“I don’t approve of him as a person,” said the man sitting next to me. “But I like everything he has done as President.”
My wife and I were at a wedding reception over the Labor Day weekend, socially distanced around a large round table with one other couple. They were both retired government scientists, very smart people. The man said that his four adult daughters were not supporting Trump, and each had a different reason.
“I didn’t support him in the 2016 primaries,” said the man, naming some of the deficits that Donald Trump has as a person. “But since elected, I like everything he has done as President.”
This was a light-bulb moment for me. There are people — perhaps a huge number of people — who disapprove of Trump as a person, but who are very happy with the job he has done as President. For some, it is the tax cuts. Others like his Supreme Court nominations. Or his stance on deregulation. Point is, they like what he is doing, despite the ways in which he does it.
Lying doesn’t matter
On Wednesday, Trump acknowledged that he played down the danger of the coronavirus last winter. “I’m a cheerleader for this country. I love our country. And I don’t want people to be frightened.”
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden responded by saying, “He knew and purposely played it down. Worse, he lied to the American people. He knowingly and willingly lied about the threat it posed to the country for months.”
So Trump misled the American people about the deadly nature of the coronavirus. But for people happy with his performance, lying doesn’t matter.
For Democrats trying to unseat Trump, efforts to point out his deficits as a person are not going to change many minds. The email scandal that did such damage to Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2016 would hardly be noticed if it popped up in this year’s contest. Many people dislike Trump the person, but they like what he has done as President.
In my novel City of Peace, a Methodist pastor named Harley Camden is talking with a church member named Dirk Carter about the recently completed 2016 presidential election.
“Winning is important to me,” Dirk explained. “That’s why I voted for Trump. He knows how to win. Who did you vote for?”
“That’s kind of personal, don’t you think?,” asked Harley. “I thought we had secret ballots in this country.”
“Sure, but what’s big deal? The election is over and Trump is in the White House. It doesn’t make any difference at this point. I’m just curious.”
“I voted for Hillary. Not enthusiastically, but I thought she had the right qualifications.”
“But what about the email thing?” interrupted Dirk.
“Yeah, that bothered me. But it was not a deal-breaker. What really impressed me was the way she spoke so clearly about her faith. You know that she is a Methodist, don’t you?” Dirk nodded.
“I do believe that she has sincere Christian faith,” said Harley. “She has spoken about the importance of taking care of the poor, visiting prisoners, and welcoming strangers. Now, I know that we were electing a president, not a pastor, but still it matters to me.”
Would Dirk Carter vote for Trump in 2020? Most likely, given that Trump has achieved certain wins while in office. Harley Camden would probably be looking again for a person with certain personal qualities. Yes, it is true that we are once again electing a president, not a pastor. But the integrity of the person matters, in addition to the nature of the performance.
How about you? Will you be voting to re-elect President Trump? If so, how do you assess the person and the performance? If not, what qualities are you looking for in a president, in terms of character and effectiveness? Join the conversation through a comment below.
What bothers me is when people use different parameters for the different candidates. Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server was a deal-breaker for many who voted for Donald Trump, but when it’s revealed that he too has used private and even secret communications, even covering up as classified certain information that doesn’t qualify for that designation so it would not be made public, and yes, continually telling lies, the same people bothered by what Clinton did brush even more extreme behavior off when Trump does it.
I do believe that as Christians, we need to let our faith influence our choice of leaders. Would Jesus say that winning at all costs is what makes for a good leader? Certainly not: “Jesus … said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant” (Matthew 20:25-26).
As a follower of Jesus, I seek to elect leaders who will see themselves as servants. I don’t mean they should be MY servant by setting only policies that benefit ME; I care that they seek to serve the most vulnerable in society, and I don’t see any concern for that in Donald Trump. I do see great concern for the vulnerable on the part of Joe Biden, so I will definitely be voting for him.
Dr Fauci said he saw President Trump repeating what they just talked about in the briefing together with the covid team, and he did not see the President misleading the nation. And of course, main stream media is not using that defense for President Trump.They get more viewers if they report the President lied to the nation. Truth is not important to most news organizations. Yes,instead of simply reporting what happens accurately they make it up with misleading reporting.
Can you imagine the President’s shock when Woodward only used part of the truth from their interview in his book.It could have only been to deliberately slam him, and damage him in this election year. After all the President had submitted to interviews with Woodward so he would hear what he had to say first hand assuming he would write truthfully.
Woodward had his own agenda, and that was to harm the President and keep him from being reelected if he could.Woodward,a masterful author and book seller, knew if he could create a firestorm making it look like the President lied to the nation, that would sell books.He witnessed early in Trump’s Presidency how to do this when he wrote a book based on hearsay, writing negatively about him, and selling millions of books. Hearsay is gossip, and is not to be believed much less retold to millions who would buy his book. He wrote as though this hearsay was fact. And, he wrote the President lied to the nation as though it was fact, and everyone swallowed this hook,line,and sinker who did not like President Trump. The main stream media ran with it, and are still airing it without DrFauci’s debunking it. Anytime you use only half of the truth, it is lying.It is simply lying, and this is what Woodward did.He will sell millions more of this book too,making money on his lies.
Trump is too trusting.He always forgets you can not help a snake.The snake will always bite you in the end.He has had a lot of snakes he has helped. They have come back to bite him with tell all books that do not tell all, only what is negative to sell their books, make money for them, and hurt the President.
Another one is coming out by a once trusted lawyer convicted of lying, and sent to prison for other things in addition to lying.He has the lies front and center to slam the President, and sell his book.I have already read them in interviews.
The media, and people in high places have tried to destroy the President since his inauguration,carrying over even more intensely the slander and hate than when he was campaigning in 2016. When asked how he has withstood the constant barrage of lies and hate his answer was, with God’s help. President Trump has respectfully used God’s name more than any President In twenty years.
I have often wondered when justice will come for the President. I read in 2 Corinthians recently that everyone will give an account of their life one day, and I am encouraged.
I am reminded there is no king or leader in place that God did not put there. Lord Willing,Donald J Trump will be reelected 11/3 for four more years.