The Trump Card: Popularity Over Substance

11 thoughts on “The Trump Card: Popularity Over Substance”

  1. A long quote from G.K. Chesterton – You will hear everlastingly, in all discussions about newspapers, companies, aristocracies, or party politics, this argument that the rich man cannot be bribed. The fact is, of course, that the rich man is bribed; he has been bribed already. That is why he is a rich man. The whole case for Christianity is that a man who is dependent upon the luxuries of this life is a corrupt man, spiritually corrupt, politically corrupt, financially corrupt. There is one thing that Christ and all the Christian saints have said with a sort of savage monotony. They have said simply that to be rich is to be in peculiar danger of moral wreck. It is not demonstrably un-Christian to kill the rich as violators of definable justice. It is not demonstrably un-Christian to crown the rich as convenient rulers of society. It is not certainly un-Christian to rebel against the rich or to submit to the rich. But it is quite certainly un-Christian to trust the rich, to regard the rich as more morally safe than the poor. A Christian may consistently say, “I respect that man’s rank, although he takes bribes.” But a Christian cannot say, as all modern men are saying at lunch and breakfast, “a man of that rank would not take bribes.” For it is a part of Christian dogma that any man in any rank may take bribes. It is a part of Christian dogma; it also happens by a curious coincidence that it is a part of obvious human history. When people say that a man “in that position” would be incorruptible, there is no need to bring Christianity into the discussion. Was Lord Bacon a bootblack? Was the Duke of Marlborough a crossing sweeper? In the best Utopia, I must be prepared for the moral fall of any man in any position at any moment; especially for my fall from my position at this moment.

    1. Interesting. However you will find almost all congressmen and senators to be very rich. To point at Trump as rich as though he were unique is simply delusional. Nancy Pelosi, John Boehner, John McCain, Mitt Romney and almost all the others are abundantly rich. The Clintons are out of this world rich. The Bushes rich- very rich. While I agree trusting in riches is folly I have to state the idea of the Citizen Politician which this country was founded upon has turned into career politicians which are on the take. In my opinion the people of the US have been exceedingly corrupt and irresponsible allowing their government to degenerate into a cesspool of evil, corrupt and on the take politicians.

  2. Interesting take on Trump. I think the reason Trump is registering so well is because the mainstream GOP has done nothing over the last 7 years. They have lied to get elected- they stated they would fight Obamacare tooth and nail and caved right away. They stated they would fight the border wars and attempt and actually close the border and didnt lift a finger. They stated they would fight Obama on continuing resolutions to raise the debt ceiling and wimpered to his side to save the republic, Comparing today to Clinton and Lewinsky is to put it mildly insane. In the 90’s the policies of Newt Gingrich had been adopted against the will of Clinton but were done for political expediency. Today we have gone to 19 trillion in debt 10 trillion in the last 6 years. Our unfunded liability plus other debt is an unbelievable 210 trillion dollars. We are destroying our childrens future. Pols like McCain and Romney play the conservative card get nominated and become squishy democrat light and follow the democrats at a safe but steady pace. Reagan was considered an idiot a Hollywood actor and though a two term governor was considered uneclectable (now of course I am not comparing Trump to him at all) and today if you come across as blunt and on point you are considered radical. Unlike Clinton we now have a president who has totally flaunted the constitution, does run arounds the Congress and they dont fight. We have a SSM law from an out of control judiciary that has ues the 14th amendment to squeeze any idea or issue out into the law of the land- ie SSM/ Roe… In a nutshell while I see y0ur points on Trump I believe he resonsates so much because of the pathetic RINO dominance of our republican legislatures. The GOP is headed for extinction if this continues.

    1. Mark,

      Thank you for commenting. Let me respond to your concluding thought:

      “In a nutshell while I see your points on Trump I believe he resonates so much because of the pathetic RINO dominance of our republican legislatures. The GOP is headed for extinction if this continues.”

      We can agree that discontentment with RINO dominance factors into Trump’s resonance with the Republican base. This essay does not explore all of the ways in which Trump is connecting with so many, resulting in continual success in the polls. However, if you analyze Trump’s statements—sound bites—you begin to see that his tactic is to pull on threads and throw over tables. I think his endgame is to mirror something he sees within the base, which is anger. This game is effective when it comes to poll surfing and increasing name recognition. This game is not a substitute for a sound and full-bodied political philosophy that the American public can evaluate as a means for achieving a prosperous and virtuous American future.

      I am not saying that he is always wrong or that he never makes a fair point about lazy, self-serving party elites. I am saying that, while his approach to stumping is unique and straightforward, conservative Republicans must look at Trump’s entire portfolio to determine if his talk outpaces his walk.

  3. In other words, Trump has the same political qualifications – well, some more actually since Obama never had a job that required doing anything other than rabble rousing – as Obama and is running on a platform as close to Obama’s as a White man can.

    1. Ya, Obama never graduated from Columbia and Harvard where he could have been editor of the Harvard Law Review. Further, he never taught constitutional law while at the University of Chicago, nor did he hold elected office as a state senator. Finally, he never served as a United States Senator, unlike Donald”Duck There is Live Vermin on Your Head” Trump.

      Just an FYI, Obama is of black and white descent,so your thinly veiled racist stereotypes are akin the the vermin on Trumps head.

      Lastly, do we really need Seminary professors taking the time to right such painfully obvious articles in lame attempts at showing relevancy?

