencing in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. While people in Florida were devastated by Hurricane Michael, he chose to sit in the Oval Office participating in some weird dialog with a fan. He has yet to say a word publicly about the terrible suffering in Indonesia from the earthquake and attending tsunami. His tweets are all about praising those who praise him, and sending hate messages to or about those who do not.
Trump supporters love this and see his every action as justified. That is the first sign of their existing in an alternate reality. For in truth, no human being warrants that single-minded devotion. Jesus Christ was a spiritual gift to us. He had no inclination toward hateful language and when he gave us the Golden Rule, he meant it as a way to live as humans together. A Trump rally and the raucous chanting that attends it are the opposite of the Golden Rule.
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?” Matthew 7:1–5 and Luke 6:37–42. Trump believes in judging everyone who crosses his path in terms of whether they serve his ego or not. Trump supporters are invested so deeply with him that they succumb to the persuasion of hate-mongering that Trump espouses. They forget — or ignore — the words of Jesus Christ.
“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Matthew 22: 37–40. For Trump, the only ones worthy of his love and favor are those who agree with him and praise him. His supporters follow this to the letter — anyone Trump is against, they are against. Anyone against Trump is practically an acolyte of the devil. They brook no other way but the one Trump declares, even though his way is very far from one of a loving kindness that does not judge other human beings.
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:44–45. The idea and fact of being in service to others has not once been manifested by Trump. He sees himself — without exception — as the one to be served. His ideology is an absolutism that Trump supporters agree with and they are willing to act accordingly — that is, without humility and without compassion and without a manifested desire to be of service to this precious world.
And one more statement of Jesus Christ comes to mind:
“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Mark 8:36. These words define us all. Every time we behave or think like Trump, we are succumbing to the absence of compassion and loving kindness in our lives. As for Trump himself, he has chosen so far to cause harm to our society and to the world. It is his decision now whether to reverse that direction. For indeed, his soul is as worthy as our own. But in the end, it is what we do that manifests how much we are in touch with our Divine soul, and thus with God, or how much we are not.
All of us can choose to do good or do harm. A lot of the time we can barrel ahead in our lives without listening to the words of Jesus Christ and other Divine messengers of faith, until we become aware of who we are and what we are here for as guardians in service to the Earth and all its creatures.
But blind support of someone like Trump is a dangerous course to take. Such slavish devotion to him, or indeed to anyone, is the path not only to disaster for our cultural integrity and values — it is also the way we abdicate our own human and spiritual responsibility to make the world a good place for all those who are here with us now and who come after us. Such blind support of the violent rhetoric Trump uses lies in an alternate reality, an anti-Christian and immoral reality, that we do not need, ever.