FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

When Trump Became Messiah to the American Right

The Divine Right of Rulers isn’t a new concept—it’s one of the oldest and worst political tricks in the book. So when Energy Secretary Rick Perry appeared on Fox News and referred to President Trump as the “chosen one” and “sent by God to do great things,” no one should have been shocked. Of course, Perry is just echoing Trump himself. Already, he’s referred to himself as, “the second coming of God” and “the chosen one.” Those in his base, who are evangelical by a large margin, have yet to be upset by these characterizations. Perhaps that’s because Rick Perry and Co. genuinely believe it.

It’s this kind of messianic understanding of leaders that has long been detrimental to the success of nations. And, generally, it comes to the forefront when a nation’s religious becomes desperate for success in the polis. Politicians know this all too well—it’s why Adolf Hitler strategically painted himself as Germany’s messiah, sent to lead them from their despairing economic position on the world stage. Tragically, most of the German public bought in wholesale. Due to intimidation and denial, this brainwashed community became the worst bystanders in recent memory, as the Holocaust was orchestrated right under their noses.

Divine authoritative rhetoric like this creates a toxic relationship between a politician and his or her constituents. Claiming to be sent from God, or even pretending to be god-like, should no longer be a political tool of persuasion because of its ability to allow politicians to distort reality. The shunning of this type of discussion is long overdue even if President Trump, or any president for that matter, is a so-called saint.

Christians who supported Trump remain divided about their overall feelings toward the president. But, let’s not forget that, throughout Trump’s previous scandals like his lewd comments about groping women, evangelicals didn’t seem swayed.

Some Evangelical thinkers are consistently claiming that Trump is the “modern-day Cyrus” who is best-fit to guide the United States through chaos. In the sixth century BCE, as chronicled in the Old Testament, Cyrus conquered Babylon and ended Jewish captivity, after the Israelites had been forcibly resettled in exile. Jews were then returned to Israel to build a temple in Jerusalem. This theory of Trump as the new Cyrus has little logic, if any.

Obviously, President Trump is not a god-like figure, not even close. It’s strange that those who claim to know God would ever make such a dangerous comparison. In so doing, they’re eliminating the cap on the executive abuses he could commit. He can slowly morph the presidency into a dictatorship.

Most recently, through the impeachment hearings, we have gotten another taste of this unbridled religiosity. Republicans are arguing that not only did Trump not abuse his powers in the Ukraine scandal, but also that he can’t even abuse his powers, no matter how he exercises them. Of course, Trump agrees with that logic, because he asserts that he has “the absolute right to pardon [himself]” and he has the “absolute right” to completely shutdown the U.S. Southern border. Is there any absolute right he doesn’t have?

Well, no. Not when he’s God’s chosen one. But if evangelicals continue to promote that message, they’re going to find themselves in for some very real trouble.

Natalie Dowzicky is a researcher a Washington D.C. think tank, a Young Voices contributor, and a cohost on the Pursuit Podcast (@ThePursuitPod) & the Pop & Locke podcast (@PopnLockePod), both produced by libertarianism.org. Follow her on Twitter @Nat_Dowzicky.

 

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
August 14, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Matthew Hoh
Lights! Camera! Kill! Hollywood, the Pentagon and Imperial Ambitions.
Joseph Grosso
Bloody Chicken: Inside the American Poultry Industry During the Time of COVID
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: It Had to be You
H. Bruce Franklin
August 12-22, 1945: Washington Starts the Korean and Vietnam Wars
Pete Dolack
Business as Usual Equals Many Extra Deaths from Global Warming
Paul Street
Whispers in the Asylum (Seven Days in August)
Richard Falk – Daniel Falcone
Predatory Capitalism and the Nuclear Threat in the Age of Trump
Paul Fitzgerald - Elizabeth Gould
‘Magical Thinking’ has Always Guided the US Role in Afghanistan
Ramzy Baroud
The Politics of War: What is Israel’s Endgame in Lebanon and Syria?
Ron Jacobs
It’s a Sick Country
Eve Ottenberg
Trump’s Plan: Gut Social Security, Bankrupt the States
Richard C. Gross
Trump’s Fake News
Jonathan Cook
How the Guardian Betrayed Not Only Corbyn But the Last Vestiges of British Democracy
Joseph Natoli
What Trump and the Republican Party Teach Us
Robert Fisk
Can Lebanon be Saved?
Brian Cloughley
Will Biden be Less Belligerent Than Trump?
Kenn Orphan
We Do Not Live in the World of Before
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Compromise & the Status Quo
Andrew Bacevich
Biden Wins, Then What?
Thomas Klikauer – Nadine Campbell
The Criminology of Global Warming
Michael Welton
Toppled Monuments and the Struggle For Symbolic Space
Prabir Purkayastha
Why 5G is the First Stage of a Tech War Between the U.S. and China
Daniel Beaumont
The Reign of Error
Adrian Treves – John Laundré
Science Does Not Support the Claims About Grizzly Hunting, Lethal Removal
David Rosen
A Moment of Social Crisis: Recalling the 1970s
Maximilian Werner
Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf: Textual Manipulations in Anti-wolf Rhetoric
Pritha Chandra
Online Education and the Struggle over Disposable Time
Robert Koehler
Learning from the Hibakushas
Seth Sandronsky
Teaching in a Pandemic: an Interview With Mercedes K. Schneider
Dean Baker
Financing Drug Development: What the Pandemic Has Taught Us
Greta Anderson
Blaming Mexican Wolves for Livestock Kills
Evaggelos Vallianatos
The Meaning of the Battle of Salamis
Mel Gurtov
The World Bank’s Poverty Illusion
Paul Gilk
The Great Question
Rev. Susan K. Williams Smith
Trump Doesn’t Want Law and Order
Martin Cherniack
Neo-conservatism: The Seductive Lure of Lying About History
Nicky Reid
Pick a Cold War, Any Cold War!
George Wuerthner
Zombie Legislation: the Latest Misguided Wildfire Bill
Lee Camp
The Execution of Elephants and Americans
Christopher Brauchli
I Read the News Today, Oh Boy…
Tony McKenna
The Truth About Prince Philip
Louis Proyect
MarxMail 2.0
Sidney Miralao
Get Military Recruiters Out of Our High Schools
Jon Hochschartner
Okra of Time
David Yearsley
Bringing Landscapes to Life: the Music of Johann Christian Bach
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail