In just less than a month, a man with a series of negative qualities almost too long to list will take over the White House from the first black president. He is a racist, he is a xenophobe, a bigot, a misogynist. He is a reckless businessman who has run bankrupt multiple times, cheated everyone he could, and perjured himself again and again in lawsuits. He is by his own admission a serial abuser of women and a general creep. There is much more beside this. None of this is an insult, by the way, only fair and demonstrable characterization.
Over the next year, I am planning a series of columns on how the church can respond to this new situation. More on that later. Right now, let us say the series needs to focus less on the man and more on the social currents he provokes.
That’s first of all because those currents are more important than the man himself. If 2016 revealed anything about our nation, it’s that the “politics of resentment” are alive and well. Those, and not the man, are what the church is called to face down.
At the same time, as François Truffaut said, “Every film about war ends up being pro-war,” and “to show something is to ennoble it.” Or in this case, to name it is to empower it. The president-elect shows all the signs of raging narcissistic behavior]. Focusing on him only repeats his frame of reference: it’s all about him. And making it all about him gives him both personal strength to continue his inappropriate behavior, and the political means to do so.
We are not obliged to dump gasoline on that particular fire. From this point on, I will spend as little time as possible talking about the president-elect. America is not about him, and certainly not the Christian faith. Nor will I use his name here, except to describe the movement he inspires: trumpismo. Dude slaps his trademark on everything else he can reach, but he doesn’t get to brand this blog.+ + +