Christians are reminded, maybe not often enough, that we are all made in the Image of God; equally, we have all sinned and fallen short of that Glory that made the heavens and the earth. Even politicians are made in God’s own Image. Even Donald Trump. Even Hillary Clinton.
So when we are obliged, as we are in a democracy, to consider the merits and demerits of those who present themselves for public office, we must consider the policies they advocate and what we can guess of their character, but do so without animus. “That is a terrible idea” isn’t the same as “You are a terrible person.” We are all terrible people, in some way. Of course, an aspiring office holder may by the ideas they advocate, by their manner of life, by behavior, demonstrate that they do not meet the Minimal Decency Rule.
Donald Trump, who is a bully and an oaf, for some reason decided to run for the Presidency, and as a Republican.* A bit of a mystery, that. The Eeyore party is too delighted by his candidacy to be puzzled by it; he distracts them from the appalling candidates they’ve thrown up. The Heffalumps are finally noticing that he’s a center for disaffection. A fair chunk of the public thinks that our institutions are failing us, that substantial action is needed to reverse the trend toward mandarin government and its bumbling intrusion into daily life. Of course, Trump is just such a mandarin himself. I doubt that a Trump administration will see a revival of the Federal ideal, a restoration of fiscal stability, and a penetrating and effective foreign and military policy in the heritage of George Kennan, John Foster Dulles, Scoop Jackson, and Sam Nunn. Not at all.
Of course, no one has actually voted for Mr. Trump. The numerous polls are, it seems to me, likely wrong, and are more intended to shape “public opinion” than to reveal it.
*Since all politicians trim and lie, how do you tell genuine Heffalumps from genuine Eeyores? Heffalumps by and large (it’s complicated) at least pay lip service to the Constitution and at least say they place primacy on the individual’s liberties. By his contempt for the Constitution and obvious thirst for self-aggrandizement, I decline to call Mr. Trump a Heffalump. Of course, in our strange society, one is what one identifies oneself as, so . . . Contrawise, Eeyores are more or less frank in their contempt of the Constitution, from Woody Wilson onwards, and emphasize notional social issues over individual liberties. Both tend to be in the pocket of one form or another of economy-strangling Crony Capitalists.