In an ongoing back-and-forth in the Christian Post, psychologist Dr. Chris Thurman and right-wing author Michael Brown have been arguing about whether or not it’s foolish for Christians to support Donald Trump.
Thurman rightly states that it’s the height of hypocrisy and cruelty to support the Toddler-in-Chief; Brown, a professional conspiracy theorist, claims that supporting any Republican candidate is necessary in order to defeat the “radical leftist agenda.” (That agenda is, curiously, unexplained — affordable healthcare? A living wage? Horrors!)
Thurman has now responded to one of Brown’s points that he is ignoring all the “good” Trump is doing, or will do, for Americans and Christians:
Brown is making an erroneous assumption about me, in this case that I am “blind to his (Trump’s) strengths and his potential to help America greatly.” I’m not blind to Trump’s strengths. I don’t believe he has any. I agree with Peter Wehner in his op-ed in the Atlantic, “Trump is Not Well,” that Trump is “a terribly damaged person, a broken man, a person with a disordered mind.” Please, don’t talk about his strengths when he has none. And, I’m not blind to Trump’s “potential to help America greatly.” I believe his malignant narcissism makes him a serious threat to harm America greatly. Honestly, hasn’t he already?
If Trump is a malignant narcissist as many of us believe, he is an evil person and has no redeeming qualities. Throughout human history, we have seen one evil person after another cause great harm to our world. Would anyone look at an Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Vladimir Putin, or Kim Jong Un and say they have “strengths” in the sense of positive character traits? When are Trump-supporting evangelicals (and Republicans in general) going to admit they have hitched their wagon to someone with a severely disordered personality about whom nothing good can be said characterologically?
It’s no longer hyperbole to make these arguments. Trump has used his Twitter platform to espouse anti-Semitism; he’s been far too cozy with leaders of white supremacist groups. He’s promoted conspiracy theories, spread his own “fake news,” downplayed threats against our nation if they benefit him personally, and literally committed impeachable crimes. Then, of course, there’s the ongoing horrific treatment of refugees at the border. The children are kept in deplorable conditions, are dying from completely preventable causes, or have gone missing altogether.
As Jesus said, if you want to judge the health of a tree, look at the fruit. If you don’t know if someone is “good” or not, look at their actions.
But according to Brown, that’s all fine and good, so long as Trump promises to eradicate abortion:
First, he has kept his word to evangelical leaders, showing consistency and faithfulness. Surely these are good character qualities.
He offers no citations for that. Though it’s worth noting that saying, “I promise to infringe on the rights of minority groups,” and then following through, doesn’t make someone “good.” Keeping a promise means nothing if the content of said promise is harmful.
He promised to fight for our religious liberties, and he is doing so. He promised to appoint conservative, pro-life justices, and he is doing so — by the scores. He promised to move the embassy to Jerusalem, and he did it.
He forgot to mention that a large number of his appointments — or rather, the concession he’s making to the Right in order to keep Republicans on his side while he commits scores of other crimes — are woefully, demonstrably incompetent. Their ideology is bad enough, but they’re also just plain bad or unprepared for these lifetime jobs. And moving the embassy to Jerusalem hardly helps American Jews, many of whom have spoken out against it. That’s a favor to apocalyptic evangelicals, not U.S. Jews.
This is called integrity: sticking with your promises and commitments.
Second, despite his playboy past and his narcissistic ways, he seems devoted to his wife and children. Friends of mine who have gotten to know him personally, also spending many hours with his adult kids, tell me how deeply they respect and love him.
He’s totally devoted… if you ignore the affairs and the way he talks about how Melania “has a son,” as if he forgot who the other parent is.
It also never seemed to occur to Brown that Trump could just be playing for the cameras.
Brown goes on, again, about the danger of the so-called “leftist agenda,” completely ignoring the fact that he has his own. Cruelty is the new Republican brand, and frankly, it doesn’t matter what Trump does, so long as evangelicals continue to dominate the culture and make the lives of minorities they don’t like as difficult as possible.
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