By David Marshall
During the Trump presidency, the pontiff continued to speak out. He said the president was “not Christian” because of his views on immigration and ought to extend protections to undocumented young immigrants if he is actually “pro-life.” The pope’s words were not simply about the president but addressed the MAGA Christians who see Trump as their champion and even their “savior.”
Pope Francis represents the type of religious leader who speaks from having a moral conscience concerning people rather than being a Christian leader playing the role of political kingmaker and enabler. With many Trump supporters, the end only justifies the means when the end goal is to curtail human, civil, and political rights for minorities, give tax cuts to the rich and promote the type of white Christian domination in politics where the true teachings of Christ are ignored. In his role as a candidate, office holder, and former president, Donald Trump understands the deep undercurrent movement within the white working class where fear of “others” is a dark subculture waiting to explode. He understands the deep passions white evangelicals have over the topic of abortion while projecting himself as the only person who can deliver what they want. Lastly, he understands many GOP lawmakers’ greed and shameless quest for power.
Trump is a master of exploiting lawmakers’ fears with the constant threat of a primary opponent and the immediate ability to turn his base supporters against them. Maintaining a sense of blind support and defense for the actions of a corrupt former president has adverse consequences that plant the seeds of dishonor and violence throughout our nation. The dishonor continues with lawmakers smearing the FBI and Attorney General for rightfully securing classified information, which the former president potentially mishandled. The same lawmakers will likely be the next Speaker of the House and Chairman of the House Judicial Committee.
Where lawmakers are using verbal threats against the FBI, an armed Ohio man defended Trump by attempting to breach the FBI’s Cincinnati field office. He is believed to have been in Washington in the days leading up to the Jan. 6 insurrection, which shows how individuals are now bold in their willingness to take up arms in defense of their “leader.’ Unfortunately, the focus on good governance may easily get lost in the current mayhem. Senate and House Democrats passed the Inflation Reduction Act, delivering a legislative win for President Biden and the party before the midterm elections. While the IRA received unanimous Republican opposition, their GOP constituents will benefit in the future from this bill.
It is undisputed that Republican voters have historically benefitted from Democratic proposed policies. The MAGA voice is always loud and threatening with conspiracy theories. Still, they will never publicly admit their families are helped by Obamacare, the Social Security Act, Minimum Wage Law, the 40-hour week, overtime pay, Worker’s Compensation Act, Rural Electrification Act, the GI Bill of Rights, Federal Housing Administration, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Pell Grants, National School Lunch Program, Food Stamps, Occupational Safety & Health Act, Operation Head Start, Medicare, Medicaid, Equal Pay Act, Older Americans Act, Guaranteed Student Loans, Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, Family & Medical Leave Act and more. This week has proven that our executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government can work. However, the primary safeguard against the politics of fear, obstruction, and threats is still informed and engaged voters.
David W. Marshall is the founder of the faith-based organization, TRB: The Reconciled Body, and author of the book God Bless Our Divided America. He can be reached at www.davidwmarshallauthor.com.