2019: Not an Auspicious Start
For all the usual hopes of renewal and a fresh start a new year traditionally brings with it, 2019 did not get off to a very auspicious beginning.
There is nothing hopeful or fresh about the stubborn stupidity of the “my way or the highway” man that voters – a minority – chose as the nation’s leader. Almost incredibly, he has been willing to sacrifice the livelihood of hundreds of thousands of Americans, harm the nation’s economy and create a disgraceful public spectacle worthy of one of those tawdry reality TV shows by forcing the longest government shutdown history. The purpose? Forcing down the nation’s collective throat the absurd wall at the south border, a despicable monument to racism he promised to his “base” of ignorant bigots.
The nation is rightly appalled by the president’s behavior and, except for those pie-in-the-sky- types who know nothing and for whom the liar-in-chief is the new messiah, Trump cannot rely on the support of anyone else. Wait, no, I misspoke: his biggest defenders are probably among the ranks of several evangelical churches and denominations. Yes, in what amounts to a complete betrayal of their avowed beliefs, many religious leaders have morphed into preachers intent on painting the self-proclaimed women harasser as being a few steps away from sainthood. And if the poor ignorant souls – the ones so aptly labeled “deplorables” by Hillary Clinton—have the excuse of their lack of knowledge, the religious figures who present him as the second coming of Christ do not. They have no excuse, they know better, they are just playing a dirty power game to push society back to darker ages of even more intolerance and fear.
Take Jerry Falwell, for instance, the president of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, a Christian college with more than 100,000 students on campus and enrolled in online courses who has invited Trump to speak three times and encouraged students to travel to Washington to support Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
When a reporter asked him if he thought Trump was a good moral example, Falwell didn’t think twice: “Absolutely. Ever since I’ve known him, he’s been a good, moral person, a strong leader, a tough leader – and that’s what this country needs.” Lying, incarcerating children, harassing women are no longer sins for the hypocritical Falwell.
Not to be outdone, right-wing evangelist Franklin Graham, son of the late Rev. Billy Graham, has demanded that Christians and the media stop criticizing Trump for his well-known extramarital escapades, particularly his involvement with porn star Stormy Daniels or, listen to this, “face God’s wrath and judgement.”
Yet, Graham was all fire and brimstone about President Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky. Those days he affirmed that Clinton had disgraced the presidency and that a president’s “sins are not private.” Sickening cynicism.
One has to wonder how much more can – or should -- the American people endure?