  4. I’m a politically conservative Christian and I disagree with most of this piece. Indeed, I’m surprised it’s posted here, as it doesn’t seem consistent with Dr. Groothuis’s own typical political stances. First, why would conservatives want a GOP candidate who is ‘centrist and bipartisan?’ Neither of those qualities is characteristic of political conservatism, so Trump’s lacking them is actually an attraction for such voters. Also, how would someone who is bipartisan and centrist help us undermine the leftist culture shift in America? We need someone dedicated to conservative principles to do that; not one who will give in and compromise with statists. You say Trump lacks the experience necessary for presidential office; e.g., he’s never held a political or governmental position. But who says that is a necessary quality for a good U.S. president? Why couldn’t someone who is a strong leader in the private sector, who knows how to negotiate with difficult and powerful people, who has seen how corruption and cronyism hurt the country, etc. be an effective president and leader? You offer no evidence such a person would fail in the presidency. Moreover, plenty of lifelong politicians have been president and failed horribly. I lastly disagree that mainly those “angry” at the federal government prefer Trump. I think it’s closer to the truth to say those discouraged and frustrated with governmental malfunction are looking for someone outside the standard political box to be effective and change the country for the better (to where it used to be) and reducing governmental harm to “we the people.” Moreover, why is it wrong to vote out of anger towards a government that has been so harmful for so long? You never present an argument to support that idea.

    1. Tom,

      Thank you for commenting. I have responded to a few of your points below:

      1. “Indeed, I’m surprised it’s posted here, as it doesn’t seem consistent with Dr. Groothuis’s own typical political stances.”

      To be fair, I am a guest contributor. My political views do not represent Dr. Groothuis’ views.

      2. “First, why would conservatives want a GOP candidate who is ‘centrist and bipartisan?’ Neither of those qualities is characteristic of political conservatism, so Trump’s lacking them is actually an attraction for such voters.”

      In 2012, the 112th Congress was the least productive session recorded at the U.S. House Clerk’s Office, with fewer than 250 bills passed. If we continue to elect leaders who are only capable of winning office by polarizing the electorate, Congress will continue down an unproductive path to nowhere. A President, who can win over the electorate with a vision for America, will inspire and pressure Congress to work together in order to make the vision reality. Congress will have to participate as an act of self-preservation. If Trump were President, he would further polarize the country by sticking to whatever ideological position he drums up, leaving a large portion of the country dissatisfied and thus providing lawmakers with the necessary grounding to hold fast against his vision. See Obama and 2nd term Bush on this. The 2016 President must propose a path forward for the country that is *measured* and takes seriously both leftwing and rightwing perspectives.

      3. “You say Trump lacks the experience necessary for presidential office; e.g., he’s never held a political or governmental position. But who says that is a necessary quality for a good U.S. president?”

      I didn’t say that holding a previous office is necessary. However, being a governor or member of congress affords us a record of action/votes that pertain to governance. It is common sense to want to see some governing experience before handing over the highest governing office in the land. I don’t think that successful business management perfectly translates into successful governing experience, either. I am working on that post right now.

      4. “Why couldn’t someone who is a strong leader in the private sector, who knows how to negotiate with difficult and powerful people, who has seen how corruption and cronyism hurt the country, etc. be an effective president and leader? You offer no evidence such a person would fail in the presidency.”

      I did not offer evidence for this because I did not make the claim! A person with all of those traits AND an excellent political philosophy might be a candidate worth vetting. However, as I stated, Trump has not revealed a vision for America with an accompanying method to achieve it. So how would I know that he fits the bill? Furthermore, it is not clear to me that Trump himself is above corruption considering he has said, on multiple occasions, “The point is that you can never be too greedy.”

      5. “Moreover, plenty of lifelong politicians have been president and failed horribly.”

      This fact does not entail that lifelong political experience was the cause of their horrible presidency. Again, experience is *typically* a good thing when pursuing a job. Not a sure thing, but a start for serious inquiry into qualification.

      6. “Moreover, why is it wrong to vote out of anger towards a government that has been so harmful for so long? You never present an argument to support that idea.”

      I never argued for it because I never said it! This article is a caution not to be *manipulated* by anger and sound bites. Voting out of anger seems like a poor choice, especially if you think it means that you must vote for Trump to resolve your anger. If you are angry at the state of our government, Trump’s lack of political experience, his flair for the trivial, and his lack of political philosophy make him a poor bet for resolving your anger.

      James 1:20 – For the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
      Proverbs 19:11 – Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.
      Ecclesiastes 7:9 – Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the bosom of fools.

      Most of the statements you disagreed with, I never said. I hope that this helps.

  5. I can’t say I agree with Trump in much but I think the fact that he ISNT politician is actually a good thing. The fact that he is already rich and of his own doing is also a good thing. I’m not necessarily in his boat by any means, but this is America and its honestly kind of nice to see a guy like Trump taking a chance and being honest about what he thinks. I can’t think of anything more American than that. Again, that’s regardless of whether I’d actually vote for him or not. We need more variety amongst candidate, not less.

  6. Hahah what bs, we are angry because the gov. Is beyond rogue and corrupt.
    Openly treasonous with the enemy. Even coming out saying we funded isil. It’s all open source facts. Our gov. including repubs are the evil that destroys this worldly environment of love and peace.
    But don’t worry. We will get our country back. It will be stained red with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It’s coming we know, and they know as why they play these games of politics so the masses follow the herd.
    Anyone who thinks are countries government is legit and level headed should be the first in line to be indoctrinated.
    I am my own man, my family is my family. The government is my gov for my country. We won’t let tyrants and dictators destroy out lives, our country, and our resources.
    It is sadly to obvious that this is how it is now. And you all blindly argue over it as if it’s real. It’s not and it is all a lie. We are in war and have been since ww1. It will never stop. Now it’s just moving to not being at war with soldiers. Now it’s a war on the people, people of the world are being killed. Not the killers. Men and women and children with just one wish. To live unabashed by govs. Or by gangs and rogue leaders who gain power by the exposure our govs enable them with.

    I personally cannot wait. I am going to be so sadly happy when my patriotic abilities are needed to protect my family and my country.

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